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.