Dougie Hamilton scored the game winner on power play Thursday as Canada beat Russia 3-2 in the first game of the 2012 Canada-Russia Challenge.
Hamilton, a draft pick of the Boston Bruins, scored late in the second period for Canada, which also got goals from Sean Monahan and Scott Harrington.
Anton Slepyshev and Nail Yakupov replied for Russia.
Yakupov, who was drafted first overall by the Edmonton Oilers in June, scored on a power play late in the third to bring Russia to within one at 3-2.
The series involving top junior players from both countries paid tribute to the Kontinental Hockey League team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. The team was involved in a horrific plane crash last year that killed 44 players and coaches.
The tournament is also celebrating the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Canada-Russia Summit Series.
Three more games are scheduled in the series, with one more in Russia and the last two in Halifax.