Russia 1 - Canada 6
TURRIS TALLIES TWICE IN GAME EIGHT AS CANADA WRAPS UP SUPER SERIES WITH 6-1 WIN
by Lucas Aykroyd
It didn't have the last-minute drama of Paul Henderson's winner in Game 8 of the 1972 Summit Series, but
Game 8 of the 2007 Canada/Russia Super Series sent fans home happy from Vancouver's GM Place.
"The kids were prepared to play today," said head coach Brent Sutter. "They came to the rink excited about this game. To go 7-0-1 is remarkable, when you consider all the travel and everything involved. I think our preparation and how the kids committed over the summer to get ready was what separated us from the opposition."
Karl Alzner (Burnaby, BC/ Calgary, WHL) and Zach Boychuk (Airdrie, AB/ Lethbridge, WHL) added a goal and an assist apiece, and Brandon Sutter (Red Deer, AB/ Red Deer, WHL), and Colton Gillies (Surrey, BC/ Saskatoon, WHL) also scored for Canada.
"The crowd was awesome," said Alzner. "It was great to play in front of my family and friends. As for the team, I expected coming in that we would have a really solid team that would win the majority of the games, and we got everything we expected and more."
Zach Hamill (Port Coquitlam, BC/ Everett, WHL) and Sam Gagner (Oakville, ON/ London, OHL) each recorded two assists. That brought Gagner's series-leading points total to 15, and the nifty centre was honoured as the series MVP.
Goalie Leland Irving (Swan Hills, AB/ Everett, WHL) was nearly perfect between the pipes, although Russia's Evgeny Dadonov scored with 2:40 left to spoil his shutout bid.
Canada had early opportunities on the power play after Alexei Grishin was called for high-sticking at 2:13. Russian goalie Sergei Bobrovsky was forced to make a nice save off a Turris one-timer set up by Drew Doughty (London, ON/ Guelph, OHL).
Russia generated some pressure in the Canadian zone toward the end of the first period, but Canada controlled the opening 20 minutes overall.
Canada got off to a quick start in the second when Claude Giroux (Hearst, ON/ Gatineau, QMJHL) burst to the net and nearly re-directed a Brandon Sutter feed past Bobrovsky.
No sooner had Russia killed off the ensuing man advantage than Canada got another one. At 3:43, an Alzner blast from the centre point beat Bobrovsky high blocker side, giving Canada a 1-0 lead.
Canada jumped into a two-goal lead at 11:13 with a two-man advantage, when Sutter collected the rebound from a Gagner shot and flipped it high into the net.
It was 3-0 Canada three minutes later on the power play after Boychuk lost his footing at the bottom of the faceoff circle but still zinged a beautiful shot over the goalie's glove from his knees.
In the third period, tempers began to flare, as Team Canada captain Milan Lucic (Vancouver, BC/ Vancouver, WHL) and Viacheslav Voinov were sent off after scuffling in the Russian end.
Canada stretched its lead to 4-0 with just over 10 minutes to go when Turris backhanded a rebound past a sprawling Bobrovsky, much to the delight of his hometown fans.
With 8:50 left, a melee erupted behind the Russian net after Maxim Chudinov threw a high hit after the whistle on Giroux. Roughing minors and misconducts were handed out, but that was as nasty as it got.
"Obviously, the Canadian mentality is that we don't like to get cheap-shotted like that, so I think our guys did the right job stepping up for one another," said Lucic.
Turris scored again with a great backhand deke on the power play at 15:46, making it 5-0. Just 22 seconds later, Colton Gillies grabbed a rebound on the doorstep and put it home to round out Canada's scoring.
Evgeni Dadonov spoiled Irving's shutout bid with less than three minutes to go, deflecting in a pass from Alexander Ryabev on the doorstep.
Final shots favoured Canada 45-26. Turris was Canada's Player of the Game, and Bobrovsky was selected for Russia.
"We didn't take our foot off the gas," said Lucic. "We wanted to end off this tournament with a boom, because everyone always remembers the last game that's played."