Saturday, April 16, 2011

Sweet Taste of Victory (updated)

BCHL Team Canada Captain, David Killip battles
in front of the net in the game Canada won 5-3
The boys from the BCHL, with the iconic Hockey Canada logo worn proudly on their chest, defeated the Russian National Team 5-3 at the Regional Centre Cup tournament in Podolsk, Russia. As I followed along with the text transcript of the game, it reads like it was an entertaining game with chances for both teams.

Ignat Zemchenko opened the scoring at 5:20 of the first period giving the Russians their only lead of the game. At 8:06 Devin Gannon tied the game with an even strength goal setup by Mitch Jones. Nineteen seconds later at 8:25 Mike Hammond scored on a pass from RJay Berra to give Canada the 2-1 lead.

With Canada enjoying their one goal lead the first powerplay of the game was awarded to the Russians when Jarryd Ten Vaanholt was put in the penalty box. Shortly after successfully killing off the man advantage, Jason Reardon was assessed a two minute minor giving the Russians their second powerplay.

Going off the text translation of the game, this powerplay provided the Russian National Team with plenty of opportunities to even the score but the penalty kill stopped them. Team Canada went to the dressing room leading 2-1 after the first period and came out early in the second period with pressure.

At 20:21 (or 21 seconds of the second period), Devin Gannon gave Team Canada a 3-1 lead. David Killip and Josh Manson were credited with assists on the goal that was described as being "bounced in" ... I'm thinking that would be tipped in. Two minutes later the Russian National Team started to rally led by a wrist shot from Aleksandr Gogolev at 23:30 that made the score 3-2.

Jarryd Ten Vaanholt restored Canada's two goal lead with an unassisted marker that chased the Russian starting goaltender Kirill Brashkin and brought in Sergei Kostenko, a member of the Russian World Junior team. Canada's 4-2 lead was short lived when Pavel Medvedev, a member of the KHL Spartak team, scored at 27:33 with an assist going to his Spartak team mate, Aleksandr Gogolev.

At 30:20, just past the mid-way mark of the game, Team Canada made their customary goaltender change bringing Kris Moore in to finish out the game. The second half of the period was a back and forth affair with no more goals being scored. As they did at the end of the first period, Canada went to the dressing room with a one goal lead.

The third period started with the home town fans loudly cheering on their team. The quote from the text transcript reads: Hey, hey we are stronger than Canada and need a goal!

On this night Canada proved to be stronger and at 45:47 they would make it a 5-3 game when Jarryd Ten Vaanholt scored his second of the game setup by Justin Fillion. From there the Russians tried to pour it on and were given four consecutive power plays including two in the final four minutes.

Mid-way through the third period there was excitement from a whole new level. During an on-ice skirmish a fan jumped onto the ice and then jumped Jason Reardon. The incident ended without anything serious and, by the sounds of it, the boys are still getting a chuckle out of the whole thing.

Team Canada withstood the pressure to register their first win in the four team round-robin tournament. Canada now has three points moving them out of the basement and ahead of Slovakia who lost earlier today 12-1. The Slovakian team is Canada's next and final opponent in a game that will be played at 1:00pm in Podolsk, Russia which is actually 2:00am Pacific Time.

After the game I was contacted by RJay Berra. The emotion of defeating this Russian National Team clearly evident in his text messages.

"It was unreal," said RJay Berra via a text message. "We chased a KHL goalie! We beat a World Junior team. And the Slovakian team is an under twenty team too."

Clearly the mood after the game is that Canada can finish this tournament with a 2-1 record. Team Canada has already played the MHL Red Star team twice, once in exhibition and in the opening game of the Regional Centre Cup Tournament. Canada lost both meetings but it appears that those games were a good learning tool and has helped improve the team overall.

The MHL Red Stars team defeated the Slovakia National Team 12-1 earlier today establishing early dominance and going on to score eleven unanswered goals. In the first day of the tournament, the Slovakian National Team and the Russian National Team required a shootout to determine a winner. Using those two scenarios has the Canadian team feeling pretty confident of their chances.

As promised ... click here for the whole text transcript of Team Canada's 5-3 win over the Russian National Team.

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