It wasn’t as convincing as the previous five wins, but Canada is six-for-six in the Canada / Russia Super Series.
Facing a tie game headed to the third period for the first time in the series, Canada got goals from Dana Tyrell, Brandon Sutter and Zach Boychuk in the final 20 minutes to pull out a 4-1 win on Wednesday night at the Credit Union Centre in Saskatoon, Saskatchewan.
Sam Gagner also scored for the Canadians, who have are just two wins away from an eight-game sweep that was unthinkable just two weeks ago.
Coming off a convincing 8-1 victory one night earlier in Winnipeg that clinched the series, Canada jumped all over the Russians early in Game 6, holding a 7-1 advantage in shots through the first nine minutes.
But the game remained scoreless, thanks in large part to the play of Russian goaltender Semyon Varlamov, who stood tall early.
Varlamov was expected to be the Russian starter for the series, but entered Game 6 with a lowly .741 save percentage, and lasted just 20 minutes in his previous appearance – allowing three goals on four shots in the opening period of Game 3 last Friday.
But the first round pick of the Washington Capitals (23rd overall, 2006) finally played like a first-rounder on Wednesday, turning aside 12 of the 13 shots he faced in the opening period, when Canada held a sizeable 13-2 advantage in shots on goal.
The Canadians finally broke through against Varlamov with just 37 seconds to go in the period, as a point shot from Drew Doughty snuck through the pads of the Russian goaltender and sat in the crease for Gagner, who poked it home for his series-leading fifth goal and 12th point.
The Russians, who entered the game just 2-for-48 on the powerplay in the series, pulled even early in the second period with the man advantage, as a blast from the point by Ivan Vishnevski found its way through the legs of Canadian netminder Leland Irving.
Any momentum was quickly quashed though, as the Russians paraded to the penalty box, giving Canada an extended 5-on-3 for more than three minutes.
But the Canadians could not capitalize, and the game entered the third period even at 1-1.
“They (the Russians) were still playing hard, they had lots of pride,” said Canadian defenceman Luke Schenn, a Saskatoon native playing in front of family and friends. “We knew they weren’t going to roll over.”
The Russian penalty trouble continued early in the final frame, as Canada had yet another 5-on-3, this one lasting 51 seconds, but still could not beat Varlamov for the go-ahead goal.
Hard work by the Canadian fourth-liners finally gave the hosts the lead, as Zach Hamill intercepted a Russian clearing attempt and fed Tyrell, who out-waited Varlamov and slid the puck home for his first goal of the series.
The Canadian pressure picked up after the Tyrell goal, and the lead became two six minutes later with the Russians on the powerplay, as Irving turned aside a scoring chance and Karl Alzner fired the puck ahead to Sutter – Canada’s Player of the Game – who cut in front and snapped a shot through the legs of Varlamov for the shorthanded marker.
Boychuk put the final nail in the Russian coffin with less than two minutes to go and the Canadians on the powerplay, gathering in a rebound off an Alzner point shot and backhanding the puck into the open Russian goal to provide the final margin of victory.
The Canadians held a big advantage in the final shots on goal, and only the standout play of Varlamov prevented the game from becoming another blowout.
The series now shifts to Red Deer, Alberta for Game 7 on Friday night, before wrapping up on Sunday night in Vancouver, British Columbia with Game 8.
04:24 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Kablukov, delay of game
17:17 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Anisimov, hooking
17:17 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Sutter, tripping
18:24 – 🇷🇺 PEN – team, too many players
19:23 – 🇨🇦 PP GOAL – Gagner (Doughty, Tavares)
23:33 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Ellerby, holding
24:17 – 🇷🇺 PP GOAL – Vishnevski (Anisimov, Ryabev)
25:12 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Tulupov, interference
26:22 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Anisimov, kneeing
26:47 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Doronin, hooking
27:28 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Kurbatov, roughing
34:27 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Glovatski, slashing
36:56 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Marchand, interference
37:51 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Schenn, holding
39:07 – 🇷🇺 PEN – team, too many players
39:36 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Giroux, tripping
43:23 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Tulupov, high sticking
44:14 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Tikhonov, delay of game
47:06 – 🇨🇦 GOAL – Tyrell (Hamill)
47:43 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Marchand, tripping
51:04 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Kurbatov, elbowing
51:08 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Lucic, hooking
53:05 – 🇨🇦 SH GOAL – Sutter (Alzner)
54:22 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Kulikov, tripping
56:06 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Kablukov, holding
58:04 – 🇨🇦 PP GOAL – Boychuk (Alzner, Hamill)
58:39 – 🇨🇦 PEN – Tavares, roughing
58:39 – 🇷🇺 PEN – Kablukov, roughing
W: 🇨🇦 Irving (28-29)
L: 🇷🇺 Varlamov (48-52)
SHOTS ON GOAL
🇨🇦 13+10+29 = 52
🇷🇺 2+16+11 = 29
🇨🇦 Goaltenders: Jonathan Bernier, Leland Irving, Steve Mason. Defence: Karl Alzner (A), Drew Doughty, Keaton Ellerby, Josh Godfrey, Thomas Hickey, Logan Pyett, Luke Schenn, Ty Wishart. Forwards: Zach Boychuk, Cory Emmerton, Sam Gagner (A), Colton Gillies, Claude Giroux, Zach Hamill, Stefan Legein, Milan Lucic (C), Brad Marchand, David Perron, Brandon Sutter (A), John Tavares, Kyle Turris, Dana Tyrell.
🇷🇺 Goaltenders: Sergei Bobrovski, Semyon Varlamov, Vadim Zhelobnyuk. Defence: Yuri Alexandrov (C), Maxim Chudinov, Pavel Doronin, Alexei Grishin, Yevgeni Kurbatov, Kirill Tulupov, Ivan Vishnevski, Vyacheslav Voinov, Yegor Zubov. Forwards: Artyom Anisimov, Ruslan Bashkirov, Yevgeni Bodrov, Yevgeni Dadonov, Anton Glovatski, Mikhail Glukhov, Ilya Kablukov, Konstantin Kulikov, Maxim Mamin, Maxim Mayorov, Alexander Ryabev, Vyacheslav Solodukhin, Viktor Tikhonov, Alexander Vasyunov.
|🇨🇦 CANADA (C)||vs.||RUSSIA 🇷🇺|
(since 26 Dec 2006)
|Last Title||22 Dec 2005|
(+ 1 tie, 1 void)
|First IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. RUS)
🇷🇺 URS 4-3 CAN 🇨🇦 – 05 Jan 1975 – WJT – Winnipeg 🇨🇦
|Previous IHLC Meeting (CAN vs. RUS)
🇨🇦 CAN 8-1 RUS 🇷🇺 – 04 Sep 2007 – SS – Winnipeg 🇨🇦
|Last IHLC Game
🇨🇦 CAN 8-1 RUS 🇷🇺 – 04 Sep 2007 – SS – Winnipeg 🇨🇦
|Next IHLC Game
🇨🇦 CAN 4-4 RUS 🇷🇺 – 07 Sep 2007 – SS – Red Deer 🇨🇦
Article Credit: Hockey Canada