Brandon Wheat Kings
Moose Jaw, SK. — Team Russia scored four straight third period goals battling back to beat Team WHL 7-5 Thursday night in Game 6 of the 2011 SUBWAY Super Series before 4,630 fans at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, SK.
Despite the Russian victory the CHL claims the SUBWAY Super Series title by way of a 10-8 score based on standings that award three points for a regulation win, two points for a shootout win, and one point for a shootout loss. The two-point margin of victory marks the closest SUBWAY Super Series in the nine-year history of the event. Russia captured the 2010 Title.
The opening frame saw back-and-forth action with Team Russia scoring first before Team WHL and Moose Jaw Warriors captain Quinton Howden was awarded a penalty shot and capitalized on his opportunity to tie the score in front of an excited hometown crowd.
Tampa Bay Lightning prospect Nikita Kucherov got his first of two goals late in the period to give the Russians the lead only to see Brandon Wheat Kings’ captain Mark Stone tie the game 10 seconds later after receiving a nifty kick-pass from Prince Albert Raider Mark McNeill.
McNeill helped the WHL take control of the game in the second period with two goals. His first broke the tie just nine seconds into the frame burying a pass from Wheat King Michael Ferland, then netted his second at 5:30 cutting in front and slamming a backhand past Andrey Makarov.
Vladislav Kartaev and Wheat King defenceman Ryan Pulock traded goals and the WHL led 5-3 heading into the third period.
Team Russia managed just eight shots on goal in the third period but found the net four times including two goals in the first three minutes to tie the game. Captain Daniil Apalkov got the game-winner at 9:55.
Shots were even in the contest 35-35 with both Calvin Pickard of the Seattle Thunderbirds and Andrey Makarov of the Saskatoon Blades getting the start in goal for the second straight night.
Stone, who finished the game with a goal and an assist, claimed Player of the Game honours for Team WHL, with Nikita Gusev earning the honour for Team Russia. Stone and Pulock were two of four Wheat Kings to play in Thursday’s game. They were joined by Michael Ferland, who picked up an assist in the game and blueliner Jordan Fransoo.
Russian forwards Kucherov and Gusev tied for the series lead with seven points in six games. Ryan Spooner of the Kingston Frontenacs led all CHL players with six points in two games.
Stone, Pulock, Fransoo and Ferland return to Brandon Friday night where the Wheat Kings will play host to the visiting Medicine Hat Tigers at 7:30 pm.