TRURO - The Maritime Junior A Hockey League all-stars gave the host team at the world junior A challenge tournament more than a good run for their money last night.
The Maritime leaguers, which included Ramblers forward Justin Matthews, defencemen Derek Smith and Eric Boudreau plus head coach and general manager Corey Crocker behind the bench as an assistant, defeated Canada East - with just one MJAHL player on its roster, forward Sean Hoyt of the Pictou County Weeks Crushers - 6-5 in a shootout at Colchester Legion Stadium.
The shootout lasted nine rounds, with Matt Milsom of the Miramichi Timberwolves netting the game winner.
"This wasn't your typical all-star game," Crocker said. "We came out here to win.
"Our guys had a lot of pride tonight and wanted to prove they belonged out there, and any time you play against the Maple Leaf, it's something special. (The Ramblers players) competed and did their thing, and didn't look out of place at all."
The Maritimers stormed out to a 3-1 first-period lead on goals from Travis Moore of the Truro Bearcats, Darcy Ashley of the Summerside Western Capitals, and Milsom. Canada East cut the gap to 5-4 after 40 minutes, with Ryan Nickerson of the Yarmouth Mariners and Truro's Dana Fraser tallying for the hosts.
Bearcats goalie Kirk Rafuse went the distance in the all-stars net, stopping 30 shots. Andre Guay of the Woodstock Slammers will likely start in goal today when the MJAHL squad faces Belarus in Amherst at 7:30 p.m.
Ramblers forward Kody Orr has been added to the MJAHL roster for tonight's contest, replacing Woodstock's Nick Huard, who has been added to the Canada East squad.
Belarus lost 3-2 to Canada West in pre-tournament play last night in Charlottetown. The Belarussians led 2-0 after two periods. Canada West scored with one second left in regulation to tie it, and held a whopping 49-20 advantage in shots on goal.
The world junior A challenge begins Sunday in Summerside, and runs until Nov. 8.
The Ramblers return to action Halloween night at the Stadium against Miramichi at 8 p.m.