By Steven Ellis – Eurohockey.com
Team Canada has won a bronze in their first tournament of the Olympic season, defeating Metallurg Magnitogorsk by a score of 3-1 on Wednesday evening at the Sochi Hockey Open.
A power play opportunity at the halfway point in the first period allowed Canada to take the first lead. At 11:26, Mason Raymond tapped in a goal short side on Vasily Koshechkin after some great passes between Gilbert Brule and Andrew Ebbett. It was a big goal for Raymond, who only played four professional games last year after starting the season with the Anaheim Ducks. Raymond did, however, represent Canada at the Spengler Cup, potting six points in five games to help Canada win their second straight tournament.
Canada, however, wouldn’t hold on the lead for long. Defenseman Sergej Tereshchenko, who isn’t really known for offensive exploits, made it 1-1 after taking a Denis Denisov pass from the point and wiring it past Justin Peters, tying the game up at one apiece just 6:55 into the second period.
Raymond was often criticized for his inconsistent play in the NHL, bumping around multiple teams before landing with SC Bern for the upcoming season. But his second goal of the night was not to be missed after picking the puck up behind the net on his blade and sliding it top corner while still behind the goal line in a lacrosse-style move. Justin Azevedo would score an empty netter, but it would be Raymond’s goal that would result in a bronze medal for the two-time defending Olympic champions.
Canada will bring a mostly-different roster to the Nikolai Puchkov Tournament, which begins in Russia next week. It’s one of many tournaments Canada will take part in as the team looks to prepare to an Olympic tournament with no NHLers.