Maritime junior A all-stars edge Belarus

Jody Jewers
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AMHERST - The Maritime Junior A Hockey League all-stars completed a two-game sweep of teams entered in the world junior A challenge tournament with a 5-4 decision over Belarus on Friday night in front of 517 fans at the Stadium.
The MJAHL squad, perhaps with something to prove after just one player from the league - Pictou County Weeks Crushers forward Sean Hoyt - was named to the 22-man roster for the host Canada East team, nipped Canada East 6-5 in a shootout Thursday night in Truro.
"It's a big accomplishment beating these two teams," said Amherst's Derek Smith, who had an assist Friday. "It shows guys from this league are just as good as anyone else."
Smith, defenceman Eric Boudreau and forward Justin Matthews were named to the team earlier this month along with Ramblers head coach Corey Crocker as an assistant. Forward Kody Orr played Friday as a replacement for Nick Huard of the Woodstock Slammers, who was added to the Canada East roster after Thursday's game.
"It was an awesome experience that I'll never forget," said Orr, who played for Team Atlantic at the world under-17 challenge last Chrismas.
"Belarus has a big, fast team, but for the most part, we were able to shut them down. If this team was allowed in the tournament, I think we'd make some noise.'"
The Maritimers built a 2-0 lead in the first period on just four shots, with goals coming from Stuart Lenehan of the Halifax Lions while shorthanded and Nicolas Cyr of the Campbellton Tigers on the power play.
Lenehan, Dana Fraser of the Truro Bearcats and Cyr scored in a 10-minute span of the second frame. The MJAHL led 5-3 after 40 minutes.
Andre Guay of the Woodstock Slammers went the distance in goal to get the win, making 29 saves including a spectular grab with his glove hand while sliding across the crease in the dying seconds with Belarus's net empty.
The world junior A challenge runs until Sunday in Summerside.

jjewers@amherstdaily.com

Organizations: Maritime Junior A Hockey League, Halifax Lions, Campbellton Tigers

Geographic location: Belarus, Canada East, Pictou County Truro Summerside

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