Sunday, November 24, 2013

The Subway Superseries and what it means to you

Every year about this time the Russian National team brings over a group of kids looking to make their World Junior team, to play against CHL players hoping to make team Canada.  They play two games each against the QMJHL, OHL, and WHL.

From Wikipedia:

The Subway Super Series[1] is an annual six game exhibition ice hockey tournament held between a select team of Russian junior players and all-star teams representing the three leagues of the Canadian Hockey League. The current corporate sponsor is Subway. The event was first held in 2003 as the Re/Max Canada-Russia Challenge. From 2004 until 2008 it was known as the ADT Canada-Russia Challenge. The CHL holds a commanding lead in the overall series.
The Russian Selects play two games each hosted by the Quebec Major Junior Hockey League, the Ontario Hockey League and the Western Hockey League. All games are broadcast nationally in Canada on Sportsnet. The series features many players, also on the Canadian National junior team.

You hear every year that the Russians don't bring over their top guys, and perhaps that shows in the records over the years.   The CHL is 46-12-4 all time in this series.  That being said, team Russia has been doing better the last few years.

We've seen Russian CHL players play in this series as well - guys like Nail Yakapov for example.  This time we'll see our old friend Kirill Vorberev play for his motherland.

This is a Hockey Canada run tournament.  Therefore it features Canadian players from the CHL - no Americans are invited.   With each league getting 2 games, sometimes guys play in both, sometimes just one game.  Schedules of the players' club teams affect this (can't have the kids going 4 games in 5 days for example), or sometimes they just want to see an additional viewing from a kid.

In 2010, our old friends Brett Ponich, Brad Ross, Ryan Johansen, and Ty Rattie made team WHL.  Ross, Rattie, and Joe Morrow represented the 'Hawks in 2011.  Last year, Rattie represented the WHL along with Derrick Pouliot & Tyler Wotherspoon - and we remember Spooner & Rattie playing significant roles in bringing home the silver for their great nation (Seth Jones brought the gold home to 'merica - USA! USA! USA!).

This season the 'Hawks are sending Pouliot, Brendan Leipsic, Taylor Leier, and Nic Petan.  How will they do against team Russia?  We'll know in a couple days.  Will they make the world junior team?  Guys like Pouliot are valuable, but historically there are lots of good offensive D men on this team.  You have to like the odds of the two leading scorers in the 'dub making this team, but they are both undersize and Petan is a 18 year old in a 19's tournament.  Leier seems like a dark horse, but a guy with his defensive play & good hands he could be huge in a bottom 6 role for Canada.  Time will tell.

(sadly, we don't have any USA candidates on this team this year - unless something changes).

The WHL leg of this years series is this Wednesday & Thursday.  All of our guys are scheduled for both games.  There has been free streaming of these games - but I've ran into an issue where they aren't streamable in the US before.  I have had success with finding the games on in the past - but I haven't attempted to stream this years edition of this series.

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