|2009 U20 ADT Can-Rus Challenge|
ADT Canada – Russia Challenge Game 1 report
After a hard fought game Canada, with the QMJHL selects, got the best from Russia on the first game of the 2008 ADT Challenge. The Russians have been hurt – as usual – by the Canadians’ bigger physical play and speed in the small ice surface, as it can be seen in the second and third goal, but after all every horse has his course. Game’s most awaited players, Dmitry Kugryshev (Washington Capitals) and Sergei Ostapchuk, didn’t shine. Kugryshev did score, but he wasn’t the presence he had to be in this game.
The game started with the Canadians a little bit over the edge and Nemchinov’s guys on a powerplay: Ostapchuk fed Nikontsev who skates and shots, Roy gloves and freezes the game. It’s a good start for Russia: with the teams back on even strength Yarchuk gets a chance, but the young Quebecoise goalkeeper gloves again. After a powerplay stretch for the Canadian side Russia, with the man advantage because a hook by Paquette, insists with the second line, the best on ice so far. The puck passes quickly from Ostapchuk to Nikontsev and finally to Pavel Chernov, but his backhand shot is marvellously stopped by Roy. But the Russian first flash lasts for half period only: at the eleventh minute Pashnin is caught in foul and the Canadians exploit the chance with Adam, nicely assisted by Paquette after an end boards’ rebound.
After the opponents’ go-ahead goal, Russia slows down. After a wasted powerplay opportunity, Gayduchenko is great in winning a duel against the Quebecoise Nicolas Deschamps: at first the Canadian gets on a breakaway and he saves it nicely, then, seconds later, Sergei rejects the opponent’s second attempt in style. A quick counterattack by the very active Nikontsev, probably the best player on ice for Russia, is the last emotions of the first period, concluded with the Canadians ahead by a goal.
The second period starts again very well for Russia: an intense forechecking by the first line frees up Dadonov in the offensive zone. The talented winger sees his club mate Andrei Konev, team’s captain, wide open on the blue line, his powerful slap shot leaves no way out to Roy, the game is now tied at one. But the tie lasts eighteen seconds only: Ostroukhov hooks Adam down to penalty and on the consequent powerplay Byron outskates Konev and puts it past Sergei Gaiduchenko (Florida Panthers). The game runs not too smoothly, but Nemchinov’s team tries hard. Eight minutes after the second period’s start Yarchuk gets a loose puck on his zone and launches Dmitry Kagarlitsky who gets hooked down, but Russia gets nothing in the powerplay stretch. Midway trough the game the QMJHL selects swap goalkeepers, the excellent Roy leaves his place to Maxim Clermont, who gets pierced at the first attempt: Nikontsev intercepts a bad pass by the Canadian defence, and after a couple of dekes he finds the back of the net. What a move, and the game is tied at two. But once again the tie doesn’t last: at the thirteenth minute Petersen out speeds Tokranov for Canada’s third marker, a goal that resembles their second one. The home team relaxes a bit and allows a powerplay to the opponents, but nothing happens and thus Esposito with an easy touch after a foul by Konev scores the fourth goal for the QMJHL selects.
The third period doesn’t see many emotions, but after some penalties on both sides at the seventh minute Russia scores: Dmitry Kugryshev (Washington Capitals) wins a board battle after a pass by Klyukin, cuts in the center and finds the right hole to beat Clermont for a very nice goal. A couple of minutes later Canada has yet another powerplay chance after a foul by Pashin, but the home team controls the game protecting their lead. Later in the last two minutes Nemchinov tries to change the game by calling a time out and removing Gayduchenko, with the sole result of getting a nice empty netter scored by Alex Grant.
Nemchinov should work hard for the second game as out team did the effort, but didn’t produce enough to get the game on their track, obtaining a deserved defeat.