BOISBRIAND, Quebec – Mikhail Grigorenko knows the 6-2 final score makes it look like his Russian team completely dominated its counterpart from the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League on Monday night, but he doesn’t feel it’s a true reflection of how Game 1 of the Subway Super Series was played.
In fact, the Quebec Remparts center feels the game was played rather evenly in spite of the most lopsided Russian win in this series since 2007.
“We played the way our coach wanted us to play,” the Buffalo Sabres prospect said. “I think for the Quebec guys a lot of them had games yesterday so they were probably a little bit tired. I think the next game will be a lot tougher and it will be more of a challenge.”
The other difference-maker for the Russians was their player of the game, goaltender Andrey Vasilevskiy who turned aside 28 shots and outperformed his QMJHL counterpart Etienne Marcoux by a wide margin.
“Our goalie played really well, so the Canadian guys couldn’t score a lot,” Grigorenko said. “We probably had the same [number of] chances as the Canadian guys, we just scored more goals than them.”
QMJHL captain Jonathan Huberdeau, who finished the game with two assists but with a minus-4 rating, saw first-hand as Vasilevskiy robbed his linemate Jean-Sebastien Dea late in the first period and continued to turn away QMJHL chances all night.
“If we could have capitalized on some of our chances it would have been a new game,” the Florida Panthers prospect said. “Vasilevskiy played a great game. We’ll have to capitalize on our chances in the next game to have a chance to win.”