The Moncton Wildcats couldn’t stop the self-dubbed Euro Line, but they did stop the Halifax Mooseheads.
The Wildcats got past the Mooseheads 6-4 Sunday at the Metro Centre, halting the Herd’s first winning streak of the QMJHL season at a modest two games.
But the Mooseheads still come away from the weekend comforted by the phenomenal play of their newly-assembled top line, which features Czechs Jan Stransky and Tomas Knotek and Moscow-born, U.S.-raised Yuri Cheremetiev.
The trio lit it up on the weekend, combining for eight goals and seven assists, not to mention 27 shots. The crowd buzzed with excitement every time they hit the ice.
“You can definitely call us the Euro Line — the guys are already calling us that,” said Cheremetiev, after Halifax’s 6-2 win over the Bathurst Titan on Saturday night.
“We showed a lot of chemistry. All three guys are creative and we want to make the pass and make each other look good.”
Stransky, acquired in a December trade from the Gatineau Olympiques, was coming off a four-game, 14-day suspension, and piled up four goals and two assists. He has seven goals and four assists in five games with Halifax.
The former Czech under-20 scoring champion showcased a bullet of a shot with a hair-trigger release.
“He wasn’t playing as much as he wanted to (in Gatineau) but here he’s playing everywhere, everything,” said Knotek. “He’s a sniper. If we pass to him, he can score the goals.”
Because the Canadian Hockey League doesn’t permit more than two imports per team, the unit is as close to all-European as you’ll find. They scored all four goals yesterday.
Knotek tied the game 3-3 just 46 seconds into the third period, but Moncton exploded for three unanswered goals — including two from Stewiacke’s Zach Sill — to get the win.
“We battled hard but some stupid plays led to the goals,” the 18-year-old Knotek said. “It’s too bad for us.”
Mark Yetman started both games and stopped 55 of 64 shots. Justin Pender (knee) and Jessyko Bernard (groin) were notably absent from the Mooseheads’ lineup.
The Mooseheads (13-28-2-2) return to action on Wednesday at 7 p.m. on the road against the Wildcats.