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Big line leads Team QMJHL

by Adam Kimelman /

Steve Spott, who will coach Team Canada at the 2013 World Junior Championship, is keeping a close eye on the Subway Super Series games as he goes about creating the roster he'll take with him to Russia in December.

After watching Wednesday's Super Series game in Val-d'Or, Quebec, he might have one line already set -- the trio of Nathan MacKinnon, Jonathan Huberdeau and Jonathan Drouin combined for 11 points as Team QMJHL beat Team Russia 5-2.

MacKinnon, a leading candidate to be the first pick of the 2013 NHL Draft, had a goal and three assists, more than making up for his minus-4 performance Monday in Team QMJHL's 6-2 loss in the Super Series opener Monday in Blainville, Quebec.

Huberdeau, the Florida Panthers' top prospect, added a pair of goals -- including the game-winner early in the second -- and an assist. Drouin, who sat out Monday's game with a foot injury, had a goal and three assists. MacKinnon's teammate with the Halifax Mooseheads, Drouin also likely will be a top 10 pick in June.

Francis Beauvillier also scored a goal for Team QMJHL, and goalies Zachary Fucale and Francois Brassard combined to stop 22 of 24 shots.

Andrei Sigarev and Vladimir Tkachev scored for Team Russia. Nail Yakupov and Mikhail Grigorenko, Russia's biggest offensive stars, were held scoreless after scoring a goal and an assist each Monday.

Beauvillier, another Panthers prospect, opened the scoring 59 seconds into the game, but Sigarev's floating shot from just inside the blue line on a shorthanded rush got past Fucale and tied the game.

The second period, however, saw Team QMJHL coach Andre Tourigny reunite MacKinnon and Huberdeau, who struggled playing together Monday, and added Drouin. The line worked almost from its first shift together.

At 3:51 into the second period, MacKinnon forced a neutral-zone turnover, Huberdeau pushed it past a Russian player then found MacKinnon for a 2-on-0 rush that Huberdeau finished. Later in the second, MacKinnon found Huberdeau for an easy backdoor goal to make it 3-1 for Team QMJHL.

MacKinnon banged his second shot off a Drouin rebound into the net 5:56 into the third, then helped set up Drouin's goal by leading the rush, then slithering through traffic behind the net to grab a loose puck and find Drouin in the slot at 15:45.

The win snaps a five-game losing streak for Team QMJHL in the series. Team Russia won't have long to dwell on the loss -- Game 3 of the series is Thursday, when it faces Team OHL in Guelph, Ontario.

Contact Adam Kimelman at Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK

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