SYDNEY, Monday, September 17, 2008 – Team QMJHL delivered a gutsy effort in the first game of the 2008 ADT Canada-Russia Challenge, scoring five goals en route to a 5-3 victory over the delegation of Russian All-Stars in front of 4,378 fans at Centre 200.
Hometown all-star goaltender Olivier Roy came ready to play, making several spectacular saves in the opening minutes following a bunch of turnovers in the defensive end. He was later named the ADT Player of the Game for Team QMJHL.
"My teammates played well in front of me. They let me see the shooting lanes and I made a few stops," Roy said. "Even though it was my first All-Star game, I felt good out there, especially after seeing a bunch of shots in the opening minutes. It’s nice to get the ADT Player of the Game award in front of the hometown fans."
Both squads had a number of power-play opportunities in the opening frame, and Luke Adam jumped on a fat rebound in the crease to put the home team up by one.
The Russian delegation struck thirteen seconds into the second period thanks to a Nikita Klyukin slaper that surprised a screened Roy, but Paul Byron gave the one-goal lead back to Team QMJHL less than thirty seconds later.
Maxime Clermont, who took over in nets at the mid-way point of the second period, allowed a quick marker courtesy of Anatoly Nikontsev, but once again Team QMJHL increased its intensity level just as Nicholas Petersen overtook a Russian defender to make it 3-2. Then, Angelo Esposito scored with just under a minute to go after being on the receiving end of a perfect pass in the slot from his former teammate in Quebec City, Kelsey Tessier.
Kmitri Kugryshev gave some hope to Team Russia after he let a precise wrist shot go from the middle of the face-off circle at 7:54, but Alex Grant sealed the deal with an empty-netter to end the game.
Kugryshev was named the ADT Player of the Game for Team Russia.
The second test for Team QMJHL will be held next Wednesday at Harbour Station in Saint John. The puck drops at 7:00 pm (AT). Fans unable to attend can watch the game on Rogers Sportsnet or RDS.
OHL Boston Pizza Player of the Week
The Ontario Hockey League today announced that forward Mathew Sisca of the Niagara IceDogs is the Boston Pizza OHL Player of the Week for the week ending November 16 after scoring five goals and two assists in three games with a plus-minus rating of plus-2. The IceDogs had a record of 2-0-1-0 on the week.
On Thursday night Sisca was named the second star of the game in a 2-0 win at home over the Owen Sound Attack. Sisca would assist on the first goal and score the insurance marker late in the third period. On Friday night in Kitchener Sisca scored one goal as the IceDogs lost the overtime decision to the Rangers 4-3. Sisca and the IceDogs would rebound Saturday night with a 6-2 win in Peterborough over the Petes. Sisca was the first star of the game for netting his first OHL career hat-trick and adding one assist.
Sisca, an 18-year-old from Woodbridge, ON is in his second season with the IceDogs. He currently leads the club in scoring with nine goals and 16 assists for 25 points in 23 games which more than doubles his point production from his rookie season. Sisca is eligible for the 2009 NHL Entry Draft.
Honourable mention this week goes to Matt Duchene of the Brampton Battalion who scored two goals and five assists for seven points in three games while Mike Murphy of the Belleville Bulls went 2-0-0-1 in net with a goals-against-average of 1.58 and a save percentage of .955. Duchene has been named to the 2008 ADT Canada Russia roster for Team OHL for both games in Guelph on Thursday November 20 and St. Catharines on Monday November 24. Murphy will play in the game in St. Catharines. Evgeny Grachev scored all four goals for the Brampton Battalion Sunday in a 4-2 win over the Ottawa 67’s. Grachev will compete for the Russian Selects when they take on Team OHL in the 2008 ADT Canada Russia Challenge.
2008-09 Boston Pizza OHL Players of the Week
Nov. 17 – Mathew Sisca, Niagara IceDogs
Nov. 10 – Cody Hodgson, Brampton Battalion
Nov. 3 – Ryan Ellis, Windsor Spitfires
Oct. 27 – Taylor Hall, Windsor Spitfires
Oct. 20 – Brandon Foote, Brampton Battalion
Oct. 13 – Justin DiBenedetto, Sarnia Sting
Oct. 6 – Stefan Della Rovere, Barrie Colts
Sept. 29 – Luke Pither, Guelph Storm
Sept. 22 – Matt Lyall, Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds
That's My Take
(Nathan also is a writer for Maineiacs Post to Post and the Maine Hockey Journal. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org)