Boston Bruins GM Peter Chiarelli had to be a happy man following Canada’s 3-2 win over Russia in the opening game of the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge on Thursday.
The Canadian team was paced by a pair of Bruins prospects — defenseman Dougie Hamilton and goaltender Malcolm Subban — to capture the first of a four-game series featuring the best junior-aged players from each nation.
Referred to as “the best defenseman outside the NHL,” by ISS director of amateur scouting Dennis MacInnis, Hamilton scored Canada’s game-winning goal on the power play late in the second period.
Hamilton, taken ninth overall at the 2011 Entry Draft, is expected to make a strong push for a spot on Boston’s roster this season.
Subban’s still a few years away from the NHL, but the B’s had to be pleased with what transpired on Thursday.
Drafted 24th overall this past June, Subban stopped 19 of 21 shots for the victory, which included an extremely busy third period in which Canada was out-shot 12-9.
The only player to beat Subban in the third period was Nail Yakupov, the Russian sniper taken first overall by the Edmonton Oilers at the 2012 draft.
The Canada-Russia Challenge is a celebration of the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series, an eight-game tournament that produced some of the most unforgettable moments in hockey history.
Game 2 will take place Friday, Aug 10 (in Yaroslavl) before moving to the Halifax Metro Center in Nova Scotia for Games 3 and 4.