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Author: Aaron Bell ( 11/23/2004
Russia sweeps Quebec leg of the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge

2005 U20 Canada-Russia ChallengeOriginal Article URL

Russian Selects 4, Team QMJHL 3 (shootout)

By Aaron Bell

Alexander Radulov scored two goals, including one in a shootout, for the second straight game to give the Russian Selects a 4-3 win over Team QMJHL in the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge in front of 9,775 fans at the Bell Centre in Montreal on Tuesday.

Radulov, who plays in the QMJHL for the Quebec Remparts, opened the scoring with David Desharnais of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens serving a minor penalty in the first period. It was Radulov's second regulation-time goal of the series.

Andrei Stepanov streaked in on his off wing and wired a wrist shot to the far corner to bump the Russian's lead to two early in the second period.

Two minutes later, Team QMJHL captain Stephen Dixon of the Cape Breton Screaming Eagles redirected a pass from Frederik Cabana of the Halifax Mooseheads to cut the Russian lead in half.

Marc-Antoine Pouliot of the Rimouski Oceanic tied the game early in the third period when he fired a wrist shot from the top of the circle that sailed past the blocker of Russian goaltender Anton Khudobin.

David Laliberte of the PEI Rocket gave the QMJHL their first lead of the game midway through the third period when he picked up the puck in the face-off circle and buried a wrister between Khudobin's pads.

Sergei Shirokov tied the game with a little more than two minutes left in the third period. He picked off a loose puck at the blue line and guided the puck between the legs of QMJHL goaltender Jonathan Boutin of the PEI Rocket to force the second straight shootout of the series. Shirokov also scored in the shootout.

Khudobin, who was the Russian's player of the game on Monday, was strong again in this game, turning aside 10 shots in third period, include a point-blank stop on Lewiston MAINEiacs forward Alex Bourret, who had a goal in Game 1. Khudobin denied all four QMJHL shooters in the shootout to claim the win.

The Russian Selects won the first game of the series 4-3 in a shootout Monday night in Quebec City. The series shifts to the Ontario Hockey League with Game 3 on Thursday at the Barrie Molson Centre. The Mississauga IceDogs host Game 4 on Monday before the Russians travel to Alberta to finish the series in Red Deer on December 1 and Lethbridge on December 2. All games will be broadcast live across the country on Rogers Sportsnet.

The series has provided scouts from across the hockey world the opportunity to watch many of the CHL's top players compete against the Russian Selects.

"I've been very impressed with the caliber of play," said Blair Mackasey, head scout for Canada's National Junior Team. "The Russians have obviously come with a very competitive team. It's been very entertaining for the fans."

Mackasey was part of the selection committee for the three CHL teams that are participating in the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge. The series is the last step in the identification process for Canada's National Junior Team selection camp next month.

"It's one evaluation tool that we can use," said Mackasey. "It's always good to see everybody on the ice at the same time against international competition. I don't think there will be any drastic decisions made based on these games, but they will confirm some things."

The series also provides NHL scouts with a unique opportunity to watch players play with different teammates in an international setting.

"We think it's fascinating," said E.J. McGuire from NHL Central Scouting. "We think that this game goes a long way to measuring what kind of NHL player all of these guys will be."

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