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Batherson lifts QMJHL past Russia in junior series

Senators prospect scores winner on power play in third period @NHLdotcom

Drake Batherson, an Ottawa Senators forward prospect, scored the game-winning goal on the power play in the third period, and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League defeated Russia 3-1 in the fifth game of the 2017 Canada Russia Series at Eastlink Centre in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, on Tuesday.

Forwards Shawn Boudrias and Nicolas Guay, prospects for the 2018 NHL Draft, scored for the QMJHL. Samuel Harvey (2018 draft eligible) made 25 saves.

Right wing Andrei Altybarmakyan (Chicago Blackhawks) scored for Russia. Alexei Melnichuk (2018 draft eligible) made 21 saves.

Maxime Comtois (Anaheim Ducks) bulled to the net and got off a shot that Melnichuk stopped, but Batherson scored on the rebound at 4:11 to give the QMJHL a 2-1 lead. Guay scored an empty-net goal to make it 3-1 with 27 seconds left.

"I really liked the way our young guys performed," QMJHL coach Dominique Ducharme said. "You could see at the beginning we needed to make an adjustment, but we got better and better, and I really liked our third period.

"We managed the game well, we were good on the power play, and we didn't give them much late in the game."

The QMJHL took a 1-0 lead at 12:31 of the first period on Boudrias' power-play goal. Peter Abbandonato (2018 draft eligible) won a face-off on the left side of the Russia zone back to Boudrias, who spun to create space, found an open lane to the net, and scored to the far side over Melnichuk's left shoulder.

Russia tied the game 1-1 when Alexei Polodyan (2018 draft eligible) knocked the puck away from Zachary Lauzon (Pittsburgh Penguins) and broke in alone. Harvey stopped his shot, but Altybarmakyan scored on the rebound at 15:29 of the first.

The QMJHL and Russia will play the finale of the six-game series at Moncton Coliseum in Moncton, New Brunswick, on Thursday. Russia split two games each against the Western Hockey League and Ontario Hockey League.

The games are part of the process of picking the teams for Canada and Russia for the 2018 IIHF World Junior Championship, which will be played Dec. 26 to Jan. 5 in Buffalo.

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