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Russia defeats OHL in third game of series

Draft-eligible goalie Melnichuk makes 35 saves @NHLdotcom

Artyom Manukyan and Alexei Polodyan, prospects for the 2018 NHL Draft, each scored twice, and Russia defeated the Ontario Hockey League 5-2 in the third game of the 2017 Canada Russia Series at Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre in Owen Sound, Ontario, on Thursday.

Dmitri Samorukov (Edmonton Oilers) scored for Russia, and Alexei Melnichuk (2018 draft eligible) made 35 saves.

Manukyan's goal at 9:43 of the second period, off a set-up by Dmitry Sokolov (Minnesota Wild), gave Russia a 3-2 lead, and then Polodyan scored the next two goals, including an empty-netter at 19:08 of the third period.

Taylor Raddysh (Tampa Bay Lightning) and Adam Mascherin (Florida Panthers) scored for the OHL. Dylan Wells (Oilers) made 13 saves.

Raddysh scored on a penalty shot 36 seconds into the first period, but Samorukov, who plays for Sudbury in the OHL, tied the game with a shot from the point that got past Wells at 7:31 of the first.

Manukyan scored on the power play to give Russia a 2-1 lead at 16:24 of the first, but Mascherin tied the game with a power-play goal at 7:59 of the second.

"Altogether I thought we played pretty well," OHL forward William Bitten (Montreal Canadiens) said. "We had a lot of shots and scoring opportunities, but their goaltender was outstanding. They have a good team over there and they came out hard tonight. We have to have a short memory and come ready to play on Monday in Sudbury."

Russia has a 2-1 lead in the six-game series after splitting two games against the Western Hockey League.

The OHL and Russia will resume the series at Sudbury Community Arena in Sudbury, Ontario on Monday, and it will end with two games against the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League (Nov. 14 and Nov. 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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