Saturday, September 01, 2007

Runaway train?

Game three of the Super Series was along the lines of a freight train running the tracks without brakes. Team Canada just seemed to launch their play into another gear and took control of the game every time that Russian’s showed any intention of getting close.

While the Russian squad was only one goal down through the first and second periods of play, the third proved to be their undoing as Canada rattled off three unanswered goals on the way to their 6-2 victory, taking firm control of the Russian leg of the eight game super series and setting the stage for a potential sweep of the Russian end of the tournament when game four gets underway on Saturday.

And as if the Russian’s scoring chances weren’t bad enough, they now have to make do without star forward Alexei Cherepanov who suffered a concussion in a collision with Brandon Sutter in the first period of Game 2 in Ufa. Without a key player such as Cherepanov, the Russian attack seems to struggle to get moving and once it does the forward momentum seems to drift off as they enter the Canadian end of the rink.

Special teams once again proved to be the Canadian advantage in the game, as it has in all three games of the series thus far. The Canadians scored four power-play goals on Friday and a featured a penalty kill that has now held Russia scoreless on 25 chances over three games, including a number of five-on-threes. Considering the physical nature of the Canadian play, shorthanded play is going to be constant in the series, so far the Canadians have not suffered to terribly for their penalties and that trend continued through game three.

There is little time for the Russian’s to regroup and work out a new approach, Game Four takes place Saturday, an early morning wake up again for Canadian fans, as the puck drops at 6 am in the Eastern time zone, 7 Atlantic and out west folks will have to decide whether to make it an early Saturday or a very late Friday night, game time on TSN in the West is 3 am.

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