That was a close one. The Northern Conference won the EURO All-Star Game for the sixth time in seven seasons, but only by a goal, 11-10.
The smiley, cooperative, practice feel of the game gave way to a pretty competitive contest by the end, as the South put together a third-period rally, led by hometown hero John Tavares of Lisbon HC. Tavares scored a goal and had two assists in the third period, and two more assists before that, to finish the game with 5 points and MVP honors. He was presented the keys to a German-made 2017 Mercedes-AMG GT.
The North led 9-5 after two periods, with Lisbon goalie Kari Ramo letting in five in the second period. The Northern Conference’s second line of Nathan MacKinnon (Belfast), Mats Zuccarello and Adam Henrique (both of Stockholm) did the most damage for the winning side, accounting for four goals.
The most “oohs” of the night came on a play by the Northern Conference early in the game when Copenhagen’s Devin Setoguchi threw a behind-the-back pass to Oslo’s Tyler Seguin who in turn passed back through his legs to Outlaw teammate Shayne Gostisbehere and the rookie blasted a slapshot from the point off the crossbar and down into the South’s net. Two other goals of note were a Southern Conference goal in the second period and a Northern Conference goal in the third period. Both featured two assists by the goal scorer’s teammates. Joffrey Lupul fired in a wrist shot after taking passes from his Paris Rouge Eiffels teammates Evgeny Malkin and Alex Pietrangelo; and a Minsk Hussar trio figured into the third-period goal: Maxim Chudinov from Michael Del Zotto and Milan Lucic, who was last year’s All-Star game MVP. Chudinov’s goal made it 11-8 and held up as the game-winner.
This game featured a stange incident. League officials forgot to name coaches for the game, so they drew names in a raffle and called on two fans to come down and be honorary coaches at the last minute. Isabela Correia Cavalcanti, a 41-year-old benefits administrator from Brandoa, just outside of Lisbon, coached the Northern Conference; while the Southern Conference team with five Lisbon players was coached by Beatrice Alves Cunha, 67, a retired health care executive from Santo, which is up the Atlantic Coast near the city of Porto.
Goals by Period
Northern: 4-5-2 – 11
Southern: 2-3-5 – 10
North: Eberle 1 (Vrana (1), Backstrom (1))
North: Gostisbehere 1 (Seguin (1), Setoguchi (1))
South: Couture 1 (Moulson (1))
South: Martensson 1 (Tavares (1), Edler (1))
North: Zuccarello 1 (MacKinnon (1))
North: MacKinnon 1 (Zuccarello (1))
Goalies: Quick, North, 2 GA; Hammond, South, 4 GA
North: Leddy 1 (Eberle (1), Vrana (2))
North: Crosby 1 (Bozak (1), Setoguchi (2))
South: Ennis 1 (Toews (1), Martensson (1))
South: Doughty 1 (Tavares (2), Letand (1))
North: Lucic 1 (Del Zotto (1))
South: Lupul 1 (Malkin (1), Pietrangelo (1))
North: MacKinnon 2 (Zuccarello (2))
North: Lucic 2 (Duchene (1))
Goalies: Price, North, 3 GA; Ramo, South, 5 GA
South: Tavares 1 (Stamkos (1))
South: Edler 1 (Ennis (1), Tavares (3))
South: Moulson 1 (Couture (1))
North: Henrique 1 (MacKinnon (2), Zuccarello (3))
North: Chudinov 1 (Del Zotto (2), Lucic (1))
South: Karlsson 1 (Tavares (4))
South: Pietrangelo 1 (Toews(2), Galchenyuk (1))
Goalies: Holtby, North, 5 GA; Fleury, South, 2 GA
1 – John Tavares, Lisbon, South (1 goal, 4 assists) Game MVP
2 – Mats Zuccarello, Stockholm, North (1 goal, 3 assists)
3 – Nathan MacKinnon, Belfast, North (2 goals, 2 assists)