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Giroux Leads Canada to Super Series Victory

by Staff Writer / Philadelphia Flyers
WINNIPEG (CP) - Claude Giroux stepped on the ice, heard the roar of the fans at Winnipeg's MTS centre and led Canada to its most impressive win in the Super Series so far.

Giroux scored a pair of goals and added an assist as Canada downed Russia 8-1 in front of 13,563 fans to clinch the eight-game Super Series with their fifth straight win. It was the first game on Canadian ice after four games in Russia, and the widest margin of victory so far after a 6-2 win in Europe.

The Super Series commemorates the 35th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series between victorious Canada and the Soviet Union. Game 3 of that '72 series was played on Sept. 6 in Winnipeg.

The teams meet again Wednesday in Saskatoon, Friday in Red Deer, Alta., and Sunday in Vancouver.

"When we got on the ice a they were cheering so hard, everybody was ready to go," said Giroux, who plays for the Gatineau Olympiques and was named Canada's player of the game.

But both teams got off to a sluggish start. The first period was scoreless despite plenty of good scoring chances by Canada, including a four-minute power play, half with a two-man advantage.
Claude Giroux

The second period was a different story.

Giroux scored the first two goals in a five-goal period; three on the power play, one short-handed and one at even strength.

Logan Pyett, David Perron, Sam Gagner, Zac Boychuk, Zach Hamill and Kyle Turris also scored for Canada.

Russian forward Alexander Vasyunov scored his squad's lone goal, unassisted at 8:56 of the second period for a 2-1 score. He was named his team's player of the game.

"We're very happy to win the five games, but we've got three games to go," Giroux said.

"We're going to go one game at a time and try to win all the games."

Jonathan Bernier of the Lewiston Maineiacs, who earned a victory in Game 2, started in net. Vadim Zhelobnyuk was in goal for Russia.

The Russians outshot the Canadians 33-30.

"I think it was embarrassing," Russian head coach Sergei Nemchinov said of the loss.

"They can not play the way they played in the second period and the third period. They've got to stick with their game plan and they've got to do little things right."

Nemchinov played more than 700 NHL games for the New York Rangers, Vancouver Canucks, New Jersey Devils and New York Islanders.

Team Canada head coach Brent Sutter said it took a while for his players to adjust to the smaller ice surface after returning from the European rinks.

"I thought it took a good period for them to really get the flow back to playing the way we want to play on this size of ice," Sutter said.

He didn't gloat over the margin of victory.

"I don't care what people think, that's a pretty good team that we're playing," Sutter said.

And now that his team has clinched the series, it's not time to taper off, he added.

"Our whole focus has been, let's take the one game at a time," Sutter said.

"We've already talked about Game 6 in the dressing room and what we need to do to get ready for Game 6."

Sutter, the new coach of the New Jersey Devils, now has a 17-0 record as a national junior head coach. He guided Canada to back-to-back world junior titles in 2005 and '06.

National pride was on full display at the MTS Centre Tuesday.

Some fans dyed their hair red, others painted maple leafs on their faces and one even stood in an intersection before the game waving a Canadian flag in support of the squad.

"I just love my country," said Darryl Beilby, a 25-year-old fan who played traffic cop and yelled at motorists as he waved a flag in the intersection by the arena before the game.

"I just had to cheer the boys. Tonight is the clincher, but it would be nice if they could win the next three as well."

Fans gave the players a standing ovation during the last minute of the game.

The juniors sported replica 1972 jerseys for the game. It's the first time that style of jersey u red with a huge, partial white maple leaf on the front - has been worn by any of Canada's national teams since the '72 series.

Hockey Canada is auctioning off Tuesday night's game-worn jerseys and game-worn helmets on eBay until Sept. 12. The jerseys will not be signed, but the white helmets are signed by two members of the 1972 team - Dennis Hull and Rod Seiling - along with the junior player who wore them.
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