CHARLOTTETOWN, P.E.I. – Team QMJHL’s last line of defence was its best weapon in a 3-1 win over Team Russia at the CIBC Canada Russia Series contest Tuesday in Charlottetown.
Samuel Harvey stopped 25-of-26 shots, helped kill five Team QMJHL penalties and gave the Canadian Hockey League a 3-2 edge in the six-game series. Game 6 is Thursday in Moncton.
“The guys in front played great. They blocked shots, took rebounds out, they did a good job,” said Harvey, who backstops the Rouyn-Noranda Huskies. “I was nervous. The first period I was shaking a little bit. After a few minutes I calmed down and just played my game the best I could.”
The game started slow as both teams felt each other out. But eight minutes in former Charlottetown Islanders forward Shawn Boudrias, now with Gatineau, scored five seconds into a power play, courtesy of an Alexander Kalinin holding penalty, and gave the Q a 1-0 edge.
That lead lasted three minutes when Russia’s Alexey Polodyan thieved the puck in the QMJHL zone, raced past the chasing defenceman and snapped a shot. Harvey made the save, but Andrey Altybarmakyan pounced on the rebound and tied the game 1-1.
Nothing came of either team’s offence in the second frame aside from a 19-11 Russian shot edge through two frames.
In the third, Drake Batherson connected on his squad’s second power play for a 2-1 advantage (and eventual game-winner) just over four minutes into the frame.
Russia mustered itself for a final push, but Harvey and company did their job assisted by an empty-net insurance goal by Nicolas Guay.
As for Harvey, he approached this game with an unknown defence and even a few teammates he hadn’t met before with a simple philosophy.
“I tried to have good communication with my D, I was yelling a lot on the ice,” he said.
Harvey and Altybarmakyan, a Chicago Blackhawks draft pick in 2017, were named the QMJHL and Russian players of the game, respectively.
A look at Tuesday’s CIBC Canada Russia Series game at Eastlink Centre:
Russia – Andrey Altybarmakyan (3).
QMJHL – Shawn Boudrias (1), Drake Batherson (1), Nicolas Guay (1).
Russia – Alexey Poloydan (3).
QMJHL – Peter Abbandonato (1), Maxime Comtois (1), Joe Veleno (1).
Russia – Alexey Melnichuk, 21-of-23, loss (1-1).
QMJHL – Samuel Harvey, 25-of-26, win (1-0).
Attendance – 3,613.
By The Numbers
Shots By Period
Russia – 11-8-7, 26.
QMJHL – 6-5-13, 24.
Russia – 8.
QMJHL – 12.
Russia – 0-of-5.
QMJHL – 2-of-3.
50-50 – $4,357.50.