World U17: Team Pacific vs Team Russia – Game Story

Photo JC Pinheiro, Hockey Canada Images

Pacific vs Russia Dec 29 2012

There’s no other way to put it. This was an absolutely wild game. Russia opened up a 2-0 lead over the first half of the first period. Connor Bleackley was able to score twice in the second half to tie the game 2-2 but Russia absolutely dominated the first period. They out shot Pacific 18-5 and controlled the play.[sociallocker]
In the second period the momentum shifted drastically in favour of Team Pacific. Reid Duke banged home a loose puck early to give Pacific a 3-2 lead. Nikita Yazkov scored minutes later to tie the game but Pacific would bury 3 consecutive goals which included an excellent move by Jake Virtanen to split the D and give Pacific a 3 goal lead. A late goal by Maxim Lazarev cut the Pacific lead to 6-4.
Just 39 seconds into the third period Tanner MacMaster showed off his excellent hands working his way through Defenders to regain their 3 goal lead. It appeared this goal woke up Russia in a hurry because they would go on to control most of the play the rest of the period. Radel Fazleyev cycled the puck well then moved into perfect positioning to finish trimming Pacific’s lead to 7-5. Just after the midway point of the third period Russia went back onto the power play where Ivan Nikolishin unleashed a shot from the point making it 7-6. Eduard Nasybullin unleashed a shot which found its way through heavy traffic to complete the comeback with just 2:02 left in the game.
Pacific entered overtime on the power play thanks to a tripping penalty by Yegor Orlov. Joseph Hicketts made no mistake 59 seconds in off a great set up by Brycin Martin to give Pacific a wind 8-7 overtime victory. 3 stars of the game.
#5 – Brycin Martin – Team Pacific
Martin was an absolute catalyst for Team Pacific in both the offensive and defensive aspect of the game. Martin showed great physicality along the boards and won battles in his own zone. He contributed on the power play showing intelligent decision making with limited time and options and impressed us under pressure. Evidence of this is on the score sheet where Martin racked up four assists in tonight’s game.

#12 – Nikita Lyamkin – Team Russia
Lyamkin was a huge part of Team Russia tonight and was important for them at both ends of the ice. He makes very intelligent decisions with the puck. He is very smart, reads plays very well and has excellent decision making ability. He is a reliable puck distributor in all three zones, has a powerful shot.#10 – Conner Bleackley – Team Pacific
Bleackley was the best forward on the ice for Team Pacific hands down. He played a big offensive role for the team and by scoring both of their first two goals, really got them rolling in the right direction after going down early. He has a powerful shot and shows good elusiveness despite having a pretty strong frame. It almost seems as if the puck follows him around the ice. Bleackley appears primed to have a very good tournament.