They’re already calling it the Euro Line, and it worked like a charm for the Halifax Mooseheads on Saturday night.
Czechs Jan Stransky and Tomas Knotek and Moscow-born, U.S.-raised Yuri Cheremetiev lit up the Bathurst Titan at the Metro Centre, combining for four goals and three assists in a 6-2 win.
The trio was all over the ice, piling up 19 of the team’s season-high 46 shots against one of the youngest teams in the league. Cheremetiev had two goals as part of a three-point night; Stransky also netted a pair; and Knotek chipped in with two helpers.
“You can definitely call us the Euro Line --- the guys are already calling us that,” said Cheremetiev, who grew up in Stoughton, Mass., but was trained by players from Russia’s Red Army hockey power.
“European-style hockey’s more creative than crash-and-bang. We passed the puck well and that led to a lot of goals.”
They were Halifax’s first back-to-back wins of the season --- 44 games in --- and marked a successful general managing debut for head coach Cam Russell, who replaced Marcel Patenaude on Wednesday.
Stransky, acquired in a December trade from the Gatineau Olympiques, was coming off a four-game, 14-day suspension. He finished with an eye-popping nine shots and was dangerous all night, and now has five goals and two assists in four games with the Herd.
Stransky, Cheremetiev and Knotek were the three stars, in that order.
“It’s a very good line,” the 18-year-old Stransky remarked. “We pass a lot. We play European hockey. I think it’s a great line and if we play next game like we did tonight, it will be good.”
It’s the closest thing to a “Euro Line” as you’ll find in the Canadian Hockey League because teams are not permitted to have more than two Europeans. Since Cheremetiev grew up in the U.S., he doesn’t count.
“We showed a lot of chemistry,” said the 19-year-old Cheremetiev. “It was fun to be out there with those guys. All three guys are creative. We want to make the pass and make each other look good.”
The line will be put to the test Sunday at 4 p.m. at the Metro Centre against the much more powerful Moncton Wildcats.
Gerrad Grant and Linden Bahm had the non-Euro Line goals for Halifax, while goalie Mark Yetman made 33 saves.
Justin Pender (knee) and Jessyko Bernard (groin) were scratched.
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