Sunday , 11 April 2021

Russia shuts door on Canada West and remains undefeated

There is only one undefeated team left in the World Junior A Challenge.

Russia soundly defeated Team Canada West 3-0 in Wednesday’s preliminary round game Wednesday night to move 3-0 in the tournament.

“I thought that we had cracks in our game here tonight – cracks maybe with our discipline, with our emotion, our positive energy, at times not sticking to our structure. And those are things I think we can control as players and as a coaching staff,” said Coach Rick Swan following the game.

Canada West player of the game from Sunday against the United States, Matthew Davis, was pulled after the third goal midway through the second period.

He misplayed the puck, which allowed Russia a backbreaking, shorthanded goal.

Swan said he was trying to flip momentum with the goalie switch to backup Matthew Radomsky.

“Definitely we believe in both goaltender…Matthew Davis, if anyone saw the US game, you saw how great that kid was in that game. That was 100 per cent the reason: create momentum on the bench. Where’s our spark? Matty’s coming out, now we’ve all got to own what’s happened to that point,” said.

“I thought we started to back to our way. It was 0-0 after that point. That’s a very good hockey team that had some powerplay opportunities, but we know we’re going to have the right game plan and the right mindset next time we play, because now we know what the obstacle is.”

Nikolai Burenov buried a juicy rebound off of a Vasily Podkolzin one-timer to open the scoring in the first period.

Russian captain and touted future draft choice Vasily Podkolzin.

That assist added to Podkolzin points lead in the tournament. In three games, he has three goals and two assists.

Russia’s second line then got in on the goal-scoring with Aleksandr Gordin chipping in 1:23 into the second frame from Mikhail Abramov.

Although Canada West finished ahead on the shot clock there were few great scoring chances in that mix.

“One thing we have to remember is that we’re still in the process. The process is up until the medal round and that’s when we start to have to as a group need to play our very best, because that’s when our very best is required,” said Swan.

“All we need to do now is focus on the Czechs. They’re going to play a very structured, sound game as well. It’s a fine line between the details that are required to get success every single game.”

Canada plays the Czech Republic tonight in the only tournament game of the day at 7pm.

Canada East falls to 0-3

Canada East and the United States scored six goals combined after twenty minutes, but any momentum Canada created did not carry over for the remainder of the game as they eventually fell 7-3.

Robert Mastrosimone scored and Cal Kiefunk each scored two goals, and Bobby Brink had three points in the offensive explosion for the US.

Canada East forwards Spencer Kersten, John Beaton, and Jamie Engelbert all have four points for the tournament.

Canada East will battle the Czech Republic on Friday night for what will likely decide the final competitor in the semi-final round.

The United States win and Canada West loss means they are both 2-1.

The only team that hasn’t played three games so far is the Czech Republic.

American forward Trevor Janicke after their win against the Czech Republic on Tuesday


About Michael Menzies

Menzies is the editor-at-large for Connected Media Inc. Born and raised in Vermilion, he started in May 2018 during his NAIT Radio and Television practicum and reports on local politics, sports, and community issues. He became the Bonnyville Pontiacs play-by-play voice during the 2019-20 season. He also comments on provincial and national issues. Menzies hosts Connected! Evening Monday-Thursday at 5 o’clock. He also likes to buy books and read some of them.