WHL: Russia makes history at CHL's expense; weekend roundup

What's the Russian word for "history?" The members of Team Russia are celebrating, after making history by winning its first ever Subway Super Series. They took down select teams from the OHL, QMJHL and swept the WHL for a 4-1-1 record. Along the way, the Russians battered a number of goaltenders, including the Everett Silvertips' Kent Simpson and Seattle Thunderbirds' Calvin Pickard.

Before this latest tournament, Team Russia had won a total of 6 games over 8 years. This time, they came to not only play, but to win, taking out the QJMHL's best, 5-4 and 4-3. They lost two games to Team OHL, 4-0 and 2-1, before taking their frustrations out on the guys from the WHL. Wednesday night's game turned into a score fest, with Team Russia tying the game up at 6-6 to force overtime. They won in a shootout, 7-6, the put a bow on the series by handily defeating Team WHL 5-2 last night in Prince George.

Carter Ashton (Regina Pats), Quinton Howden (Moose Jaw Warriors), Stefan Elliott (Saskatoon Blades), Brandon Herrod (Prince Albert Raiders), Jordan Weal (Regina Pats) and Curtis Hamilton (Saskatoon) scored for Team WHL in Game One. Daniil Sobchenko, Artemiy Panarin, Anton Burdasov, Sergei Kanlinin, Maxim Kitsyn and Artem Voronin scored for Team Russa. Denis Golubev, Sobchenko and Burdasov scored in the shootout, while Kitsyn mised. Weal was the only member of Team WHL to score in the shootout. Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (Red Deer Rebels), Linden Vey (Medicine Hat Tigers) and Brenden Ranford (Kamloops Blazers) missed.

Last night, Brett Connolly (Prince George Cougars) and Linden Vey found the net for Team WHL, but three Russians scored: Kitsyn, Borachov, and Nikita Pivsakin. Borachov capped off his series play with a hat trick and was named Russia's Player of the Game. Linden Vey was named Team WHL's Player of the game.

The WHL players fired 47 shots at net on Wednesday night and 40 shots last night, but Russian goaltenders Emil Garipov and Dmitry Shikin seemed more than up for the task.

The Russians go home now to train for the next been competition - the World Juniors, which take place next month in Buffalo. The CHL players return to their respective teams and wait to see who is selected to represent Team Canada in the World Juniors.

The WHL has posted several interviews and behind the scenes videos from the Subway Super Series on its website. Just click here.

Next Friday, I'll continue to look at teams so far, with input from coaches. I also welcome any feedback/input from you.

Now, a look at this weekend's matchups:

Tonight (Friday, November 19)

Calgary @ Brandon

Saskatoon @ Kootenay

Prince Albert @ Lethbridge

Swift Current @ Red Deer

Kelowna @ Prince George

Tri City @ Chilliwack

Regina @ Vancouver

Kamloops @ Everett

Spokane @ Seattle

Saturday, November 20

Moose Jaw @ Brandon

Red Deer @ Edmonton

Prince Albert @ Kootenay

Saskatoon @ Lethbridge

Swift Current @ Medicine Hat

Regina @ Chilliwack

Kamloops @ Portland

Kelowna @ Prince George

Everett @ Seattle

Spokane @ Tri City

Sunday, November 21

Prince Albert @ Medicine Hat

Calgary @ Moose Jaw

Spokane @ Portland

Everett @ Tri City

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