Russia 1 - Canada 8
GIROUX LEADS WAY AS CANADA CLINCHES SUPER SERIES WITH 8-1 ROUT OF RUSSIA
by Derek Jory
Russia was no match for Canada through the first four games of the Canada/Russia Super Series, and that proved to be the case once again Tuesday night in Game 5.
Back on Canadian soil for the first time since sweeping the first four games in Russia, Canada, sporting commemorative 1972-style Team Canada jerseys, scored five second-period goals en route to a 8-1 win to clinch the Super Series in front of a rowdy red-and-white-clad crowd of 13,563 at the MTS Centre in Winnipeg.
Claude Giroux (Hearst, ON/ Gatineau, QMJHL) – Canada’s Player of the Game – led the way for Canada with two goals and an assist, while Sam Gagner (Oakville, ON/ London, OHL) and Logan Pyett (Milestone, SK/ Regina, WHL) each chipped in with a goal and two assists.
David Perron (Sherbrooke, QB/ Lewiston, QMJHL), Zac Boychuk (Airdrie, AB/ Lethbridge, WHL), Zach Hamill (Port Coquitlam, BC/ Everett, WHL), and Kyle Turris (New Westminster, BC/ Burnaby, BCHL) also scored for the Canadians, who were outshot by the Russians 33-30.
“It was a lot of fun,” said Gagner. “We played well as a team and everybody was rewarded for it. We were really moving the puck well and creating a lot of chances so it made it a lot of fun”
Canadian netminder Jonathan Bernier (Laval, QC/ Lewiston, QMJHL) made 32 saves in the win, his second of the series, while Russia’s Sergei Bobrovsky turned aside 22 shots.
The series now shifts to Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, SK for Game 6 on Wednesday night (8 p.m. ET, 5 p.m. PT on TSN and TSN Broadband).
It was an undisciplined opening twenty minutes in Game 5 with Canada and Russia combining for ten penalties. Both teams had ample powerplay time, leading to a wide open period in which both teams finished with nine shots, but neither could find the back of the net.
The Canadians definitely had the best chances, including three glorious chances on a 5-on-3 midway through the frame, but could not beat Bobrovsky.
Canada’s best chance came midway through the period when Gagner found Turris alone in front of Bobrovsky, but the Phoenix Coyotes draft pick (3rd overall, 2007) mishandled the puck and was unable to pull the trigger.
The Russians got out to a quick start in the second period as they fired five shots at Bernier within the first three minutes, but Canadian goaltender was up to the test, much as he was in Game 2, when he turned away all 23 shots he faced in a 3-0 Canadian win.
Not long after the Russian pressure, Canada’s offence came to life.
Already up 1-0 off a powerplay goal from Giroux, Canada doubled their lead as Giroux buried his second goal of the game, and third goal of the series, this time getting lucky as he put the puck in off the back of Russian forward Evgeni Bodrov.
Alexander Vasyunov – Russia’s Player of the Game – cut the Canadian lead in half midway through the period with a great individual effort, as he fired a wrist shot past Bernier for his first goal of the series.
Shorthanded less than a minute later, Canada extended its lead when Pyett’s point shot eluded Bobrovsky. Pyett’s first goal of the series proved to be the turning point in the game.
“What took the wind out of their sails probably was that third goal tonight, that shorthanded goal,” said Canadian head coach Brent Sutter. “They made it 2-1 and they got some life, then they got the powerplay and we scored shorthanded and from that point on it seemed to snowball against them and snowball for us.”
Canada kept its foot on the gas despite being ahead 3-1 late in the period, closing out the final minutes with two straight powerplay goals from Perron and Gagner.
The Canadians continued their domination over the Russians in the third period, scoring three goals on their first seven shots. Boychuk, Hamill and Turris each netted a goal in the period, while Bernier remained solid between the pipes, stifling any momentum the Russians had in the final 20 minutes.
Canada and Russia now head to Saskatoon, and although they have already clinched a Super Series win, the Canadians say they have plenty to play for in the remaining three games.
“I think from the outside it may not look like much, but to everybody in our room this is a big deal to us,” said Gagner. “I think anytime you get to play for your country is a really special feeling and we’re going to continue to work hard and do our best for our country.”