Canada hammers Russia in Super Series finale
Although they didn't get the sweep, the Canadian men's junior hockey team did the next best thing.
Canada used five power-play goals to overwhelm Russia 6-1 during the final game of the Super Series Sunday night in Vancouver.
The Canadians completed the eight-game event winning seven contests and tying another.
"It's been 21 days and we wanted to finish it off the right way," said coach Brent Sutter.
"We just wanted to play a Canadian-type game. I thought our energy level was the best it's been in the four games we've played in Canada. They accomplished something that's pretty incredible. To go 7-0-1 is pretty remarkable when you consider everything and the travel involved."
Kyle Alzner, Brandon Sutter and Zach Boychuk scored second-period power-play goals, while Kyle Turris added two more man-advantage tallies in the third period.
Turris finished the series with seven goals.
Colton Gillies scored the other the Canadian goal and Evgeny Dadanov spoiled the shutout bid of Leland Irving with Russia's lone goal at 17:20 of the third.
Canada, which outshot the Russians 45-26, dominated the series from the opening game. The only blemish for the Canadians was a 4-4 draw with Russia on Friday in Red Deer, Alta.
The Super Series is celebrating the 35th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series, an event spearheaded by legendary Russian goaltender Vladislav Tretiak.
"We just wanted to win the series so bad and honour the '72 guys that won," said forward Stefan Legein, who plays for Mississauga of the OHL and is a 2007 draft pick of the Columbus Blue Jackets.
"That's how we played out there. We weren't going to let them beat us in any aspect. We were down a couple of times [2-0 in the first game and in a 4-4 tie Friday] so I think it was just our heart that made the difference."
Sutter concluded his time with Canada's junior team posting an impressive 19-0-1, making him the most successful coach in the team's history.
The Alberta native and former NHL player won consecutive gold medals as coach of Canada at the world junior hockey championships in 2005 and 2006.
Sutter now heads back to New Jersey to begin his first NHL coaching season with the Devils.
Canada made the Russians pay for losing their undisciplined play and built a 3-0 lead heading into the third period.
Alzner blasted a shot to give the Canadians at 1-0 lead at 3:43 of the second period. Sutter and Boychuk then added power-play markers less than two minutes apart, giving Canada all the offence it would need.
"I guess we weren't really sure until we played that first game how good we actually could be," Alzner said.
"Maybe in a few games they shut her down after a couple of goals but there were a few times when they battled us hard. If they played a full game like that it would be much closer."
Sam Gagner, the series MVP who assisted on the first two goals on Sundayand scored sixhimself in the first seven games, said he expected Russia to be physical.
"They're proud of their country as well and they don't want to be embarrassed," he said. "You knew there was going to be a lot of passion and it definitely showed."
With files from the Canadian Press