November 21, 2007

ADT Canada Russia Challenge

Took a trip across the river to watch the second game in the Canada Russia ADT Challenge. This game was played Bob (Robert) Guertin Arena in Gatineau.

The Russia Selects team won the first game of the series 6 – 4 in Chicoutimi on November 19th. Check out the game summary here.

Tonight’s game was an entertaining match. This should be the game sheet from tonight.

The Russia Selects outplayed the Team QMJHL in the first period but it was still a tightly played period. Team QMJHL scored twice on 7 shots on goal while the Russia Selects had 8 shots turned aside by Bernier. The tables turned in the first half of the second period where the QMJHL team essentially had the Russians pinned in their end for a good chunk of the first half. But the Russians got their goals back – one on a power play and the other at even strength less than a minute later (I sound a lot like Bob Cole…"a guy from the other team did something and then another guy from the home team did something else.” I am not familiar enough with all the players to have noticed who did what when. After 2 periods the game was tied and the shots were 18 – 15 for the QMJHL team.

Both teams flagged a bit in the third period but as the time wound down, they wound up. Both teams were working hard for that winning goal. The refereeing got terrible – the usual third period rule book in play. So the play got a bit chippier and as one would expect a scrap broke out. We didn’t see the play that started it all but before the play could be whistled, Brad Marchand was hit relatively hard at his blue line and the fight was on with pretty much all the players looking for a dance partner. When it was all over, Team Select had 3 in the box – one of them having earned a 4-minute rest, and the QMJHL had 2. Team QMJHL couldn’t get anything going for most of the first half and then they took a penalty to shorten the chance.

There were a few good scoring chances for both teams but the game ended in a tie. The ADT format goes straight to the Fusillage (shootout) rather than play an overtime period.

The format is 5 players and:

Russia Selects:
26 Mikail Milekhin X
18 Dmitry Sayustov X
11 Vadim Golubtsov X
17 Marat Fakhrutdinov X

28 Claude Giroux X
16 Mathieu Perreault X
17 Brad Marchand SCORE
44 Kevin Veilleux, SCORE

Team QMJHL takes it in the shoot out.

Players of the game:
Russia Selects: #24 Alexander Vasyunov
Team QMJHL: #17 Brad Marchand

The Bob is a great arena. We had seats right behind the timekeepers so we got to watch some of the production. Didja know that they keep the spare pucks on ice? Literally – in a bucket of ice. I did not know that but it makes sense when you think about it.

Too bad it was a relatively poorly attended game – no where near a sellout – maybe two-thirds full. But those that were there made enough noise.

I wonder if any of the 67s took the game in – especially Cuma, McGinn and Couture who will be taking part in the OHL challenges (not all the games). (Oops - I now see that all three are playing in game 1 and are likely already in Kitchener. Cuma and Couture are also scheduled to play game 2 in Sudbury on Monday).

The next game is tomorrow night (November 22) in Kitchener. I think the Russia Selects might be a tad tired from the travel tonight.

I seem to recall that this series was in jeopardy of being cancelled as it seemed the Russia was not sending competitive teams over. It is quite a commitment to take a number of elite players from their teams for a few weeks to play in a series that really does not mean much except for scouts and scoutees. I’m not sure what quality of team Canada would ice if the shoe were on the other foot. But I would say that the team that was iced today was every bit up to the task – this game could have gone either way. Very entertaining for this group of fans.


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