KLUB HOKEJA NA LEDUMEDVEŠČAKZAGREB
ICE HOCKEY CLUB
»The boys were awarded for their serious approach to the game. We kind of lacked something in the first few games, we did not perform the same all 60 minutes, but today we won because we stuck to what we agreed for the entire game, and when this is so, we can beat anyone in this league«, commented the Medveščak's coach, Connor Cameron.
All things come to one who is patient! This is a good way to comment the first Medveščak's home win this season. The opponent? Very inconvenient: Graz team that in The Ice Hall won 10 out of total of 14 games so far. And when we look at the statistics of the first period, it seemed that the away team would return home with the complete pray from Zagreb one more time.
The Bears had a brilliant start. In 26th second of the game Pöyhönen scored the lead. But instead to take advantage of the early goal and finish the groggy opponent, the Bears withdrew and tried to keep their lead. The Grazers took initiative and went for equalizer. The Bears' defense resisted until the end of the first period, when the away team crowned their better play with the goal by Nixon. The first period ended with 1:1, and the Bears can thank to their young goalie Vilim Rosandić that they went to the break with a tie.
»Vili was great. It was his first time today to play the whole game at the goal. We indeed knew all about his qualities from trainings. We brought Drew MacIntyre as an experienced and quality goalkeeper, but Vili, after this play, definitely has right to keep his place at the goal«, the coach Cameron praised the young goalkeeper, and added, »He might be a surprise for our fans, but for us who follow his efforts, from the training camp to this day, there is generally no surprise. He is a young but promising player.«
In the second period the Bears twitched, started to play with more offense towards the opponents' goal, and the result of this was the goal by Morley in 5th minute into the second period. But the persistent guests didn't give up. One minute and 12 seconds before the end of the second period they equalized again, with another goal by Nixon, this time in a very lucky and clever way. Interestingly, Nixon never scored a single goal before, but in The Ice Hall he was Graz's double shooter. With this equalizer he brought more suspense to the game.
Everyone expected tough and uncertain last period, but then the experienced Czech Tomaš Netik started to operate. Czech technique, Czech playfulness, Czech knowledge and experience were crucial at the game ends.
»Tomaš was brought as a shooter in the first place, he plays well in every game, and as a passer he often creates chances for his teammates. For the shooter's self-confidence it is very important to score the first goal; this is exactly what happened to him and we can expect him to perform even better in the rest of the season«, Cameron commented the performance of the experienced 35-year-old Czech player.
With two goals in the last period (45' and 56'), Netik greatly contributed to the Medveščak's win, and between his two goals diligent and responsible Sašo Rajsar also scored in 53th minute into the game, for the Bears' 5th win in their 15th home duel with the solid Styrian team. With this win, the Bears are equal with them and Red Bull Salzburg and they all share the 6th place of the standings. All three teams have 6 points from 5 rounds.
Excellent defense, inspired Rosandić at the goal and efficient attackers decided Grazer's fate. Already on Sunday Medveščak plays away in Znojmo. What are expectations of the coach Cameron?
»This could be hard, but we are full of self-confidence after this win, and on Sunday we shall go for another triumph«, Cameron was also full of self-confidence.
The Bears play their next game in Czechia, in Znojmo, on Sunday at 17:30.
Medveščak- Moser Medical Graz 99 5:2 ( 1:1, 1:1, 3:0)
EBEL, The Ice Hall, 4567 viewers
Referees: Trilar, Bulovec, Žgonc, Pagon
00: 26 1:0 Poyhonen (Netik, Koskoiranta)
15:49 1:1 Nixon (Setzinger, Mc Lean)
24:32 2:1 Morley (Balej, Tikkanen)
38: 48 2:2 Nixon (Mc Lean, Setzinger)
44:23 3:2 Netik (Puskarich, Kudelka)
52: 58 4:2 Rajsar (Perkovich, Poyhonen)
56:00 5:2 Netik (Koskiranta, Poyhonen)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 33 - 39
PENALTIES: 8 min - 10 min
Medveščak: Rosandić, Nikolić, Tikkanen, Poyhonen, Koskiranta, Netik, Puskarich, Boivin, Kudelka, Morley, Olden, Balej, Privitera, Deutsch, Janković, Aviani, Zanoški, Šimšič, Čepon, Perkovich, Brine, Rajsar
Graz: Honeckl, Toivonen, Carlsson, Iberer, Woger, Brophey, Oberkopfler, Weihager, Strohmeier, Nixon, McLean, Setzinger, Unterweger, Laakso, Zusevics, Higgs, Buzzeo, Soritz, Petrovicz, Natter, Ograjenšek, Pirmann
Photo: MDVPRess/I.Soban, Pixsell