Dec. 27, 2012
WEST POINT, N.Y. – The Russian Junior All-Stars scored four times in the second period and beat Army, 6-2, Thursday in an exhibition game in front of a sold-out crowd at Tate Rink.
Mac Lalor and Joe Kozlak each registered a goal and assist for Army, which returned to the ice following a 16-day layoff. Cheyne Rocha and Josh Richards collected assist for the Black Knights.
A crowd of 2,636 -- the second sell out of the season for Army – turned out to watch a well-played, physical contest.
The Russian Junior All-Stars are playing six games during their trip to North America. In addition to Army, they will also play Yale and Brown and travel to Canada for a pair of games. They began their trip with a game opposite the Boston Junior Bruins.
The Russian Junior All-Stars are comprised from a 32-team development league for the professional and highly regarded Kontinental Hockey League with teams from Russia, Belarus, Kazakhstan, Latvia and Slovakia.
The Black Knights held a 43-33 advantage in shots on goal.
Army utilized two goalies as Ryan Leets made 13 stops and Rob Tadazak 14. Sergey Mashkovtsev made 41 saves for the Russian Junior All-Stars.
Both teams had chances early in the game and Leets made a pair of huge saves to keep the game scoreless.
Egor Krivchenko got the game’s first goal, knocking home a rebounded shot in traffic eight minutes into the contest.
Army killed off the game’s first power play and then Mac Lalor almost tied the game but Mashovtsev made the stop.
The Black Knights had their first power play with less than three minutes remaining in the first period for a roughing whistle but ended the session trailing 1-0, despite a 14-9 advantage in shots on goal.
The Russian Junior All-Stars extended their lead to 2-0 34 seconds into the second session when Roman Berdnikov went high for the score.
It was a 3-0 contest when Krivchenko netted his second goal of the game.
Army got on the scoreboard at the 16:07 mark when Lalor scored his third goal in his past two games, using a wrist shot. Kozlak and Richards were credited with assists.
The Junior All-Stars quickly answered when Yuris Upitis followed his own shot to make it a 4-1 contest just four minutes into the second period.
Kozlak scored Army’s second goal, tipping in a Rocha shot at 13:12. Lalor forced a turnover at center ice, carried the puck behind the net and fed Rocha. Rocha backhanded a shot on goal that Kozlak re-directed to cut the Russian lead to 4-2.
Army switched goalies midway through the period, a predetermined switch to allow both goaltenders ice time.
During 4-on-4 play later in the period, Tadazak came up with three huge saves to keep it a two-goal deficit.
The Russian Junior All-Stars scored their fourth goal of the period, utilizing crisp passing for a goal by Oleg Lomako and a 5-2 lead after two periods.
A goal by Nikolai Stoliaren midway through the final period made it 6-2 for the Russian Junior All-Stars.
Army will return to Atlantic Hockey Association competition Dec. 29-30 with a pair of games at Canisius. The Black Knights will return home to face Robert Morris Jan. 4-5 at Tate Rink. Friday’s game will face-off at 7:30 p.m. and be broadcast live on CBS Sports Network with Saturday in the annual House of Blues to help raise prostate cancer awareness.
GAMES NOTES: Army wore its gold sweaters … Army’s starting lineup consisted of Brian Schultz, R.J. Burns, Zak Zaremba, Cheyne Rocha and John Clark with Ryan Leets in goal … Army sophomore Maurice Alvarez was moved to forward from his usual defensemen spot and was a right wing with Andrew O’Leary and Josh Roberts … Col. Ed Naessens served as the Officer Representative … Senior Cody Ikkala returned to the lineup for the first time this season after battling an injury …
RUSSIAN JR. ALL-STARS 6, ARMY 2
RUSSIAN JR. 1-4-1—6
R – Krivchenko (Berdnikov), 7:40
R – Berdnikov (Mishchenko), 00:34
R – Krivchenko (Mischenko, Berdnikov), 3:21
A – Lalor (Kozlak, Richards), 3:53
R – Upitis (unassisted), 4:10
A – Kozlak (Rocha, Lalor), 6:48
R – Lomako (Vikharev, Makarov), 17:53
R – Stoliaren (unassisted), 9:00
Shots: Russian Jr. All-Stars 33 (9-15-9); Army 43 (14-16-13)
Saves: Russian Jr. All-Stars 41 (Maskovtsev, 60:00, 14-14-13); Army 27 (Leets, 30:14, 8-5-x; Tadazak, 29:42, x-6-8; empty net, 00:04)
Power Plays: Russian Jr. All-Stars, 0-6; Army, 0-6
Penalties: Russian Jr. All-Stars, 8-27; Army, 7-14