MJAHLers two-for-two against WJAHC entries with win over Belarus

Jody Jewers
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AMHERST -- The Maritime Junior A Hockey League all-stars are two-for-two against teams entered in the World Junior A Hockey Challenge in exhibition play after beating Belarus 5-4 at the Stadium tonight. The Maritimers edged Canada East 6-5 in a shootout Thursday in Truro.

Following is the live blog transcript:

7 p.m. -- Teams out for the warmup. Ramblers forward Kody Orr is skating with the Maritime all-stars, replacing Nick Huard of Woodstock, who was picked up by Canada East after Thursday's game.

Belarussians are big, with 11 players at six-foot-one or taller. Eleven players on their roster suited up for their country at the 2008 world under-18 tournament. Three are on Canadian junior rosters -- forwards Siarhei Drozd (Tri-City, WHL), Ilya Silik (St-Jerome, Quebec junior AAA), and Aliaksandr Famin (Val-d'Or, QMJHL).

7:25 p.m. -- Federal NDP Leader Jack Layton and Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley NDP candidate Mark Austin stop by the press box for a quick chat (it was by accident -- Austin asked where the refreshments were being served, and he wasn't referring to pop or water). Out doing some networking prior to the Nov. 9 byelection in this riding, no doubt.

7:30 p.m. -- Lineups just being announced now. We're going to be a little late dropping the puck.

Referee tonight is Mark Hulshof. Starting goalies are Andre Guay for the MJAHL and Stanislau Artynski for Belarus. Artynski stopped 47 shots in a 3-2 loss to Canada West on Thursday in Charlottetown.

7:44 p.m. -- Puck has dropped and we're underway.

7:45 p.m. -- All four Ramblers out for the opening faceoff. Matthews and Orr paired with Jordan Burke as one line.

7:46 p.m. -- First penalty is to Belarus's Nikita Remezov for holding at 1:05.

7:47 p.m. -- Line combos for the MJAHL are are Matthews-Orr-Burke, Dana Fraser-Travis Moore-Stuart Lenehan, Matt Milson-Nicolas Cyr-Andrew Lanigan, and Trevor Carmichael-Ryan Nickerson-Darcy Ashley. Chuckie Schembri is the 13th forward. Defensive groups are Smith-Boudreau, Evan Watts and Brad Tesink, and Chris Owens and Sam Caldwell, with Scott MacDonald as the extra D.

7:49 p.m. -- Penalty over. MJAHL with one shot on goal.

7:49 p.m. -- Belarus with a PP, as Justin Matthews goes off for boarding at 3:49.

7:51 p.m. -- MJAHL is on the board. Stuart Lenehan blocks a point shot and is sprung on a two-on-one, electing to go top shelf on a beauty of a wrist shot over Artynski's glove hand at 4:19. Shorthanded goal. 1-0 MJAHL.

7:53 p.m. -- Penalty over. Belarus with two shots and no real quality chances.

7:55 p.m. -- Justin Matthews nearly low-bridged at centre ice by Viachaslau Raitsou. He just missed a knee-on-knee hit.

7:57 p.m. -- MJAHL with its second PP. Siarhei Karolik off for hooking at 7:59.

7:58 p.m. -- MJAHL ups the lead to 2-0, as Nicolas Cyr walks out from the corner and goes top shelf again at 8:29. Artynski protests, saying the net was knocked off its moorings, but to no avail. Assists to Brad Tesink and Dana Fraser. 2-0 MJAHL

8:01 p.m. -- Belarus with the man advantage, as Ryan Nickerson sits for high-sticking at 10:28.

8:03 p.m. -- Penalty over. Belarus can't hit the net on its point shots.

8:06 p.m. -- 5:33 left in the period. Good pace to this one, both teams skating hard.

8:07 p.m. -- Aliaksandr Famin with a tremendous burst of speed through the neutral zone, and Scott MacDonald has to grab a hold of him to slow him down. He goes off for holding at 15:19.

8:09 p.m. -- Guay kicks out the right pad to stop a low wrist shot on an odd-man rush, his best save so far.

8:10 p.m. -- Penalty over. MJAHL three-for-three on the PK.

8:12 p.m. -- 1:19 to go. Faceoff outside the MJAHL blueline.

8:13 p.m. -- Dana Fraser gets away with ramming a Belrus player from behind into the boards in the MJAHL zone, as Hulshof was getting out of the way of another player and had his back turned.

8:14 p.m. -- First period over. Shots 8-4 for Belarus.

After 20 minutes -- MJAHLers made the most of their chances, with little sustained offensive pressure when it was five-on-five hockey. Belarus is big and fast, but hasn't shown much touch around the net thus far.

8:29 p.m. -- Second period has begun.

8:30 p.m. -- Kody Orr slams a Belarus defender into the boards, and gets a slash in the pants heading back up the ice. No call.

8:32 p.m. -- Belarus on the PP. Stuart Lenehan sent off for hooking at 2:32.

8:33 p.m. -- Belarus on the board at 2:43. Guay makes the first and second stop, but can't make the third, as Siarhei Drozd deposits a rebound home, from Kiryl Brykun and Siarhei Karolik. 2-1 MJAHL

8:35 p.m. -- Belarus ties it at 4:21, as Evgeniy Nagachev's point shot gets by a screened Guay. Assist to Viachaslau Raitsou. 2-2

8:37 p.m. -- MJAHL with its first offensive flurry of the period and it results in a goal. Stuart Lenehan with his second of the game at 5:14, from Chris Owens and Dana Fraser. 3-2 MJAHL

8:40 p.m. -- Some feistiness out there, as Aliaksandr Kachan and Brad Tesink get in a scrum after Kachan and Trevor Carmichael did some pushing and shoving at 6:37. Kachan gets a double minor and Tesink a minor, so the MJAHL gets a power play.

8:42 p.m. -- Chuckie Schembri has his gloves and helmet off after getting sent to the ice while screening Artynski, but no penalty called. These teams have come to play, and Belarus isn't treating this like an exhibition game.

8:45 p.m. -- Man advantage over.

8:46 p.m. -- Weak goal by the MJAHLers. Dana Fraser's harmless-looking shot from the top of the faceoff circle beats Artynski low on the short side at 9:17. Travis Moore and Derek Smith with the assists. Artynski is out and Dzmitry Volkau is in the Belarus net. 4-2 MJAHL

8:47 p.m. -- Artynski's line: four goals on 11 shots. A far cry from his effort on Thursday.

8:51 p.m. -- Guay takes a Aliaksandr Famin shot in the mask, but covers up the rebound quickly. 8:33 left in the period.

8:53 p.m. -- Belarus still carrying the play territorially when it's five-on-five. Guay with an anxious moment, but pounces on a loose puck that crept dangerously close to the goal line.

8:55 p.m. -- Scott MacDonald of the MJAHL off for slashing at 13:28.

8:58 p.m. -- Belarus's Raman Malinouski chops Andrew Langan's stick in two while chasing a loose puck. He'll get two for slashing at 15:07, with 21 seconds left in MacDonald's minor.

8:59 p.m. -- MJAHL converts another power play chance. Nicolas Cyr with a pretty goalmouth pass with precious little room to thread the needle to a pinching Brad Tesink. Travis Moore with the second assist at 15:36. 5-2 MJAHL

9:02 p.m. -- Belarus cuts the gap to two. Aliaksei Sadovik with an NHL calibre point shot that Guay had absolutely no chance on. A howitzer at 18:03. Assist to Siarhei Drozd. 5-3 MJAHL

9:04 p.m. -- Belarus with another PP opportunity, as Andrew Langan gets two for roughing at 18:22.

9:07 p.m. -- Period over. Belarus with 22 seconds left on the man advantage to start the third. Shots 15-10 Belarus for the period, 23-14 Belarus through two.

After 40 minutes -- Goaltending has been the difference. Artynski wasn't sharp and Guay has been solid. Belarus continues to carry the play when it's even strength, but should be making more of its chances.

9:22 p.m. -- Third period underway.

9:23 p.m. -- Belarus is within a goal. Dana Fraser with a weak clearing attempt and it costs the Maritimers, as Siarhei Bahaleisha intercepts the puck and finds Siarhei Maliauka in the slot with eight seconds to go on the PP. Second assist to Nikita Remezov. 5-4 MJAHL

9:27 p.m. -- Belarus with a chance to tie it, with Darcy Ashley called for slashing at 2:56.

9:29 p.m. -- Good play by Chuckie Schembri on the PK. Instead of dumping the puck out of his zone with no one near him, he elects to make Volkau play the puck on a 140-foot slapshot that hit him right in the chest. A charging Matt Milson forces Volkau to cover up and draws a faceoff in the Belarus zone. Quality PK work there.

9:31 p.m. -- Penalty over.

9:31 p.m. -- You can hear Shawn Evans on the MJAHL bench telling his players to keep their feet moving, as he knows they're starting to tire. Belarus still flying around out there and the MJAHLers are falling a step behind.

9:35 p.m. -- Guay stands his ground after a Belarus forward charges hard into the net, knocking it off its moorings. Faceoff to his right with 11:15 left.

9:36 p.m. -- Belarus can't get organized when coming through the neutral zone, with several odd-man rushes ruined by players going offside when coming into the MJAHL end.

9:38 p.m. -- 9:21 left. Shots in the period are 5-5.

9:39 p.m. -- Pace has slowed down a bit. Belarus seems to have lost a step here.

9:41 p.m. -- MJAHLers keeping a third man high and clogging up the middle of the ice to slow the Belarussians down, and it's working.

9:42 p.m. -- 5:16 left. Faceoff in the Belarus zone.

9:44 p.m. -- Nicolas Cyr falls over Volkau's stick while crusing through the Belarus crease to try and draw a penalty, but no call.

9:45 p.m. -- Good shift from the unit of Orr, Matthews and Lenehan, killing clock while keeping Belarus hemmed in its own end.

9:46 p.m. -- 2:24 left. Faceoff to Volkau's right. MJAHL squad really hammering the Belarussians, who have suddenly stopped skating.

9:48 p.m. -- Guay flashes some leather to snare a point shot and stop play with 1:17 to go. Faceoff to his left. Belarus takes its timeout.

9:49 p.m. -- Belarus pulls its goalie on the timeout. In the final minute now.

9:50 p.m. -- Guay's net is off again to stop play with 35.3 seconds left.

9:51 p.m. -- Puck is iced with 21.4 seconds to go. Faceoff to Guay's left again.

9:51 p.m. -- Guay with a game-saver, sliding across his crease then reaching back with his glove hand to rob Aliaksandr Siomachkin with 15 seconds left.

9:52 p.m. -- Puck is cleared off the draw and the game is over, as the MJAHL squad has beaten two WJAHC entries in consecutive nights. Shots 11-10 MJAHL in the third, 33-25 Belarus for the night.

Players of the game are Siarhei Drozd of Belarus and Nicolas Cyr of the MJAHL all-stars. Would've gone with Guay or Lenehan.

Quick quotes:

Derek Smith (one assist): "It's a big accomplishment beating these two teams. It shows guys from this league are just as good as anyone else."

Kody Orr: "It was an awesome experience that I'll never forget. Belarus has a big, fast team, but for the most part, we were able to shut them down tonight. If this team was allowed in the tournament, I think we'd make some noise."

Final thoughts -- MJAHL team made the most of its chances on an off night for Artynski, and Guay made the big saves when he had to. An entertaining game played at a high level, with the MJAHLers playing a great final 10 minutes to preserve the win.


Organizations: Maritime Junior A Hockey League, AAA, Cumberland-Colchester-Musquodoboit Valley NDP NHL

Geographic location: Belarus, Truro, Canada East Quebec Val-d'Or Canada West Charlottetown

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