|2009 U20 ADT Can-Rus Challenge|
ADT Challenge game 3
ADT Challenge moves to Ontario as the third and fourth game will see Russia vs the OHL selects, after the excellent match played by the Russians in the second match of the series.
Nemchinov swaps Sergei Gayduchenko with Alexander Pechursky (Pittsburgh Penguins), while the opponents' crease will be defended by Atlanta Thrashers' prospect Chris Carrozzi. Russia also presents another news, Andrei Loktionov (Los Angeles Kings) will be the first line center.
OHL selects show that they are more aggressive than QMJHL just after a hundred seconds: Crawford launches Tavares and the puck is already on the back of the net. Some shift later Chernov doesn't mark well his man, Matt Duchene, and so Canada is dangerous again, but this time Pechursky saves. In this first part of the match Russia can't impose their play and as a result Canada carries on going forward. At the sixth minute Taylor Hall gets in front of the goalie, but his shot luckily rattles the left post. The music doesn't change even when Russia gets a powerplay after a hooking action by Nigro: Cameron Gaunce with a greatly timed pass serves Cody Hodgson who resists to Tokranov and finds the net between Pechursky's pads. But when the referee whistles a penalty against Tyler Cuma finally Russia finds some reaction: fantastic cross-ice pass by Konev towards Klyukin on the left side, the Lokomotiv player one times it with the open net and re-opens the game. The goal shifts the momentum to the Russian side and at the eleventh it's again a power play as Brittain get punished for high sticking, but the Canadians excellently kill the penalty.
When the teams get back at even strength Dale Mitchell gets on a breakaway and comes hooked down by Khafizulin. Canada thus gets on a power play, but it's Russia to spoil the chances with a spectacular counterattack finalized by Grachev with the puck between Carrozzieri's pads. The first period finishes thus with the teams tied at two.
After not more than twenty seconds into the second period Dadonov intercepts a bad backhand pass attempt by the highly touted prospect Taylor Hall to gets in front of the goalie, beaten with an accurate wrist shot after a nice fake to gets past his man. It's a good moment for Russia. Two minutes later Yarchuk from behind the crease finds nicely his line mate Komarisy, Carrozzieri saves. Halfway through the match the OHL selects change the goalie and thus Carrozzieri sits on the bench substituted by the Dallas' second rounder Tyler Beskorowany.
Despite the Russian lead and their consequent good moment Canada gets back on track at the thirteenth minute, when Tavares deflects the puck in, during a power play stretch, after a big scramble in front of Pechursky. Probably the puck was already frozen by the Russian goalie, but the Canadian referee opted for calling it valid.
The match is really entertaining, with many counterattacks. During one of them, Loktionov and Dadonov get on a two on one. Loktionov cuts in, attracting the goalkeeper on his side, then serves Dadonov open wide on the right, but his shot incredibly hits the right post. Russia pushes the gas and two minutes later Nikontsev gets another big chance just a few meters from the goalie, but Beskorowany saves easily and rescues his team.
After this save the OHL selects restart attacking: the usual suspect Hodgson skates past a couple of defenders arriving in front of Pechursky, big time save and the game remains tied.
But in the third stanza Canada's pressure is too much for the Russian defense: Pashnin with a weak clearance launches Hodgson - unstoppable tonight - who finds a hole in Pechursky's guard and scores the go-ahead goal for the OHL selects. Russia , just like during the first minutes of the game, can't fight Canadian pressure. After three minutes Khafizulin gets on the sin bin for slashing, but Nemchinov's team penalty killing doesn't leave room to the opponents. When the team gets on even strength another scramble near Pechursky's crease puts Canada near to the fifth marker with Matt Duchene, but this time the defense clears the zone. The OHL Selects insist: Nemisz serves Hall all alone in the offensive third, Pechursky gets down and saves, but he can't repeat himself at the ninth minute on a good shot by Mitchell. It's the virtual end of the game. The home team slows down, but many errors prevent Russia to be dangerous and thus to re-open the match. At the thirteenth minute, on a power play the OHL selects score the sixth goal with Hudgson, who thus scored a hat trick. Deserved defeat for Russia, not capable to contain the opponents' first lines, but it wasn't a bad game for Russia, especially in the first and second period.
Evgeni Dadonov (Florida Panthers): one goal scored, others missed for a question of centimeters. Very good performance.
Nikita Klyukin: yet another good performance for the Lokomotiv player, not only because of the goal scored, but for the overall good game he played. He's very good without the puck too, not only with its possession.
Evgeni Grachev (New York Rangers): what a game. He played in all situations, coming out with a great shorthanded goals and many other matches. In my opinion, Russia's best player of the game.
Alexander Pechursky (Pittsburgh Penguins): he had a couple of truly great saves, but he allowed six goals, a couple of them really weak. On top of that, the difference from he and Sergei Gaiduchenko (Florida Panthers) was too noticeable.
Pavel Chernov: he stayed quiet after the fantastic second match. Maybe he was a bit tired, but also he suffered a bit OHL selects' more physical approach.
- Alessandro Seren Rosso (RussianProspects Exclusive)