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Russia rallies past WHL in junior series

Devils prospect Maltsev scores twice in win @NHLdotcom

Mikhail Maltsev, a New Jersey Devils prospect, scored two goals, including the game-winner in the third period, to help Russia defeat the Western Hockey League 4-3 in the second game of the 2017 Canada Russia Series, at Credit Union iPlex in Swift Current, Saskatchewan, on Tuesday.

The WHL led 3-0 in the second period, but Russia scored the next four goals.

Andrei Altybarmakyan (Chicago Blackhawks) had a goal and an assist for Russia, and Artem Maltsev (2018 draft eligible) scored. Mikhail Berdin (Winnipeg Jets) made 29 saves.

David Quenneville (New York Islanders) scored two power-play goals for the WHL. Dillon Dube (Calgary Flames) had a goal and two assists, and Sam Steel (Anaheim Ducks) had three assists. Stuart Skinner (Edmonton Oilers) made 29 saves.

The teams split the first two games of the series. The WHL won 7-0 at Mosaic Place in Moose Jaw, Saskatchewan, on Monday.

"They played us a lot harder tonight, and we expected that," Steel said. "We had a couple of bad bounces, a couple of turnovers, and they capitalized on those. They got a good performance in net, and we didn't capitalize the way we did last night."

With the score tied 3-3 in the third and Russia shorthanded, Altybarmakyan carried the puck into the WHL zone. His shot went wide of the net but caromed into the slot, where Mikhail Maltsev one-timed it past Skinner at 12:06.

Mikhail Maltsev started Russia's comeback when he forced a turnover at Canada's blue line, then got the puck back and scored at 16:22 of the second to make it 3-1.

At 6:28 of the third period, Artem Maltsev scored on his rebound, and then Altybarmakyan intercepted a WHL outlet pass and scored to tie the game 3-3 at 10:07.

Dube gave the WHL a 1-0 lead with a power-play goal at 1:27 of the first period.

At 6:17 of the second, Quenneville scored on the power play off a backdoor pass by Dube to make it 2-0. At 8:33 of the second, Dube passed from behind the net to Quenneville for a power-play goal to make it 3-0.

The series will resume with two games between Russia and the Ontario Hockey League, at Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, on Nov. 9, and at Sudbury Community Arena in Sudbury, Ontario, on Nov. 13. It will conclude with two games between Russia and the Quebec Major Junior Hockey (Nov. 14 and 16).

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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