Good effort from Reinhart as Dub drops Subway opener

Sam Reinhart finished with a minus-one rating but overall played a very solid two-way game Monday as Team WHL opened the 2014 Subway Super Series with a 3-2 loss to Russia in an 11-round shootout.

Reinhart opened the game centering a line with high-scoring wingers Morgan Klimchuk (CGY) and Jake Virtanen (VAN). Midway through the game, the coaching staff swapped Greg Chase (EDM) in for Virtanen, but the trio would be reunited later for a power play.

Aside from his established playmaking vision, it's easy to notice Reinhart's improved skating game at the junior level. There's more a fluid jump in his step, and the strength gained over the summer makes his pace of play higher, his passing game more crisp and his defensive play against his peer group more effective. When studying Reinhart without the puck, you notice how much more ground he covers, especially in his own zone, than he did at this time last year. It's a notable part of his development when considering his much-talked about three-zone instincts.

With the game tied 2-2 after regulation and overtime, the teams entered the shootout. Reinhart came over the boards as Team WHL's second shooter and unloaded a rare slapshot that clanged glove-side off the post.

Virtanen, who was named his team's player of the game, and Cole Ully supplied Team WHL's regulation markers. Alexander Bryntsev and Konstantin Okulov replied for the Russians while Vladimir Bryukvin iced the victory with the shootout winner.

Team WHL will look to even their portion of the series on Tuesday when the teams play a rematch in Brandon, MB.
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