December 26, 2012

Bruins prospect Subban earns win in Canada's WJC opener

By Jesse Connolly

In the 2012 World Junior Championship, Canada flipped back and forth between a pair of netminders and finished with a bronze medal. This time around, they’ll just be relying on one player between the pipes in hopes of topping last year’s third-place finish.

Malcolm Subban will be the goaltender Canada’s counting on to reach the gold medal game in this year’s tournament, which is taking place in Ufa, Russia. The Boston Bruins’ draftee stopped 25-of-28 in his team’s 9-3 victory over Germany in their tournament opener.

Despite having experience on the big stage, including during the Canada-Russia Challenge in August, Subban admitted he was a bit jittery in the first 40 minutes of the contest.

"I felt that I was nervous in the first two periods," Subban told TSN. "I talked to [Team Canada goalie coach Ron] Tugnutt, I calmed down ... It was a matter of stop and set for every shot. The first two periods, I was sliding around too much."

According to Yahoo’s Neate Sager, Germany tallied on the power play, on a 2-on-1 rush and off a turnover. The 19-year-old backstop, who is 15-7-3 on the year for the OHL’s Belleville Bulls, shined during the final frame.

His coach, Steve Spott, liked what he saw and will expect the same from Subban on Friday against Slovakia.

"Malcolm was good and he'll be in again in Game 2," Spott told TSN.

Jesse Connolly can be reached at jconnolly@hockeyjournal.com. Follow him on Twitter at @JesseNEHJ.