“We’re optimistic, we won a lot of games at home and in these two losses we were always in the game, we played well. Each time you’re in a position to grab some points against a team like Dynamo you know you’re doing something right. We have to keep our work ethic and going after wins,” said Mark Katic of tomorrow’s game in the Vityaz Ice Palace in Podolsk, adding :” We want to return to our fans with a win!”
It will be the third away game for the Bears this season and the last of this streak. The Bears are hoping that third time will indeed be the charm, as they are yet to earn points on the other teams’ ice. The game against Vityaz starts at 6:30 PM CEST.
The team leady by Oleg Orehovsky is one of the only two teams who have competed in the KHL since it was founded and still hadn’t managed to make a playoff appearance. They’ve earned 10 points so far this season, placing them just below the Bears on the table.
Slight changes in their D and the attack during the off-season have yet to generate significant output. Most efficient players so far have been Georgy Berdyukov, a D-man who right now has a goal and four assists while during the entire last season he collected only 14 points, and Dmitry Shitikov who shares the top of the scoreboard with Jury Kokshov and Maxim Afinogeny with three goals a piece.
Vityaz started their season with four games on home ice where they got seven points - three wins (regulation, overtime and shootout) and a rather catastrophic loss (1:5) against Sibir. Two road games followed, a big and tight win against Dynamo Moscow and a minimum loss last Sunday to Torpedo. That was also the first game of the season they remained scoreless.
The Bears met the Knights six times so far in the KHL and the Knights hold a slight point advantage. With three wins in regulation time they have nine points, and one more from an overtime loss in Podolsk earlier this year. Last season saw four meetings of this two teams and Cal Heeter stood between the pipes for the Bears in both wins the team has.
The most efficient player against Podolsk team in Zagreb line-up is the captain himself. Mike Glumac has recorded three goals in Vityaz net and his counterpart on the other end of the ice, Vyacheslav Soloduhin has two gaols and two assists putting him right behind Alexander Kucheryavenko who owns five points against Zagreb (3+2).
Undoubtedly, the Bears are facing another big test and another hard game, but the recipe for success exists:
„Against Dynamo we came a little flat in the first and they got a couple on us, but then in the second and third we played really well and gave ourselves a chance to win. Hopefully tomorrow we can come just as hard and get a win on the road. We'll make adjustments, but at the end of the day, we've got to play our game, stay true to our identity and everything will work out for the best,“ concluded Katic.