Monday, September 10, 2007

The Super Series comes to an end, as Canada takes the finale 6-1

The series never quite reached the hype that the organizers tried to build for it over the summer, the Super Series was more of a tutorial of Brent Sutter style hockey than any kind of showdown, but for fans of junior hockey that's just fine.

The curtain closed on the eight game series on Sunday night in Vancouver, game eight much like many of the other contests, a rather one sided affair that had the Canadians taking the play to a rather unfocused group of Russians for most of the game. After the sixty minutes and occasional burst of bad blood was finished, Canada claimed the 6-1 victory in the eighth and final game.

Uncharacteristic penalties ruled the day for Russia, as their once famed discipline all but abandoned them on the ice in Vancouver, Canada scored five of its six goals on the power play a trend that was repeated many times in the eight game series.

Over all Canada out scored their Russian rivals by a total of 39-13, a ratio of three goals to every on by the Russians. Goal tending at times proved to be a problem for Russia, as was the play in their end where defensively many shortcomings were highlighted in their play.

The once crisp passing and laser like shots were few and far between and for much of the series the Russians simply couldn't find the answers to the Canadian play, Canada ruled the neutral zone and was solid in both their own end and in the Russian end of the rink.

The series will provide much in the way of study material for the Russian program, which no doubt will review the video of the games, make their changes and re tool for their next match up with their rivals.

The victory marked Brent Sutter's farewell to junior hockey, the Team Canada coach now moves on from his home at the helm of the Red Deer Rebels to the challenges of the New Jersey Devils. His team wraps up the tournament with a near perfect record, 7 wins and one tie, that one tie a game that will probably haunt his players more than the coach, as they tried as much as they could to pull it out of the fire in the latter stages of game seven.

His players provided him with a make up and farewell present of sorts on Sunday with a final solid effort, showcasing the skills and desire they have immersed themselves in under his tutelage in the national program.

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