Winter Universiade men’s hockey: Comeback Canadians knock off Russia, win Pool B

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Feb 07, 2015

GRANADA, Spain (CIS) – Canada’s men’s hockey team came back from a 2-0 first-period deficit to defeat Russia 5-3 Saturday night in their final round robin game of the 27th Winter Universiade in Granada, Spain.

With the victory, defending Universiade champion Canada finishes atop Pool B with a perfect 3-0 record and advances to the quarterfinal round on Wednesday, Feb. 11 (opponent TBD), following earlier wins over South Korea (11-1) and Sweden (7-0).

While it was the forwards doing most of the damage in the first two games of the tournament, Canada relied on the solid goaltending of Kris Lazaruk (Edmonton) to get them out of a less-than-stellar first period, then on offensive contributions from the blue line to tie and eventually win the game in front of a near sold-out crowd of 2,600 rowdy fans at the Granada Sports Palace.

Lazaruk, who boasted a 1.67 goals-against average and a .938 save percentage for the University of Calgary Dinos this season, made 30 saves in the victory and turned aside all 13 Russian shots fired his way in the third period. He made a big save every time Canada needed one, and his rebound control gave his defence the chance to clear the puck from harm’s way. Ten of his saves came in the first period, keeping Canada in the game as the Russians went up 2-0.

Canada’s top defensive pair of Jesse Craige (Edmonton) and Jordan Rowley (Edmonton), both from the University of Alberta and both named Canada West conference defenceman of the year over the past two years, made significant contributions offensively, combining for seven points. Craige scored twice, including the eventual game-winner, and added an assist, while Rowley pitched in with helpers on four Canadian tallies.

“Your best players have to be your best players, and that started with Lazaruk today,” said head coach Dave Adolph of the University of Saskatchewan. “But boy, is our back end good. I think Jesse Craige is six-foot-eight the way he plays, he’s a pretty sure thing out there. I just can’t say enough about him as a player.”

“Getting goals from the blue line is huge,” said Lazaruk. “Our play starts from the goal line out. Our defence has been good all tournament, but the biggest difference now is that they are putting pucks in the back of the net. Craige was huge for us today. Those two goals really lifted us up.”

After Ivan Petrakov and Rushan Rafikov put the Russians up 2-0 through 20 minutes, the Red and White responded with two goals just 1:09 apart in the early stages of the second period while the teams played four-on-four. The first was eventually credited to captain Kruise Reddick (Manor, Sask.) at the 27-second mark; just over a minute later, Mount Royal University’s Tyler Fiddler (Calgary) potted his first of two on the night, tying the game at 2-2 and changing the complexion from that point forward.

Egor Krivchenko gave the Russians back the lead midway through the second on the power play, but it didn’t last the rest of the period. With the puck in the Canadian zone, Craige skated to centre, hollered to Rowley for the puck, skated up-ice and fired a rocket past Russian netminder Gleb Evdokimov to tie it at 3-3 heading into the third.

Canada enjoyed a two-man advantage that carried over into the final frame and, just as the first penalty expired, Craige scored the eventual winner just 33 seconds into the third.

“We addressed that in between the second and third period,” said the fifth-year defenceman. “We noticed that when they switched on the 5-on-3 they weren’t coming over the top and filling that lane, so the boys were telling me to pull that puck and let it go. I listened – smart man, right? – and I just put that puck on net and luckily it went in. A pretty happy moment for sure.”

Fiddler’s second of the night added some insurance, and from there Canada withstood the Russian charge, killing off three penalties in the final 15 minutes to preserve the win.

While it turned out to be another in a long line of outstanding Canada-Russia match-ups on the ice, Adolph admitted that his team seemed to be caught off guard by the Russian speed and skill early in the game.

“The coaching staff had seen Russia play but the guys hadn’t, and I think our guys thought they were just going to step on the ice and mow them down like we did against South Korea and Sweden,” said Adolph, who recently became the all-time leader in conference wins among CIS hockey coaches. “They found out real quick that if they didn’t play the Canadian game against Russia, they weren’t going to be successful. Credit to our guys, I think they really turned on their emotion in the second period, and moved the puck like we needed to.”

Canada awaits results from the final slate of round robin games on Sunday but will be seeded either first or second for the medal round. They will await their quarterfinal opponent, which will be determined by qualification games on Tuesday, Feb. 10. The quarterfinals will be played the following day at the Granada Sports Palace.

NOTES: In 14 previous appearances at the FISU tourney, Canada has reached the podium 13 times, including four gold medals, three silver and six bronze… Its four triumphs came in 2013 and 2007, when represented by AUS standouts, in 1991 (senior national team) and 1981 (Alberta Golden Bears).

Team Canada website: http://english.cis-sic.ca/universiade/winter/2015/index
Granada 2015 website: http://www.granada2015.org/en/

TEAM CANADA SCHEDULE & RESULTS (all times local / 6 hours ahead of EST)

Tuesday, Feb. 3 (17:00): Canada 11 South Korea 1
Thursday, Feb. 5 (17:00): Canada 7 Sweden 0
Saturday, Feb. 7 (17:00): Canada 5 Russia 3
Wednesday, Feb. 11 (TBD): Quarterfinals (www.fisu.tv)
Friday, Feb. 13 (TBD): Semi-finals (www.fisu.tv)
Saturday, Feb. 14 (12:00): Bronze (www.fisu.tv)
Saturday, Feb. 14 (16:00): Final (www.fisu.tv)

SCORING SUMMARY

Official boxscore

Canada 5, Russia 3

FIRST PERIOD

SCORING:

1. RUS Ivan Petrakov (3) (Alexander Lebedev, Rushan Rafikov), 7:53
2. RUS Rushan Rafikov (1) (Artem Fedorov), 12:42

PENALTIES:

Kruise Reddick (CAN) tripping, 5:00;
Kevin King (CAN) high sticking, 5:43;
Kevin King (CAN) boarding, 13:58;
Nikita Cherepanov (RUS) hooking, 14:06;
Stanley Maxwell (CAN) roughing, 20:00;
Eduard Gimatov (RUS) roughing, 20:00.

SECOND PERIOD

SCORING:

3. CAN Kruise Reddick (2) (Levko Koper, Jordan Rowley), 0:27
4. CAN Tyler Fiddler (1) (Jordan Rowley, Cody Cartier), 1:36
5. RUS Egor Krivchenko (2) (Artem Fedorov), 10:16 PP
6. CAN Jesse Craige (1) (Jordan Rowley, Mitch Maxwell), 16:48

PENALTIES:

Tyler Fiddler (CAN) roughing, 8:58;
Cody Cartier (CAN) high sticking, 11:18;
Alexander Torchenyuk (RUS) tripping, 18:31;
Rushan Rafikov (RUS) slashing, 19:40.

THIRD PERIOD

SCORING:

7. CAN Jesse Craige (2), 0:33 PP
8. CAN Tyler Fiddler (2), (Jordan Rowley, Jesse Craige), 5:47

PENALTIES:

Matt Delahey (CAN) cross-checking, 2:27;
Alexander Lebedev (RUS) double minor roughing, 9:15;
Jordan DePape (CAN) double minor roughing, 9:15;
Jordan Rowley (CAN) tripping, 12:50;
Tyler Fiddler (CAN) interference, 16:00.

GOALS (by period)
CAN: 0-3-2: 5
RUS: 2-1-0: 3

SHOTS ON GOAL (by period)
CAN: 8-12-5: 25
RUS: 12-8-13: 33

POWER PLAY:
CAN: 1-3
RUS: 1-8

GOALTENDERS
CAN – Kris Lazaruk (W, 1-0, 33 shots, 30 saves, 3 GA, 60:00)
RUS – Gleb Evdokimov (L,1-1, 25 shots, 20 saves, 5 GA, 60:00)

REFEREE: Andris Ansons (LAT)

LINESMEN: Shunsuke Ichikawa (JPN), Anders Nyqvist (SWE)

ATTENDANCE: 2600

START: 17:00
END: 19:19
LENGTH: 2:19

POOL STANDINGS

Pool A

GP W OTW OTL L GF GA PTS

1. CZE 2 2 0 0 0 11 5 6

2. SVK 2 1 0 0 1 16 7 3

3. ESP 2 1 0 0 1 10 5 3

4. CHN2 0 0 0 2 1 21 0

Pool B

1. CAN 3 3 0 0 0 23 4 9

2. RUS 3 2 0 0 1 21 6 6

2. SWE 3 0 1 0 2 6 16 2

4. KOR 3 0 0 1 2 5 29 1

Pool C

1. KAZ 1 1 0 0 0 3 2 3

2. JPN 2 1 0 0 1 5 5 3

3. USA 1 0 0 0 1 2 3 0

Scoring system:
3 points for a win in regulation
2 points for a win in overtime or shootout
1 point for a loss in overtime or shootout

Legend: W (win), OTW (OT win), OTL (OT loss), L (loss)

About the Winter Universiade

The Winter Universiade is a biennial international multi-sport event open to competitors who are at least 17 and less than 28 years of age as of January 1 in the year of the Games. Participants must be full-time students at a post-secondary institution (university, college, CEGEP) or have graduated from a post-secondary institution in the year preceding the event.

The Granada Universiade will feature nine compulsory sports and one optional sport. Compulsory sports: alpine skiing, biathlon, ice hockey, curling, nordic skiing, short track speed skating, figure skating, synchronized skating, snowboarding. Optional sport: freestyle skiing.

NOTE: Biathlon and nordic skiing will take place in Strbske Pleso and Osrblie, Slovakia from Jan. 24 to Feb. 1, prior to the start of the Games in Granada.

Official website: www.granada2015.org

About Canadian Interuniversity Sport

Canadian Interuniversity Sport is the national governing body of university sport in Canada. Every year, over 11,500 student-athletes and 700 coaches from 56 universities and four regional associations vie for 21 national championships in 12 different sports. CIS also provides high performance international opportunities for Canadian student-athletes at Winter and Summer Universiades, as well as numerous world university championships. For further information, visit www.cis-sic.ca or follow us on:

Twitter: http://www.twitter.com/CIS_SIC
Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/cissports
YouTube: http://www.youtube.com/universitysport
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