Canada wins jr. challenge with Russia on OT goal
Ryan Strome scored at 3:20 of overtime on Tuesday to give Canada a win in the Canada-Russia Challenge after the Canadians won 4-2 in regulation time.
Because it was a four-game series, Canada needed a win in regulation time to force a 20-minute sudden-death overtime to decide the Challenge.
After some great work by Xavier Ouellet to keep the puck in the Russian zone, Strome took a pass and fired a wristshot past Russian goalie Andrei Vasilevski.
The overtime period was set up by some clutch scoring by Portland Winterhawks forward Ty Rattie, who scored two power-play goals less than three minutes apart in the second period to help Canada earn a 4-2 regulation win over Russia in Game 4 of the series.
After winning the first game of the series that commemorates the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series, Canada lost Game 2 in Russia and then dropped Game 3 in Halifax to fall behind.
The crowd of 8,768 at Halifax Metro Centre appreciated the talent on display as some end-to-end action in the first period brought the crowd to the edge of their seats. Andrei Sigarev capped off a flurry of good chances when he picked up a loose puck in his zone and rushed up ice in a 2-on-1. After almost losing control of the puck, he corralled it and slipped a soft wristshot between the legs of Canadian goalie Malcolm Subban.
Canada tied it after some great pressure by the line of Strome, Jonathan Huberdeau and Lucas Lessio created a hectic goal-mouth scramble. Lessio, who plays for the Ontario Hockey League's Oshawa Generals, banged home a rebound from the doorstep to tie the game 1-1.
Subban made a great save sliding across to stop Russian star Nail Yakupov late in the first period to keep the game tied heading into the break.
Albert Yarullin ripped a one-timer from the point through a crowd off the post and past Subban at 4:18 of the second to make it 2-1 Russia.
Canada made quick work of a power-play opportunity midway through the second period. Eight seconds after Andrei Pedan went to the box for hooking, Rattie swept home a rebound off a Mark Scheifele shot to tie it at 2-2.
Canada took the lead as Rattie scored his second goal with the man advantage, this time knocking home a loose puck with a backhander.
The series is a tribute to Kontinental Hockey League team Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. The club was devastated last September when a plane carrying the team crashed and killed 44 players and coaches, including former NHL defenceman Brad McCrimmon.
Notes: The crowd gave a standing ovation to players from 1972 Summit Series who took part in the ceremonial faceoff. Yuri Lyapkin, Alexander Yakushev, and Vladislav Tretiak represented Russia while Ken Dryden, Don Awrey and Pat Stapleton were there for Canada. During the first intermission, the crowd was on its feet again for Halifax kayaker Mark de Jonge who received a personalized Team Canada jersey from Hockey Canada.