Russia evens series behind Kapustin hat trick
Kirill Kapustin's hat trick highlighted Russia's 6-3 victory against Canada in the second game of the Canada-Russia Challenge Friday at Arena 2000 in Yaroslavl, Russia.
The four-game series between each country's top junior players is now even at 1-1. Games 3 and 4 will take place in Halifax, N.S., on Monday and Tuesday. Canada won the first game of the challenge, 3-2 on Thursday.
After a scoreless first period, Russia scored twice in the first 3:43 of the second period. Anton Zlobin delivered a power-play goal at the 38-second mark and Kapustin's first of the game a little more than three minutes later was also a power-play goal that put Russia ahead 2-0.
"Any time we seemed to get close we seemed to take a penalty," Canada coach Steve Spott said, according to The Canadian Press.
Ty Rattie cut the lead to 2-1 at 6:21 of the period. The goal by Rattie, who is part of the St. Louis Blues organization, was assisted by Sean Monahan.
Kapustin struck again with 6:09 left in the period with a shorthanded goal to restore Russia's two-goal lead.
Morgan Rielly, the first-round pick of the Toronto Maple Leafs in June, pulled Canada to within 3-2 at 6:55 of the third period. But Maxim Shalunov and Kapustin scored about six minutes apart to put the game away.
"We knew that if we took poor penalties and were soft with our discipline we were going to allow them to stay in the game. Ultimately, for me, that was the difference in the game," Spott said.
New York Islanders property Ryan Strome gave Canada some hope by cutting the lead to 5-3, but Shalunov scored his second goal of the game into an empty net with 2:04 remaining to seal the win for Russia.
The Canada-Russia Challenge is not only a recognition of the 40th anniversary of the 1972 Summit Series between the countries, it is also a fundraiser; part of the proceeds from the games held in Yaroslavl will go to the families of the victims of the Lokomotiv air tragedy last September.
Kapustin plays with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl.
"It was very emotional," Spott said. "The crowd was in it. I can tell you the fans here in Yaroslavl have been outstanding."