|2008 U20 ADT Canada Russia Challenge|
ADT Canada – Russia Challenge Game 2, recap and scout notes.
After the convincing win in the first game, Russia got a shootout loss in the second match against the Quebec Selects, who were led by Bernier, Marchant and Giroux, players who already dominated the September’s Super Series. This time the starting goaltender was Sergei Gaiduchenko instead of Stanislav Galimov, who played quite well in the first game even if he let in four pucks.
In front of a crowd made up of more than 3000 spectators, Russians started the game attacking, but the first chance is all for Marchant who gets by a defenseman with a great move but his shot isn’t dangerous for the goalie. A few seconds later Russia replies with a quick rush by Solodukhin, whose shot is saved by Bernier, who appears to be a very solid goalie.
Good start for the guests, in part thanks to their better skating, but after some minutes Canadians raise the intensity and Russians’ dominance is a lot less visible. With the fourth line on the ice Russia suffers a bit against the opponents who get their first true scoring chance with Justin Azevedo, but after it Hillier puts Russia on a powerplay because of a tripping penalty. With the man advantage Russians can’t unfortunately create scoring chances despite a good job by Sayustov, especially with the great pass for Kurbatov’s slapper, which well saved by Bernier. When the teams get back at even strength it’s again Canada with the chance, Marchant shoots well but Gayduchenko denies him with his blocker. The Québec selection rises with the time, but a couple of minutes later Sayustov shines again in the offensive zone by giving a great pass to Ufa’s Doronin, but once again Bernier rejects the blue-line slapshot. Russia insists, and Bernier has to do extra work on Vityaz’s Grishin. The game flows nicely, with many front changes. After a scramble, Gayduchenko loses the stick, but manages to reject the shot by Marchant. The rebound is then picked up by Perreault who incredibly shots against the post. Canada insists and gets the advantage: big positioning mistake by the whole Russian defense and Perrault is free to serve Marchant for an easy one timer goal. No chances for Gayduchenko. Russians try to react but there is too little time before the horn. The first period was rather interesting, with a great performance by Sayustov, head and shoulders over all his team mates in my opinion. Unfortunately our national team is down by a goal, I would say undeservedly.
In the second period Canada attacks again and quickly doubles the advantage with McMillan. He charged Marat Kalimullin (author of a very good game), maybe irregularly, exchanged the puck with Hillier and scored a nice goal. Quebec selection gets near to the third goal a handful of seconds later because of an unlucky deflection by Alexander Vasyunov (New Jersey Devils), danger averted by Gayduchenko. Okhlobystin gets charged against the boards and finally Russians can pull the breath on a powerplay. Just some passes and Russia cuts down Québec’s lead: Sayustov inspires again Russian offensive manoeuvre outskating Delisle. The puck moves quick from Valeri Zhukov to Solodukhin to Vasyunov, rattles against Delisle’s stick and gets in. Russia is on fire and catches the tie less than one minute later. Vasyunov, him again, wins a faceoff in the offensive zone, sending the puck left to linemate Vadim Golubtsov who gets in front of the goalkeeper and scores between Bernier’s pads.
Russia got the tie and Canada can try to spoil the man advantage because of a hook by Alexei Dostoinov. Quebec selection has a good chance after a neutral zone turnover by Mikhail Milekhin, but DiDomenico can’t turn it into a goal, also because of a good save by the goalkeeper. The teams get back at even strength but Canada is dangerous once again with Giroux, whose shot is rejected by Gayduchenko. The goaltender can’t block and Giroux can have another attempt on the rebound, but the shot is wide. After it, at the seventeenth minute, Sauve is sent off for two minutes because of a check from behind to Anton Korolev, but Russia can’t create anything as Quebec selection’s penalty killing is great as usual, leaving little space to opponents’ creativity. When the teams are at full strength Kalimullin has the 3-2 on the stick but the shot is way too central for an easy save by Bernier. This is the last chance of the second period, thus leaving the game to be decided in the third period.
Both teams seem motivate in seeking the victory, and the first chance of the third period comes with a nice shot by Tessier, well saved by Gayduchenko with the right pad. After a powerplay wasted by team Russia, Canada gets another chance when the goalkeeper distracts and leaves the puck again to Tessier, whose shot is saved. After the save Tessier tries to play the puck after the whistle and Kurbatov, to protect his goalkeeper, takes a two minutes penalty. Quebec’s captain Bodnarchuk proofs Gayducenko’s reflexes from the blue line, Perrault from short range, but both chances are well denied by Metallurg Nk’s goalie, the last one with the active help of Nikolai Lukyanchikov.
The game heats up a bit after a foul play by Golubtsov and five players, three Russians and two Canadiens, are sent to the penalty box. Canada goes on a powerplay but it’s a short spell because of a trip by Bodnarchuk on Anton Korolev. Merchant gets a big chance but his shot is wide, with Gayduchenko absolutely out of position. In the other front, Grant stops Vasyunov beyond the rules and thus it’s 4-on-3 in Russia’s favour. Nothing to do, Canada kills the penalty and gets the man advantage because of a charging by Kurbatov, but this time Russia is very effective while short of one player, especially thanks to the excellent shift by Kalimullin, very good game for him, leaving only one shot to the opponents, by Alex Grant. Canada insists and scores with Marchant, but the referee rightfully don’t allow the goal because a precedent foul by Pavel Doronin. Smart penalty for him. Canada tries the final assault but Gayduchenko is excellent, first gloving a short range shot by Giroux, and after by pokecheking very nicely Tessier after a bad positioning of the defense that left the forward alone against the goalie. The game goes then to the shoot out relay.
The starter is Milekhin, who can’t trick out Bernier. Canada replies with Giroux, same outcome. Vasyunov tries the top-shelf wrist shot, but it’s too high. Perrault plays the puck too much and Gayduchenko steals him the puck with a great pokecheck. It’s Golubtsov turn, who tries the backhand after two fakes, but Bernier with an excellent butterfly save denies the goal. At the sixth penalty Canada gets ahead: Marchant attempts the same trick as Golubtsov, the shot hits Gayduchenko’s arm and gets in with a bit of luck. Fakhrutdinov tries to tie it up but his shot is wide and Veilleux’s goal giftes the victory to the Québec selection.
Team Russia has played a good game, especially in the second period. The shoot out loss is something to deal with, it’s not a true loss and thus they can keep the morale high to have a boost in the next games.
Sergei Gayduchenko, goalkeeper, Metallurg Novokuznetsk
Played a very good game…has confirmed to be excellent in one-on-one situations…good pockechek abilities…has to improve the concentration throughout the game because sometimes he gets distracted.
Valeri Zhukov, defender, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod
Played as defensive defenseman paired with Lukyanchinkov…has a good basic technique but has to improve his skating and positioning because he allows too many holes in the defensive third…good passing and vision of the ice…regular member of the national team, can get a jersey at the WJC.
Marat Kalimullin, defender, Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk
The best defender of team Russia tonight…played aggressive and physical for the whole game…he knows how to play the body and doesn’t hesitate to use it…could have a perfect game if he scored at the 39th minute…can improve in the offensive area…
Alexander Vasyunov (New Jersey Devils), right wing, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl
Played a very good game…made things happen with his burning acceleration…has caused the first goal with his excellent speed…good player, can be a star at the WJC…
Alexander Polukhin, center, Dinamo Moscow
Good center, underrated…has a good passing game, can deliver the puck in all the situations…good decision making abilities…can play in the penalty killing units…
Artem Gordeev, winger, Salavat Yulajev Ufa
Has deluded…was a shadow on the ice…one should expect more from a players like him, who has both the technique and the size and is having a very good RSL rookie campaign…
Nikolai Okhlobystin, winger, Metallurg Novokuznetsk
Another quick winger for Russia…good stickhandling but tends to ignore too much the line mates…good basic technique…
Vyacheslav Solodukhin, winger, SKA St. Petersburg
Quick, agile player, but suffers along the boards…has to improve his physical presence…
Dmitri Sayustov, center, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod
The surprise of the season so far…has confirmed his good play in the RSL…good all round center with a good nose for the passing…excellent reading of the game…can win his share of faceoffs…in the penalty killing tends to hesitate a bit to clear the puck and even caused a chance to the opponents…overall a very good player…
Anton Korolev, right wing, Neftyanik Leninogorsk
Product of Spartak hockey school…has played in both Vyschaya and Pervaya Liga with good numbers…looked a bit out of place, has to gain more experience at both national and international level…too passive on defense…