Kelowna Rockets forward Nolan Foote scored twice in regulation and twice in a second shootout – including the series winner -- as Team WHL clinched the series for the Canadian Hockey League with a victory in a special shootout.
Team Russia won Game 6 in Prince Albert 4-3 in a shootout, forcing the series to be decided in a second shootout between the two teams. The WHL, Ontario Hockey League and Quebec Major Junior Hockey League all split their games with Russia to see the series tied 3-3 after the first shootout.
Moose Jaw Warriors forward Brayden Tracey was joined by former Warriors Jett Woo of the Calgary Hitmen and Luka Burzan of the Brandon Wheat Kings in the WHL line-up.
Tracey played on a line with the Medicine Hat Tigers’ Ryan Chyzowski and Everett Silvertips’s Cole Fonstad and picked up an assist on Chyzowski’s power play goal in the second period. That marker gave the WHL a 3-2 lead and was their third power play goal in just under four minutes.
Zakhar Shablovski would score a man advantage marker of his own for Russia with 6:04 to play to tie the game, and Burzan would score the only goal for WHL in the first shootout as Russia picked up the win.
That set up a winner-take-all second shootout, where Foote and Lethbridge’s Calen Addison scored on Russia’s Daniil Isayev, leading to Russia inserting Amir Miftakhov for the rest of the shootout. He’d stop the next three shots before Foote finished things off and won the Series for the CHL.
Portland’s Joel Hofer went the distance in regulation and both shootouts, making 29 saves in regulation and stopping five of 10 shooters.
All six games of the series were exceptionally close.
Russia defeated the QMJHL 4-3 before the ‘Q’ responded with a 4-3 overtime win. The OHL won Game 3 4-1 in the most lopsided score of the series, but Russia would come back and win 3-2 in a shootout in the next match-up.
The WHL won Game 5 in Saskatoon 2-1 in overtime, with Vancouver’s Bowen Byram scoring in regulation and Addison picking up the game winner.