The game didn't start off very well for the Bears when already after a minute 22 played they had to defend themselves against powerplay when Sylvestre was called for hooking. This became 5on3 when Manavian was called for the same thing. Defence and Rosandić, however, stepped up and kept the game tied at 0 early.
Then with 5:43 played it was the Bears who got the man advantage. This was about to become 5on3 for the Bears as well.
But then with 6:20 played, Sondre Olden opened the scoring with an assist from Greg Mauldin and Jordan Samuels-Thomas.
The Bears scored on the delayed penalty during powerplay which meant they still got to play 2-minute man advantage as Maxa was called for high-sticking, just as Sharp earlier.
This was not converted into a goal but allowed the home team to put pressure on visitors from Villach.
With 9:43 left in the period, Wohlfahrt Benedikt was called for hooking and gave the Bears another powerplay. While they generated chances, it didn't result in a goal. But it allowed the pressure and not even 30 seconds into even strength, Philipp Wohlfahrt went to the box for tripping.
The Bears used this very quickly. Quick passing and tempo meant that Mike Aviani added the second for the Bears, assisted by Bjorn Svensson and Jordan Samuels-Thomas.
But the Bears couldn't celebrate for too long when Fraser scored with 5:53 left in the period. His goal was assisted by Brunner and Sharp.
The visitors started to build the pressure after their goal trying to equalise.
This soon shifted and Medveščak was the more dominant team again. The result of this was another powerplay for the Bears when Fraser with 2:39 was sent to the penalty box for tripping. The away team defended well, and we went into the break with a score at 2:1.
Early in the second period, the score could've been 3:1 but puck only hit the post.
Both sides had chances and kept trying to score to get the next goal and tilt the game in their favour.
But it was the Bears who got the goal. Sebastién Sylvestre scored after an assist from Sondre Olden on a nice goal. The goalscorer had this to say after the match: “We came out strong today and that is the most important thing. We are happy about how we responded and are looking forward to the game tomorrow.”
The play calmed down a bit after that goal.
With 9:57 played in the second period, Tomáš Kudelka shot a puck at the net from the blue line and it got behind Bakala giving the Bears a three-goal lead. The happiness was clearly visible on his face as it was the first of the season and even after the match when he said: "I am really happy we won. That is the most important. We need to play smarter. We are 4:1 up and give the other team chances by taking penalties. That is not good. It can end badly for us in other game. We have three points and it is a nice feeling to win at home.”
The Bears didn’t let their foot off the gas and kept creating the chances.
But that was stopped when Deutsch had to go to the penalty box for hooking with 5:15 left in the period. Soon after Manavian went to the box too for cross-checking and the Bears were 2 men down and also Mauldin had to be helped off the ice and bench with an injury.
The players rallied and defended this powerplay from Villach well. The Bears even had a big chance when Bakala made a miraculous save with his glove to keep the score at 4:1.
This didn’t change going into the third which started in a calmer tempo too.
After just 2:24 the Bears got a power play chance but didn't take it despite having a good chance at the end of it.
Both teams tried to be cautious and not take penalties or give up an easy goal for the opponent.
With 28 seconds after the ten-minute mark, Brunner was called for tripping giving the Bears another power play. However, it was not converted. But with the pressure the home team created not even a minute after the end of the first power play, Alderson gave the Bears another powerplay with hooking.
Rosandić had to make a big save during the power play as Villach got a good chance on their power kill.
With 5:46 left to the end of the third period. The Bears had 6 men on the ice and had to take the penalty for that.
This meant the Bears lost their power play and Villach got a 53-second power play of their own later. The Bears defended that well and the score remained the same.
That was true until 2:05 left in the game when Nikolaj Lemtyugov scored after an assist from John Armstrong, making the score 5:1.
This didn’t change, and the Bears got a big 5:1 win over Villach, prolonging the visitors' streak of not winning away this year.
Assistant coach Douglas Bradley had this to say after the game: “The big things tonight were that we managed the puck better in the neutral zone, played a solid 60 minutes. Didn’t give up a lot of odd-man rushes, and our special teams came up big and PK early especially on the 5on3, power play contributing to a couple of big goals. I think we got a superb goaltending from Vili, some really key saves at key moments of the game.”
KHL MEDVEŠČAK ZAGREB : EC PANACEO VSV 5:1 (2:1, 2:0, 1:0)
1:0 06:20 MZA Olden S. (Mauldin G., Samuels-Thomas J./PP
2:0 12:51 MZA Aviani M. (Svensson B., Samuels-Thomas J./PP)
2:1 14:07 VSV Fraser J. (Brunner N., Sharp M./EQ)
3:1 25:11 MZA Sylvestre S. (Olden S./EQ
4:1 29:57 MZA Kudelka T. (Lemtyugov N., Olden S./EQ)
5:1 57:55 MZA Lemtyugov N. (Armstrong J./EQ)
Penalty minutes: 10:16
Rosandić (Lisutin); Sauve, Manavian, Olden, Sylvestre, Lemtyugov; Robar, Deutsch, Samuels-Thomas, Mauldin, Armstrong; Kudelka, Puzić, Svensson, Aviani, Zanoški; Simšič, Brine, Fičur
Bakala (Schluderbacher); Fraser, Pelech, Pollastrone, Sharp, Brunner; Bacher DeSantis, Alderson, Trivino, Petrik; Wolf, Schlacher, Lanzinger, Maxa, Lahoda; Winkler, Wohlfahrt, Wohlfahrt, Judth
Photo: Igor Šoban/Pixsell