Team Russia Gets First OHL Win

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Team Russia Gets First OHL Win November 9, 2012 7:48 AM

Heading into the their third game of the 2012 SUBWAY Super Series, in just four nights, Team Russia looked to be in for a long evening. Not only were they playing on back-to-back nights, following a rather lengthy bus trip from Val d’Or,but they were taking on the OHL, a team they had lost to on eighteen consecutive occasions, dating back to the original Canada-Russia Challenge in 2003.

The Russians answered the call and beat the Ontario Hockey League All-Stars for the first time in the nine-year history of the Super Series, taking a 2-1 lead in this year’s event.

Russia trailed by one goal going into the final period in the match in Guelph. Despite developing all of nine shots through the opening forty minutes of play, the Russians made the most of their eight third period shots, scoring twice in just under thirty seconds, to pull off the stunning 2-1 upset.

Tyler Graovac gave Team OHL the lead during the second period on a beautiful short handed goal.

But the Russians only needed 24 seconds to turn the game around in the final period.

Anton Shenfeld tied the game up after a great individual effort with seven minutes left in the third period, and the Canadians were still recovering from the shock when Maksim Shalunov netted the winner, 2-1.

“The guys deserve the best marks for this match,”
Russia’s coach Mikhail Varnakov told the Russian Hockey Federation’s website. “We had a serious talk before the game and they did what we asked them to do. The preparation for the match and dedication on the ice – it was all high-class. First of all, the guys have shown a real team spirit, they fought for each other. We also played well tactically, which made us very happy.”

“I wouldn’t call the maiden victory against Ontario a historic event. It is a pleasant fact and nothing more. The main thing for us is preparing for the World Championships,” he added.

The OHL will have the chance to get even in this series in Game 4, scheduled for November 12.

By Joseph Kolodziej

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