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WHL blanks Russia 5-0, guarantees series win for Canada in ADT Challenge

Wednesday, 11.26.2008 / 11:34 PM / News

The Canadian Press

SWIFT CURRENT, Sask. - Jordan Eberle scored twice and the Western Hockey League all-star team struck four times on the power play in a 5-0 blanking of the Russian Selects in Game 5 of the ADT Canada-Russia challenge.

The win guaranteed a series win for Canada's junior all-star teams. Canada has a 4-1 series lead with only one game left. The series concludes Thursday night in Prince Albert, Sask.

Eberle's goals both came on a man advantage. The Regina Pats star is the WHL's second leading scorer with 19 goals in 27.

Zach Boychuk of the Lethbridge Hurricanes and Tyler Ennis of the Medicine Hat Tigers added power play goals, with Matt Calvert of the Brandon Wheat Kings scoring an even strength goal 27 seconds into the third period.

WHL captain Thomas Hickey of the Seattle Thunderbirds had three assists and was a plus-5 during the win. Hickey is the WHLs highest drafted player in the game, a first round, fourth overall selection of the Los Angeles Kings.

Chet Pickard of the Tri-City Americans stopped 16 shots to post the shutout, only the fourth time the Russia Selects have been blanked in the six year history of the series. Pickard is also credited with stopping a first period penalty shot from Russia Select forward Anatoly Nikontsev.

Russian Selects goaltender Sergey Gayduchenko yielded five goals on 40 shots while falling to 1-3 during the series.

The WHL held period leads of 2-0 and 4-0 while holding a 40-16 edge in shots. The 40 shots is the most the Russia Selects have given up during this series, while the 16 shots they managed equals their series low.

Team WHL went four for eight on the power play while the Russia Selects failed to score in three tries.

Quote of the Day

We think that Randy is a very good coach. Our players think that Randy is a very good coach. We think that he's going to get the most out of this group. With the addition of the two assistants, a bit of a different dynamic, we're very comfortable that this is a quality coaching staff that's going to maximize the potential of this team.

— Maple Leafs GM Dave Nonis on head coach Randy Carlyle and his staff