Story and Photos by Christian J. Stewart (ISN), with files from the WHL
November 15, 2012, Victoria, BC – Team Russia saved their best for last, as they skated to a 5-2 victory over Team WHL in the final game of the 2012 SUBWAY Super Series on Thursday night in front of a sellout crowd at Save-on-Foods Arena in Victoria.
They looked bigger, they looked stronger, they looked faster and in the end, they were better.
Team Russia outworked and outplayed an at times, tired looking WHL squad Thursday night to clinch the 2012 Subway Super Series with a 5-2 victory.
Team WHL’s Derrick Pouliot looks for a path to the net during the first period Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Russians win gave them a 10-8 edge in points through the six-game series and although the CHL and Russia split the six games with three wins apiece, Russia gets the edge thanks to Wednesday night’s shootout loss to Team WHL in Vancouver. It’s the second series victory for the Russians in the 10-year history of the event.
Russia’s Valeri Nichushkin drives in over the blue line during Thursday’s 5-2 win over Team WHL (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Team Russia would open the scoring at 7:06 of the opening frame when Mikhail Naumenkov’s point shot found its way past a screened and surprised Team WHL netminder Laurent Brossoit of the Edmonton Oil Kings, who got the nod in nets again after shutting out Team Russia in Vancouver on Wednesday.
Mikhail Naumenkov would open the scoring for Russia and would add two assists before the night was out to help his team to a 5-2 win over Team WHL Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Russians would score again with just over 9 seconds to play in the period when a shot by Andrei Sigarev would deflect up off a Team WHL defender’s stick and into the top corner to give the Russians a 2-0 lead.
Andrei Sigarev (12) would have a goal and an assist for Team Russia in their 5-2 win over Team WHL Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Ty Rattie of the Portland Winterhawks would get Team WHL on the board 8:03 into the second period with a nice power move to the net off the left wing, flipping a backhander over the shoulder of Team Russian starter Andrei Makarov.
Team WHL’s Ty Rattie would have a goal and an assist to earn Player of the Game honours for Team WHL in their losing effort against Team Russia (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Any thoughts of a Team WHL comeback were quickly put to rest by Team Russia however, as they responded just 28 seconds later with Kirill Dyakov banging home the rebound of a Kirill Kapustin shot to restore the two-goal lead.
Russia’s Kirill Kapustin would have a pair of assists on Thursday, including one ensuing on this rush on the game winning goal by Kirill Dyakov in the second period (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
The Russians would continue to dominate the period, outshooting Team WHL 17-8 and would add to their lead at the 14:39 mark when Alexander Khokhlachev beat Team WHL goaltender Eric Comrie, who had come into the game to relieve Brossoit midway through the second period.
Team WHL’s Colin Smith looks for an opening during third period action on Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Team WHL captain Adam Lowry, son of Victoria Royals and Team WHL coach Dave Lowry, would get Team WHL within two, netting a power play marker at 3:42 of the third period, but that’s as close as the WHL would get as Russia added a late empty-net marker from Yaroslav Kosov to seal the Game 6 win and the series victory.
Team WHL Captain Adam Lowry would notch the WHL’s second goal early in the third period but it would not be enough in the 5-2 loss to the Russians (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Team Russia goaltender Makarov, from the Saskatoon Blades, went the distance for the Russians, stopping 22 of 24 shots to claim the victory one night after turning in a strong performance in the 1-0 shootout loss in Vancouver.
Team Russia goaltender Andrei Makarov would have another solid performance, stopping 22 of 24 shots for the win on Thursday (Photo: Christian J. Stewart / Island Sports News)
Brossoit, who earned the shutout in Wednesday’s game, stopped 10 of 13 shots through the first half of the game, taking the loss for Team WHL. Comrie turned aside 17 of 18 shots he faced in relief.
Khokhlachev finished with a goal and an assist to earn Player of the Game for Russia. Rattie, who also had a goal and an assist, earned the honor for Team WHL.
For the full set of Christian J. Stewart’s images from this game, please CLICK HERE.