It was a crazy, see-saw battle, but Team OHL fought to maintain their perfect record against the Russian National Junior Team in SUBWAY Super Series action with a 10-7 comeback win in Ottawa on Thursday night to bring the series to a 2-1 Russian advantage.
The teams combined for a SUBWAY Super Series record 17 goals including eight in the third period. Team OHL led the charge in the final frame scoring six unanswered goals to come from behind.
Eight different OHL players had multi-point games including Player of the Game Freddie Hamilton of the Niagara IceDogs with a hat-trick plus an assist.
There was also plenty of OHL flavour on the Russian squad as Ivan Telegin of the Barrie Colts, who’s expected to be Russia’s number one or two center at the World Junior Championship, had two goals and two assists and was named Player of the Game for his squad.
Alex Khokhlachev of the Windsor Spitfires had a goal, Sarnia Sting’s Nail Yakupov had two assists, and Vladislav Namestnikov of the London Knights had one assist.
The Russians started the scoring in the first, as Pavel Kulikov got his first of the series. Team OHL responded with three unanswered before the period was out, as Tanner Pearson (Colts), Nathan Chiarlitti (Sting), and Hamilton each got their first.
Telegin quickly responded for the Russians at the beginning of the next frame with his first, but less than two minutes later, Hamilton got his second to put Team OHL up 4-2 and in the driver’s seat.
However, in what seemed like a replay of last year’s World Junior Championship, the Russians scored three unanswered goals; Khokhlachev, Nikita Gusev, and Telegin with his second.
It was a back-and-forth battle to begin the third, as Bulat Shavaleev put the Russians up 6-4 early in the period, but Hamilton came right back with his hat-trick goal, followed by a goal from Mark Scheifele (Colts) to tie the game 6-6.
Ryan Strome (IceDogs) came down the wing a few minutes later, and just as goaltender Pavel Suchkov lost his angle, he fired it over the glove of the Russian keeper to make it 7-6.
Suchkov was replaced by starting goaltender Sergey Kostenko, but from there things went downhill for the Russians, as Strome (2), Seth Griffith, and Scheifele (2) rounded out the scoring.
Shavaleev (2) scored the seventh of the game for the Russians with just one minute to play.
Mark Visentin (IceDogs) got the start in goal for Team OHL and made 13 save son 16 shots before turning the game over to Andrew D’Agostini (Petes) for the second half of the game where he would make 23 saves on 27 shots.
Team OHL will look to continue their winning ways against the Russians on Monday night in Sault Ste. Marie. Monday’s game can be seen live on Sportsnet East, Ontario, West, and Pacific at 7:00 pm Eastern. The game will also be broadcast live on Sportsnet Radio The FAN 590, and available on free webcast on OHL Livestream through NeuLion.
(Nathan can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)