An all star team from the Eastern Junior Hockey League took on the Russian Red Stars, an all-star team made up from the teams from Russia’s top Junior League – the MHL – faced off on Monday morning in an exhibition game held at UMass-Lowell’s Tsongas Center. The EHL All Stars gave it all they had, as it took pair of goals midway through the third period for the Russian Red Stars to prevail, 5-4.
The teams traded a pair of goals apiece in the first period. Kiril Semenov gave the Red Stars a 1-0 lead just 2:31 into the contest, only to see the EHL tie it at 3:27, when a centering pass from Tom Nolan (Connecticut Oilers) banked off a stick and past Red Stars goalie Artur Khaniarov.
The vistors got a goal from Valeri Poliakov to go ahead 2-1 at the 7:52 juncture, but again the EHL stars responded when Rikard Kuessen (NY Applecore) slammed home the rebound of a Jonathan Ruiz (Philadelphia Jr. Flyers) shot at 16:49.
The EHL All Stars grabbed a 3-2 lead after two periods. Mike Gillespie (NJ Rockets) had the only goal, potting a backhander top shelf from the doorstep. Tyler Drevitch (Boston Bandits) and Nolan assisted on the goal.
In the third period, Alexei Mitrofanov buried a shorthanded goal just 23 seconds in to make it a 3-3 game. But again the EHL stars forged ahead, taking a 4-3 advantage at 5:53 when Dan Perez (Wilkes Barre/Scranton Knights) fired a nice cross ice feed to Peyton Baldillez (NH Jr. Monarch), who blasted home a one-timer.
The Russian Red Stars were able to rally as Alexander Kuvaev made a great stickhandling move into the slot and snapped home a wrist shot at 8:26, and then at 11:16, Dmitri Arkhipov blasted home a wrist shot through a screen for the game-winner.
Viktor Shakhvorostov took a high sticking penalty with 1:25 left in regulation, and the EHL Stars pulled goalie Gabe Grunwald (NY Bobcats) for a six-on-four advantage, but were unable to net the equalizer.
Jake Theut (NH Jr. Monarchs) played the first period in goal, and Alec Dirks (Philadelphia Little Flyers) the second for the EHL Stars.