Playing in its first game since arriving in North America, the Kazakhstan U20 team, who is preparing to compete in the 2019 IIHF World Junior Championship, beat the University of Victoria 6-2 to open the College Hockey Showcase Tuesday at the Langley Events Centre.
Kazakhstan’s Artur Gatiyatov, Samat Daniyar, Davyd Makutskiy, Oleg Boiko, Sayan Daniyar and Aidos Zhorabek scored to lead the World Junior-bound side, while Otis Goldman and Landon Matechuk scored for the Vikes.
Samat Daniyar also had two assists as he was named the 1st Star of the Game. Sayan Daniyar was the 2nd Star and the Vikes Goldman, who also had an assist, was the 3rd Star.
Demid Yeremeyev made 18 saves for the win, while the Vikes Zack Wear started the game, stopping 23 of the 25 shots he faced, before giving way to Michael Fredrick, who made 15 saves on 19 shots.
Kazakhstan outshot the fives 44-20.
Training out of the LEC as part of its preparation for the IIHF World Junior Championship, the Kazakhs impressed in the first of three games as part of the College Hockey Showcase. Kazakhstan will also play Trinity Western University (Dec. 13) and a BCIHL “Young Stars” team (Dec. 17) at the LEC.
After a flurry of offensive pressure, Kazahkstan’s Gatiyatov opened the scoring early in the first period, snapping a wrister past Victoria’s Wear at 3:51 of the game to set the stage for a period largely dominated by Kazakhstan.
On their first power play of the night, the Kazahks went ahead 2-0, with Samat Daniyar hammering home a one-timer from the point that beat a screened Wear.
A feisty first period saw the teams combine for 23 penalty minutes, including a five-minute major and a game misconduct assessed to Kazakhstan’s Yevgeniy Shinkaretskiy.
Kazakhstan went up 3-0 late in the second period when Makutskiy took a centering pass from Sayan Daniyar and, from just outside the crease, chipped it past Fredrick, who only entered the game moments before.
Goldman closed the gap to 3-1 at 5:07 of the third period, when he capitalized on a turnover at the Kazakh blueline and broke in alone on Yeremeyev, deking to the right side and tucking the puck home.
However, Kazahkstan responded with three goals in the last six minutes of the game, while Victoria’s Matechuk also scored inside the last two minutes.
Kazakhstan will now prepare to play the defending BCIHL champion and league leading Trinity Western Thursday back at the Langley Events Centre at 7 p.m. (PT). The game will be streamed live online at www.hockeytv.com.