The teams with Eesti and Lietuva on their jerseys appear on
the ice. The derby Estonia - Lithuania is scheduled first on this
wednesday. Although the NHL-experienced (from 1996-97 active for
the Philadelphia Flyers, Montreal Canadiens and most recently
Washington Capitols) Lithuanian Dainius Zubrus told he did not
believe in a derby atmosphere it could be sensed by watching the
teams and supporters. A pity only few fans from the Baltic were
present, although there was a hardcore Lithuanian fan group celebrating
their countrymen. Team Lithuania started fiercely and got a well
deserved goal for 1-0 after 5.41. Egidijus Bauba passed to the
undefended Darius Lelenas, who put the puck top shelf on the right.
After a minute or six the first save by Lithuanian goaltender
Arunas Aleinikovas. After ten minutes of play Estonia is really
starting to take off. But a puck bounces off the skates of Lauri
Lahesalu past the goal. After Dainius Zubrus's blast tormented
the plexiglass Estonian defenseman Kirill Kolpakov's slapshot
from the blueline forced Aleinikovas to show a great legguard
save. Then a break by team Estonia. Lauri Lahesalu and Mikhail
Kozlov sent away Maksim Ivanov on the left wing. Maksim shoots
and the puck trickles through the five hole into the net, 1-1
after 13.51. With Lithuanian Dainius Bauba out for elbowing Mikhail
Kozlov and Eduard Valeullin create a two on zero opportunity.
But Eduard misses the net. But seconds later at 15.11 Eduard Valeullin
does score 1-2. The final minutes of the period belong to Lithuania.
But Dainius Bauba misses an open net and Estonian goalie Aleksei
Terentjev stops a dangerous shot by Dainius Zubrus. And the period
Then a good heads up play by Estonian Andrei Makrov. With the goaltender a bit out of position he cruises behind the net. At the last possible moment he makes a short cut for the near corner and beats the ashtonished goalie, 1-3 at 21.14. With Estonia well in control of the match first Rainer Palu and then Aleksei Sustov were ordered to the penalty box. In his own end Lauri Lahesalu mishandles the puck and puts it on the stick of Dainius Bauba, who scores 2-3 at 27.27. But the Estonians went on. A slapshot by Kaupo Kaljuste was gloved by Aleinikovas. On a sharp shot by Lauri Lahesalu Aleinikovas gave a rebound. With his backhand Mikhail Kozlov scored a powerplay marker for 2-4 at 35.17. In the final minutes of the second period Lithuania takes control over the match. A fantastic glove save is shown by Estonian goalie Aleksei Terentjev on a Dainius Zubrus blast. A slapshot form the blueline by Darius Lelenas almost breaks the plexiglass. Then Mikhail Kozlov is sent to the penalty box for interference. And Dainius Zubrus says: Thank you. From the right he scores 3-4 at 39.17. A solo by Darius Pliskauskas is effectively countered by good positioning and a ready glove by Terentjev.
In the final stanza Darius Pliskauskas does it better by scoring solo 4-4 after 41.25. Kristjan Valk did got get past Aleinikovas. At the other end Darius Pliskauskas almost landed a shorthander. With Vassili Titarenko out for tripping Lithuania heavily attacks the Estonian cage. Andrius Kaminskas shot is stopped by the legguard of Terentjev. And also Aleksei has an answer on shots by Erikas Steponaitis and Darius Lelenas. With under three minutes to go Lithuanian Arturas Katulis is sentenced for slashing. The Estonian coach Youri Tsepilov takes a time out. But further than a half chance by Dmitri Raskidajev and some poking by Andrei Makrov Estonia does not get. And Lithuania celebrates the draw as a great succes.
The IIHF Directorate chose Dainius Zubrus and Eduard Valeullin as MVP of their team.