Young Hussars keep learning how to win together

Minsk 3, Dublin 2 – The Minsk Hussars continue to climb the standings in the EURO League and it seems they can do no wrong lately, so when Jakub Voracek tied the hit-filled game in the third period, Dublin fans knew their team was in trouble. The Irish, despite being outshot 13-7 in the third period, made it into overtime and got a point in the standings. Phew. But just 20 seconds into overtime, and on the first shot of the extra period, it was over and Minsk had claimed the additional point. Nicklas Backstrom set up Milan Lucic for the winning goal, which was the big Canadian’s second of the game and 29th of the season. With 22 games to play, Minsk is 8th overall in the league and fifth in the competitive Northern Conference, just 4 points from second-place Belfast. Carey Price is a big reason the Hussars win, but the team is much more than a hot goalie. They are well-rounded with bangers, speedsters, snipers and finesse players.  And the scary part is that they are young. All 12 forwards are between 23 and 27 years old, the 6 defensemen are 20-27 and Price and his backup are both 27.

Edinburgh 5, St. Petersburg 0 – In just 10 minutes of ice time, Andrei Kostitsyn scored three goals for Edinburgh and goalie Kari Lehtonen earned a 23-save shutout before a thrilled crowd of 14,674 in Edinburgh. Newly-acquired Fyodor Tyutin teamed with Adam Larsson to be plus 3 for the game. Tyutin scored a goal and had an assist, and Larsson had a 3-assist game. The Capitals have won 11 of their last 14 games and are currently on a 4-game win streak. They are a point better than Minsk with a couple games in hand over the Hussars. Rick Nash has 4 points in the 2 games he has played in an Edinburgh sweater since his trade from Madrid.

Bern 6, Frankfurt 4 – If Frankfurt coach Peter Laviolette and GM Bryan Camara didn’t pull out every hair in their heads Tuesday … well, they must have. After Frankfurt’s Magnus Paajarvi opened the scoring and Chris Higgins and Claude Giroux added powerplay goals, Steven Stamkos pulled off a magical shorthanded effort to score and give the Inferno a 4-3 lead heading into the third period. When that period started, the unthinkably unimaginable started happening. Laviolette’s boys outshot the Bern Bears 12-3 in that period. But somehow, Bern scored on all three of the shots they took and the Inferno couldn’t coax a single puck past Cam Talbot in the Bern goal. Tobias Enstrom scored a shorthanded goal on Bern’s first shot of the period and that tied it at 4-4 with 16:05 to play. Then the line of Johan Franzen, Mika Zibanejad and Shane Doan connected twice in the last 10 minutes and Bern stayed in 5th place and Frankfurt in 9th place in Southern Conference. In his first game taking the place of traded Max Pacioretty on a line with Stamkos and Claude Giroux, Alex Steen was held scoreless, was a minus 1 and he took a penalty. Not the start he had hoped for. But his linemates each had a goal and an assist against the Bears.

Belfast 4, Moscow 1 – Jonathan Quick was the best player on the ice as two of the league’s best teams tangled in Belfast. Moscow outshot the Giants 40-29, but Quick stopped the first 32 Spartak shots while his teammates were building a 3-0 lead. Sidney Crosby had a goal and an assist and was the only player in the game to score more than 1 point. Moscow’s Dustin Brown, who scored the only goal on Quick halfway through the third period, led everyone in shots with 6, and Spartak defenseman recorded a game-high 7 hits. Moscow is now in third place overall and 4 points behind them are the 5th-place Giants.

Zurich 3, Milan 1 – There were a lot of shots taken in Zurich Tuesday and a lot of goalie saves. Zurich outshot Milan 43-30 and won 3-1. Alex Stalock stopped 40 Lions shots and Roberto Lungo made 29 saves for the winners, almost getting a shutout. Milan’s Peter Mueller tallied with just 23 seconds left to ruin it for Luongo. Zurich got its goals from Tomas Tatar, his 9th of the season, and Patrice Bergeron, who scored his 23rd shorthanded and his 24th on a powerplay.

Bratislava 4, Geneva 3 – David Desharnais scored for Geneva in the final minute of regulation to tie the game and send it to overtime, but in the fourth round of the shootout, Tyler Myers beat Fredrik Andersen to win it for the 7th-place Eagles. The Generals were actually a little lucky to get a point out the game as Bratislava outshot them 47-15. Jonathan Toews continued his hot play for the Eagles, firing 9 shots on Andersen and scoring once while his team was penalty killing.

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