Jordy Bellerive scored the go-ahead goal midway through the third period and the Western Hockey League selections edged Russia 2-1 on Monday to open the annual Canada-Russia Series.
Dylan Cozens put the WHL on the board 14 minutes into the game but Pavel Shen tied it for Russia just 26 seconds later.
Both goaltenders held tight through the scoreless second period before Bellerive knocked home the winner at 10:31 on the third.
Ian Scott stopped 27 total shots for the WHL team. Russia’s Daniil Tarasov made 21 saves.
The six-game series, with a Russian team playing two games against each league in the CHL, began in 2003.
Game 2 against the WHL goes Tuesday night in Vancouver before the series shifts to the Ontario Hockey League for two games on Thursday and next Monday. The series wraps up with two games against the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Nov. 13 and 15.