DROZD’S RECORD-SETTING PERFORMANCE LEADS BELARUS TO SEMIFINALS
CAMROSE, AB – All it took was three minutes and 46 seconds for Siarhei Drozd to earn himself a spot in the World Junior A Challenge record book.
Drozd recorded a natural hat trick in just 3:46 – all of them on the powerplay – to turn a 4-3 game into a 7-3 rout as Belarus earned a spot in Saturday’s semifinals with a 7-5 win over Germany on Thursday night in quarter-final action at the Edgeworth Centre.
It was the fastest hat trick in WJAC history, and a record for the most powerplay goals in one game. Belarus’ Player of the Game also set tournament records for goals in one tournament (seven) and powerplay goals in one tournament (5).
All of it means that Belarus is guaranteed to play for a medal for the first time in tournament history, and has a chance to repeat its opening-day upset when it faces Canada West in Saturday’s late semifinal (8 p.m. MST).
The Belarussians stunned the two-time defending gold medalists last Sunday, winning 4-3 in a shootout.
The first period of Thursday’s game was a wild, back-and-forth affair, with both teams holding leads at one point, although it was Belarus who went to the dressing room with a 4-2 lead on a pair of goals from Ihar Varashylau and singles from Pavel Dashkou and Dzmitry Korabau.
Steven Rupprich – Germany’s Player of the Game – added his second goal of the game just shy of the eight-minute mark of the period to draw the Germans to within a goal, tapping a rebound past goaltender Vitali Bialinski after a goal-mouth scramble.
With Germany building momentum in the third period, Andreas Gawlik picked up a major penalty for checking from behind and a game misconduct, giving Drozd and the Belarussians a chance to go to work on the powerplay.
Drozd scored goals at 10:21, just seven seconds after the penalty, 12:20 and 14:07 to give Belarus a little insurance and a four-goal lead.
The extra cushion would come in handy late, as the Germans scored twice in the final 3:29 to cut the lead in half and make the final score a little more respectable.
The loss means Germany will face Russia in Saturday’s fifth-place game (12 p.m. MST). It marks the third consecutive year the Germans will play for fifth.
Drozd added an assist to his hat trick for a four-point night, while Korabau had a goal and two helpers.
|Arena||Edgeworth Centre||City, Country||Camrose, Alta.|
|Month / Day / Year||11/06/2008||Time||08:00 PM MT|
|Belarus||1 Vital Bialinski||On 1/00:00||Off 3/20:00|
|Germany||1 Markus Keller||On 1/00:00||Off 3/18:57|
|Shots on Goal||1||2||3||Total|
|Player of the Game|
|Belarus||15 Siarhei Drozd|
|Germany||22 Steven Rupprich|