Team OHL Wins in Sarnia in Game 4 Subway Super Series
Sarnia, On - The 4,283 Sarnia fans were not disappointed and enjoyed a solid night of hockey in the 2 - 1 win for Team OHL in game four of the Subway Super Series Monday night at the RBC Centre.
Ryan Strome (Niagara Ice Dogs), scored the first goal of the game at 9:50 in the first period for Team OHL with assists by Garrett Meurs (Plymouth Whalers) and Matt Puempel (Kitchener Rangers). After a scoreless second period Team OHL scored their second goal at 9:16 in the third when Frankie Corrado (Sudbury Wolves) slapped in a rebound with Strome and Dougie Hamilton (Niagara Ice Dogs) assisting.
As time was winding down Team Russia pulled their goalie for the extra man attacker and it was fan favourite former Sarnia Sting Nail Yakopov who was left in the open in front of the net and didn't disappoint and fired it in for the lone goal for Team Russia. Even though it was Team Russia scoring the fans erupted and cheered after Yakopov scored what will probably be his last goal in Sarnia. Team Russia continue to press but was denied scoring another goal.
"Today there was a little bit of pressure coming to Sarnia, but the fans were great and everything was good" said Yakopov "I'm happy to score and it was good to score in Sarnia but wish I could have scored in the last 20 seconds, but that's ok it's hockey someone has to lose."
"It was great to come again to Sarnia to play my last game. I had two good years and I love the fans, the rink, my team mates and my coaches who helped me a lot. It was a great two years, I thank them."
When a fan asked Yakopov for his stick after the game he wouldn't give it to her. When asked why not he replied "We have two more games I have to have my stick, two many broken sticks." He did give the fan his helmut that got broken after a hit he took by Tom Wilson.
"I don't think the fans were too happy with that one I think they were on the fence as to who to cheer for" said Wilson "but I saw him come up the middle and laid a good body check on him. I think that got the guys going a little bit early in the third.
Eric Basso, Sarnia Sting defenceman was one of the six defencemen on the bench. Basso didn't score however he had a big hit on Russian Maxim Shalunov that had the fans cheering.
"I thought it was good personally I was a bit nervous at the beginning then I settled down." said Basso "I never played with a team right off the bat, we didn't had any chemistry, but I didn't see anything too different in the play other than it was a bit faster. It was a lot of fun and a once in a lifetime experience I'm glad I did it."
When asked about the hit on Maxim Shalunov, Basso explained. "I didn't really try to knock him to hard I just tried to play him the body a little bit and he kind of ran into me and he went off balance."
The win brings the OHL's overall record to 19-1 against Russia in ten years of SUBWAY Super Series play. The lone loss for Team OHL was in Guelph last Thursday.
"What we talked about before the game was to be a bit more physical and hunting down pucks and getting to the puck first." said Team OHL Head Coach Steve Spott "One thing we talked about was playing Canadian hockey. I think our kids did a really good job at executing this tonight. I think everyone contributed, we played four lines regularly and all six defencemen. It was a real team effort and both goaltenders were solid. You got to remember that 90% of Russia's team are members of the world junior team, I give our kids credit."
Team OHL outshot Team Russia 29 - 17.
Player of the Game for Russia was Tampa Bay Lightning prospect netminder Andrei Vasilevski who played the full game making a total of 27 saves. This was his second time this series. For Team OHL New York Islander prospect Ryan Stome was awarded Player of the Game for his goal and assist in the game.
Team OHL goaltending was shared by Jordan Binnington and Jake Paterson. Both made 8 saves in the game.
The 2012 Subway series is now tied 2 - 2 with Game 5 set for Wednesday night when the WHL host Team Russia in Vancouver.