Feb 24, 2010; Vancouver, BC, CANADA; Canadian fans cheer in the 1st period against Russia during the mens hockey quarterfinal match in the 2010 Vancouver Winter Olympics at Canada Hockey Place. Mandatory Credit: Richard Mackson-US PRESSWIRE

Canada Wins Game 4, Strome Ends The Series In Overtime

After Russia’s regulation win in Game 3, Canada needed to respond with a regulation win of their own in order to force a sudden death overtime to determine the series victor.

After giving each goalie a chance in the first three games, Canada went with the one who got them their one and only win, Malcolm Subban. Russia also went with their favourite to start for the WJHC, Andrei Vasilevski.

Canada came out with purpose, outplaying the Russians overall and out-shooting them 20-8 in the first period. But in a game where Canada needed to get off to a quick start on the scoreboard, it was Andrei Sigarev for Russia, who would open the scoring, as he did in the game prior. However, it didn’t take long for the Canadians to respond. About a minute after the Russians opened the scoring, Lucas Lessio found the twine to tie the game heading into the second period.

The second period reopened the can of worms that Canada had though they’d finally sealed, the indiscipline penalties. Too Many Men was called just over three minutes into the period, and yes, Russia would take advantage around a minute into the powerplay, reclaiming the one-goal lead. Fortunately for Canada, Russia would allow them an opportunity to tie the game again with a penalty of their own. Ty Rattie needed only seconds to net the tying goal on the man-advantage. And would you believe it, a minute and a half later, the Russians would take another penalty, ultimately surrendering to another Ty Rattie goal. This was Rattie’s third of the series, leading his teammates goals. Canada would finally escape a period with a lead.

And they would effectively defend their lead in the final frame. The final nail in the coffin of Game 4, however, would be driven in by Russia’s own Albert Yarullin, after being ejected at 13:23 of the third for a check to the head. Team Captain, Jonathan Huberdeau, would add the insurance marker by scoring on the ensuing powerplay, giving Canada the 4-2 win.

This set the stage for an unusual circumstance, a sudden death overtime session to determine the winner of the series. Just after Game 4 concluded, the ice was flooded and the series-determining overtime would begin just after the flooding.  It would be a fitting result, as OHL sniper, Ryan Strome ended the series with one his favourite moves to lift Canada over Russia on home soil in the memorial series.

Here is the goal: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=jHGgYK_QWy0

“I like that pull-and-drag shot, I’ve scored a few like that before. I saw a little bit of the mesh and put it on net and, luckily, it went in.”

Mark Scheifele also weighed in on the magnitude of that goal and that series..

That’s going to probably stick in my mind for a long time. He’s a great player he really helped us get over that hump,” the Winnipeg Jets top prospect said of the series winning goal, “He’s got an unbelievable shot and unbelievable moves.”

Not only was this series a chance for Hockey Canada to preview their potential starting players in competitive international play, but also chance to honour the famous 1972 Summit Series on its 40th anniversary.  Needless to say, with both past and present rivalries, no one wanted to lose this series.  Much like the famous series in 1972, the Canadians fell behind, but ultimately came out on top.  The overtime series clincher was a perfect manner by which to conclude the epic series.

Congratulations to our boys.  They showed heart, pride, and resiliency in the four games, and change, versus the ever-improving Russian hockey development.  More importantly, I think we’ve seen enough to believe that Canada can rise to the top of Junior Hockey once again this winter, despite the hiccups of the recent heartbreaking losses.

If I were to bet on a World Junior Hockey Championship Final, I would bet on the Canada-Russia rivalry to resume for the gold and glory.  Obviously, this would depend on Pool play and seedings, and lets not forget our friends south of the border either.  The USA is more than capable to win with a rapidly improving program.

In any case, I hope you’re as excited as I am for the WJHC this winter!

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Tags: Team Canada Team Russia

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