The Ontario Hockey League all-stars aren't used to losing to Russia. After a stunning loss last week, the OHL was determined it wouldn't happen again.
Ryan Strome and Frankie Corrado scored as the OHL edged Russia 2-1 to tie the best-of-six Subway Super Series at two games apiece Monday.
The OHL is now 19-1 against Russia since the series began in 2003. Russia's 2-1 win on Thursday in Guelph, Ont., snapped the OHL's 18-game winning streak.
Strome said the win was a lift for the OHL after the close defeat in Game 3.
"It was obviously huge. For the five or six guys that played in the last game it stung a little bit and it's never fun to lose, especially to the Russians," said Strome. "We had a great 60-minute game, that's something to be proud of."
Strome scored the long goal in the first period on a one-timer from the top of the circle.
Corrado then put the OHL ahead by 2-0 at 9:16 in the third after he buried a big rebound off a point shot from Freddie Hamilton.
Head coach Steve Spott said his team showed some of the gritty play that was missing from Game 3.
"One thing we talked about before the game was being a lot more physical, hunting down pucks and getting to it first," he said. "I think our kids did a real good job with that."
The Russians broke the shutout as Nail Yakupov scored with just 37 seconds remaining with an extra attacker. Yakupov was making his return to Sarnia where he played with the Sting before being drafted first overall in the NHL draft by the Edmonton Oilers earlier this year.
"They always find their chances, they're really opportunistic, and it's a great lesson for all the guys, if we do play them in the future if you give them a window of opportunity, they're going to jump right in," said Strome.
Jordan Binnington started the game in net for the OHL, making eight saves before being replaced midway through the second period by Jake Paterson, who allowed Yakupov's goal on eight shots.
"I thought both were real solid," said Spott. "There were a lot of sleepless nights after the last game, there's a lot of pride in our league and I give our kids a lot of credit, we got a lot of contributions from lot of different guys."
Andrei Vasilevski was named the player of the game for the Russians after stopping 27 shots in the loss, while Strome took the honours for the OHL.
The OHL struggled on the power play, finishing the night 0 for 6, while the Russians missed on just two chances.
Russia now travels to Vancouver for Game 5 on Wednesday against the Western Hockey League all-stars.