Ottawa Capitals (CJHL/CCHL) falls 4-2 in Junior Club World Cup opener in Russia

SOCHI, Russia – Yaroslavl Loko picked up a pair of first period tallies and never trailed en route to a 4-2 victory over the Ottawa Capitals, representing the Canadian Junior Hockey League, Central Canada Hockey League and Hockey Canada Saturday in their opening game of the Junior Club Sirius World Cup in Sochi, Russia.

Picking up the first power play of the contest, Yaroslavl, the defending Russian Jr. champions, opened the scoring seven and a half minutes into the contest as they moved the puck around nicely before finding an open Igor Zenchikov on the left side who was left with a yawning net in which CCHL starter Gabriel Carriere (Kanata Lasers) had no chance on.

Yaroslavl added another at 15:22 of the initial frame off a face-off win that allowed Kirill Slepets to snap one from the point that flew through a maze and found its way into the top left corner to put Loko up by a pair after 20 minutes.

The Capitals, consisting of players and staff from the CCHL, generated a number of quality opportunities in the middle stanza only to be denied by both Loko goaltender Ilya Konovalov and the right goal post.

In the back half of the frame it was Yaroslavl that pressed the pace that featured a couple of shots that rang off the crossbar.

Loko tacked on a decisive third tally just before the second period horn was set to sound as Nikita Anokhovsky ripped one from the left face-off dot that beat Carriere high blocker side at 19:59 for the eventual game-winner to put the Russians up by three heading into the third.

Capitalizing on a two-man advantage, the CCHL contingent got themselves on the board in the final frame, as a Joshua Barnes (Cornwall Colts) shot on goal from the right side flopped down in the crease where a waiting Alex Dicarlo (Smiths Falls Bears) knocked it in.

However, Loko regained their three-goal cushion moments later as Vladislav Rybakov darted in on a shorthanded breakaway and proceeded to cut right and lift a backhand high over top a sprawled Carriere midway through the session.

The minor-penalty-filled third saw Ottawa round out the scoring with 18 seconds to go with Ryland Mosley (Carleton Place Canadians) whipping one home from the left circle, via the man advantage, to wrap things up offensively.

Among those on the Yaroslavl roster include 2018 NHL Draft picks Grigori Denisenko (Florida, 1st Round-15th overall) and Nikolai Kovalenko (Colorado, 6th round-171st overall), the son of former NHLer Andrei Kovalenko.

After a day off Sunday the CJHL/CCHL side will face-off against Jokerit U-20 from Helsinki, Finland at 8 a.m. ET on Monday (August 20) as action resumes in the eight-team event.

Jokerit won their opening game earlier Saturday as they defeated Kunlun Red Star Heilongjiang from Harbin, China 5-1.