Monday, August 27, 2007

Hazing ritual, or major award?

You be the judge...

Or perhaps he's auditioning for the off-Broadway production of "A Fess Parker Retrospective"

Seriously, it is Karl Alzner's prize for being named Canada's player-of-the-game for Game 1 of the Canada-Russia series. Congrats, Karl.

And Game 1 goes to...

….the Canadians. The boys from up north spotted the Russians a 2-0 lead, then stormed back with four unanswered goals to capture Game 1 of the Canada-Russia Super Series, 4-2.

Brad Marchand and Sam Gagner had a goal and an assist, apiece (assisting on each other's goals), to lead the Canadians.

Of note to Caps fans, Karl Alzner played a steady game, although he did take three minor penalties. But who didn’t for the Canadiens? They killed 13 of 14 Russian power plays, including a pair of 5-on-3’s. Alzner’s ability to play within himself and slow the game down within his own end made him stand out among the defensemen; he knows where to be and when to be there. Josh Godfrey had a couple of occasions to unleash his booming shot, but appeared to be on the low end of ice time among the defensemen for Team Canada. Semen Varlamov started strong for Team Russia in goal, playing well for the first ten minutes, but from the middle of the first period through the end of the second, he looked very uncomfortable, struggling with some shots that he should have stopped.

For all the talk of the time change and jet lag affecting the Canadians, it was Team Canada that got stronger as the game wore on. Once they got their legs under them, Team Canada’s withering physical approach to the game clearly got to the Russians, who seemed to avoid contact through the middle part of the contest until they went into desperation mode late.

Alzner was named the Canada’s player-of-the-game.

Game 2 is scheduled for Wednesday, 9 am (Eastern), from Ufa, Russia.