The annual Canada/Russia Series is tied 2-2 after Team OHL beat Russia 5-2 Monday night in front of 6,071 fans at Hamilton’s FirstOntario Centre.
Denis Alexeev opened the scoring at 6:30 of the 2nd period when he roofed a shot in the top corner and beat Owen Sound goalie Michael McNiven from a sharp angle.
Soo Greyhounds winger Zachary Senyshyn evened the game at 1-1 when he scored on a partial breakaway at 14:48 of the 2nd.
Erie winger Taylor Raddysh then scored two quick goals, the first on a penalty shot and the second after a face off in the Russian zone, to give the OHLers a 3-1 advantage.
The Russians got one back at 4:10 into the 3rd period when Alexander Shchemerov beat McNiven with a wrister from the right face off dot.
The Soo’s Boris Katchouk restored the OHL’s two goal lead with a nifty blocker side wrist shot at 6:41 of the 3rd.
Hamilton Bulldogs forward Will Bitten scored into an empty net with 3.2 seconds to play to round out the scoring.
Bitten had three shots on goal, took a two minute boarding penalty midway through the 3rd period, was a +1 and went 5-for-11 on face offs.
The series is a precursor to the World Junior Hockey Championship, which begins on Boxing Day in Montreal and Toronto.
Russia split its first two games against the WHL All-Stars before winning the third game of their barnstorming series against the OHLers in North Bay.
The Russian junior squad will end its six game exhibition series against the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League Tuesday and Thursday night.