Belarus Men's Team put on a great show in their first game of the 4 Nations Cup that began Friday in Biel, Switzerland. 1234 spectators saw Dave Lewis' guys "more then persuasively" defeat Slovakia with a final score of 7:1.
Despite conceding an awkward goal early in the 1st after an off-the-bench rush by Andrej Kudrna rewarded with a lucky end board rebound, Belarusians managed to regain control of the game and tied it 7 minutes later on a smart wrister by captain Vladimir Denisov from Artyom Volkov's feed right after the face-off.
First half of the 2nd period was Belarusian time to shine: Stanislav Lopachuk tallied his #1 of the game as a result of a controlled break-out/break-in effort and Mikhail Stefanovich put Belarus up in two capitalizing on solid forecheck actions. Maxim Parfeyevets helped the team stand their ground at 37:15 of the game with another three-men cross-ice beauty that made the score 4:1.
Dmitri Ambrozheichik buried it for a 5:1 lead at 2:54 of the 3rd period and the game was almost done. Shortly after a dirty hit on Artyom Demkov at 52:45 Belarusians scored their only PP goal (which became #2 for Stefanovich) while Lopachuk's second of the night put a cherry on top of it.
Mikhail Karnaukhov stopped 30 shots and would have been named Best Player of the Game, had it not been for 2 assists by the full-caged Artur Gavrus' who had caught a puck with his nose during Thursday evening practice but took to the ice anyway and was duely awarded by the organizers. Yet another notable player of the night was Pavel Razvadovski (3 assists).
Photos: Lubos Schwarzbacher