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Marchand scores twice, Canada earns 4-2 win

Saturday, 09.01.2007 / 12:27 PM / News
The Canadian Press
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Marchand scores twice, Canada earns 4-2 win
B's prospect Brad Marchand
OMSK, Russia (CP) - A confident Canadian junior hockey team is going home with a sweep of the first four games of their Super Series with Russia.

The Canadians capped the Russian leg of the eight-game event with a 4-2 victory on Saturday at Arena Omsk.

They need a win or a tie Tuesday in Winnipeg to win the series and make the final three games count for pride only.

Brad Marchand of the Val-d'Or Foreurs scored a pair of goals and Sam Gagner of the London Knights had a goal and two assists. John Tavares of the Oshawa Generals also scored.

Steve Mason of the London Knights got his second win of the series in goal.

Alexei Grishin and Maxim Chudinov replied for Russia, which outshot Canada 45-32.

Canada goes home Sunday in what is shaping up to be arduous travel day. The team is scheduled to leave Omsk at 7 a.m. local time and heads to Toronto via Moscow and Frankfurt.

They'll have little time to adjust to the 12-hour time difference between Omsk and Winnipeg, which is the first Canadian stop on the tour Tuesday.

Games follow in Saskatoon on Wednesday, Red Deer, Alta., on Friday and Vancouver on Sept. 9.

The Russians started well on Saturday. It was clear they didn't want to go out of the series quietly as they threw more speed into their forecheck and played with more urgency than they had all series in front a full house at the 10,000-seat Arena Omsk.

They outshot Canada 18-9 in the first period, but Marchand scored the first goal at 18:19.

Gagner's goal less than two minutes into the second period had the hosts on their heels again. Tavares got his first in the series and Canada's third of the game with a power-play goal at 12:19 thanks to a heads-up play by Claude Giroux.

Giroux fell on his behind near the faceoff circle but managed to backhand the puck down to Gagner, who fed Tavares in the high slot.

It was 3-0 at the start of the third period, but the Russians came out firing. Grishin and Chudinov scored in a 26-second span starting at 2:29 to pull within one.

But Marchand restored Canada's breathing room at 3:44 with his second of the game.

The series was the idea of Russian Ice Hockey Federation president Vladislav Tretiak, who wanted to mark the 35th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series between Canada and the Soviet Union.

The USSR won Game 4 of that series 5-3 in Vancouver to take a 2-1-1 lead home with them for the last four games. The Canadian team was soundly booed at Pacific Coliseum prompting Phil Esposito's impassioned post-game interview that galvanized his team and helped get the country behind them.

Canada will wear 1972-style jerseys in Winnipeg on Tuesday.

Hockey Canada has agreed to let the Russians add three players even though the rosters were to be capped at 26 players. Forwards Alexei Cherepanov and Yegor Averin and defenceman Valeri Zhokov are all out with injury.

The substitutes are Victor Tikhonov, the grandson of the famous Soviet coach of the same name, and two players who were in the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League last season: Kirill Tupulov of the Chicoutimi Sagueneens and Ruslan Bashkirov of the Quebec Remparts. Bashkirov is a draft pick of the Ottawa Senators.

Canada's roster is at 25 players because forward Angelo Esposito pulled out with injury before training camp.

Note: Defenceman Logan Pyett, forward Zach Boychuk and goaltender Leland Irving were Canada's scratches on Saturday.

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