Buzzing The Net - Junior Hockey

The Russian defence thought they saw a ghost, but actually, it was just Boo.

Anyone needing to back up the statement that it's regrettable the Memorial of Ivan Hlinka under-18 tournament doesn't get more North American media coverage only needs to see the goal Team USA centre Cristoval "Boo" Nieves scored against Russia on Tuesday. In a tie game late in the third period, Nieves somehow split the defence whilst simultaneously dragging the puck, then found enough space to tuck home a backhand for the goal of the tournament. It helped the U.S. eventually win 5-4 in overtime.

(The play begins developing around the 20-second mark in the clip below.)

Please bear in mind that Nieves, 17, is 6-foot-3 and 190 pounds. The Baldwinsville, N.Y., native, who's committed to the University of Michigan, showed dexterity and body control befitting a much more compactly built player as he knifed through the Russian defence pair. Talk about a way for a player to whip up some scouting buzz as he enters his draft season.

By the way, as Ryan Kennedy detailed in late 2009 when Nieves first burst on the scene, his away-from-hockey pastime is drumming. If it turns out there's a correlation between pounding the skins and developing the fast-twitch muscles that help hockey players make deft moves at high speed, there's going to be a lot of hockey parents buying drum sets. Maybe Nieves can get an aspirin commercial out of it someday.

Neate Sager is a writer for Yahoo! Canada Sports . Contact him at and follow him on Twitter @neatebuzzthenet.

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