Team WHL clinches Subway Super Series with 4-2 win

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November 28, 2013, Lethbridge, AB (ISN) – Greg Chase of the Calgary Hitmen scored twice as Team WHL overcame a tough start to defeat Russia 4-2 in the final game of the 2013 SUBWAY Super Series on Thursday night at the Enmax Centre in Lethbridge, AB.

The victory sealed a series win for the Canadian Hockey League in the six-game series versus Russia.  Though the CHL and Russia each won three games in the series, the CHL claimed the series victory on points with a 10-8 edge.

Having lost 3-2 the previous night in Red Deer, AB, Team WHL endured a rough first period, giving up two goals in the first 5:25 of the contest.  However, the WHL stars overcame their first-period woes, scoring four unanswered goals the rest of the way while outshooting the Russians 42-17 overall to claim the series win for the CHL.

“I’m really happy for the kids for responding the way they did after getting down two goals,” said Team WHL head coach Brent Sutter.  “We really dug in our heels and started to play the way we wanted to.”

Hunter Shinkaruk netted the game-winner early in the third period while Portland Winterhawks’ Derrick Pouliot also counted for Team WHL in the victory.  Kirill Voronin and Igor Rudenkov had the goals for Russia.

Russia took the lead early when Ildar Shiksatdarov sprung Kirill Voronin, who had snuck in behind the Team WHL defence, and Voronin made no mistake in beating Edmonton Oil Kings’ netminder Tristan Jarry through the legs on a nice deke just 1:19 into the contest.

The Russians took a 2-0 lead on Igor Rudenkov’s third goal of the tournament.  The 18-year-old made a move out from behind the net and his wraparound attempt found its way through Jarry.  The play had to be reviewed to determine if the net had come off its moorings before the puck crossed the line.

“We obviously didn’t start the way we wanted to, giving up the two quick goals,” said Sutter.  “But we changed some things up after the first period, and I think that really helped us…we played with some more pace, we got more engaged and got more physically involved.”

Team WHL indeed got off to a much more impressive start in the second, and pulled one back with Chase getting his first of the game.  Kelowna’s Madison Bowey did well to hold the puck in at the blue line, made a nice pass to Regina’s Morgan Klimchuk in the slot, who deftly one-touched a pass to Chase for an easy redirect past Russian netminder Igor Shestyorkin.

“I think I came in here and tried to play the game I do during the season,” said Chase, who was named the Player of the Game for Team WHL with his two-goal effort.  “The biggest thing for us was getting pucks to the net and being a bit more gritty in front of the net…we had lots of chances (on Wednesday night) that we didn’t capitalize on, but tonight we did.”

The WHL side kept up the pressure on the Russians, and tied the contest on Portland Winterhawks’ defenceman Derrick Pouliot’s blast from the point on a power play 6:56 into the frame.

The WHL were given a golden chance to knot the score late in the second period when the Russians took simultaneous penalties in the final minute, but were unable to capitalize to end the frame.

However, the two-man advantage would carry over to the start of the third period, and Team WHL took advantage on a great individual effort Hunter Shinkaruk.  The 19-year-old handled the puck behind the Russian net, and, when options for a centering pass weren’t available, he flipped the puck up over the defenders stick, took a stride out front and swatted the puck home shortly after the 5-on-3 power play expired.

“I had it behind the net, and was faking like I was going to pass, but he kept biting, so I thought I’d better just go with it and was lucky enough to make a move around him and stuff it home,” said Shinkaruk of his game-winning effort.  “I love scoring goals, and it felt great to help our team win.”

The Russians had a glorious opportunity to tie the game shortly after Shinkaruk’s go-ahead goal, but Jarry stood tall to stymie a breakaway attempt by Vladimir Tkatchyov.

“It’s a 3-2 game and he comes up with a big save at a key time in the game, and was a really momentum boost for us,” said Sutter.

Chase netted his second goal of the game 6:08 into the third frame to give Team WHL some breathing room en route to the victory.

Russian netminder Shestyorkin finished the contest with 38 saves on 42 shots, including making some big saves in the opening frame, but absorbed the loss.  Jarry stopped 15 of 17 shots he faced to earn the series-clinching victory for Team WHL.

Shiksatdarov was named the Player of the Game for Russia.

Game Summary

2013 SUBWAY Super Series schedule (7pm local start times):

Game 1 – Monday, November 18, at Gatineau, QC (QMJHL wins 3-2) – Game Summary

Game 2 – Wednesday, November 20, at Sherbrooke, QC (QMJHL wins 4-3) – Game Summary

Game 3 – Thursday, November 21, at Oshawa, ON (RUS wins 5-2) – Game Summary

Game 4 – Monday, November 25, at Sudbury, ON (RUS wins 3-2 SO) – Game Summary

Game 5 – Wednesday, November 27, at Red Deer, AB (RUS wins 3-2) – Game Summary

Game 6 – Thursday, November 28, at Lethbridge, AB (WHL wins 4-2) – Game Summary

For information about rosters and tickets please visit www.subwaysuperseries.ca.

SUBWAY® is a registered trademark of Doctor’s Associates Inc.

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