In the second and last game of the season against Metallurg Magnitogorsk, the Bears were playing in the Arena Metallurg and after a huge battle and a shocking ending they managed to earn their first ever point in Magnitogorsk. Patrick Bjorkstrand scored Medvescak’s first, historical goal in Magnitogorsk and he assisted for the second one, scored by Gilbert Brule. The hosts took the extra point, courtesy of their captain Sergei Mozyakin’s second of the game.
Magnitka came out hard, fast and determined, taking control of their home ice almost immediately and pushing the Bears into their end of the ice. Occasional offensive flashes, mostly by the end of the period threatened Vasili Koshechkin, while Gasper Kroselj had his hands full most of the period. At the end of the first, Krošelj had 19 saves, while his team shot only 6 timed towards Magnitka’s goal.
“We allowed them a lot of shots, but they mostly came from the outside. In the second we played a lot better and got back into the game,” said Thomas Larkin, Bears defenseman.
The Bears started the second on the right skate, with a chance for Brule who lacked a bit of precision and the scoreboard stood unchanged. The hosts fought back, but the guests score first. Bjorkstrand, left alone in the left circle, picks up the pass from Jesse Saarinen and puts one behind Koshechkin.
Video source: www.khl.ru
“We can be happy with 4 points out of 6 against Magnitogorsk. But after a loss like this, it’s not easy. We played a really good away game, but we have to leave it behind now and concentrate on Ufa. They have a really good team, we need to play smart and stick to our game plan in order to win,” commented Bjorkstrand.
The Bears confidence rose after the scored goal and they spent a lot more time in Magnitka’s end, but the result didn’t change before the end of the second. The Bears’ penalty kill once again did a great job, successfully killing a 5-on-3 powerplay at the end of the period.
A little less than two minutes is what it took Magnitka to score in the third period. Mozyakin scored for the first time today and evened the score for a short while. A new lead for the Bears was a product of the Saarinen-Brule-Bjorkstrand line. Bjorkstrand took the puck in the neutral zone, switched to the other side and went alone towards Kosheckin who deflects his shot, but Brule gets to the rebound and scores in the empty net.
Video source: www.khl.ru
“There’s no doubt that we wanted to win today, but in the end fortune didn’t turn in our favour. Winning 4 out of 6 points against Magnitka is no small feat. That shot from Mozyakin at the end was excellent. Gasper kept us in the game and saved a lot of shots, but that was nearly impossible to stop.”
Oscar Osala ensured an interesting finish to the third period five minutes later and Magnitka increased the pressure and prevented the Bears from attacking even when they had the man advantage. Soon after overtime started, Mozyakin shoots a onetimer from the middle of the left circle into the net behind Kroselj.
“I’m happy with the way my team played today, the way they competed. I congratulate Magnitogorsk on the win. We started off pretty good, our goalie kept us in it, especially through the first. In the second we had the upper hand on the ice. In the end the game could’ve gone either way, but when you get to overtime against a team like Magnitogorosk, you have to be happy,” analysed Gordie Dwyer, Bears head coach.
Medvescak’s road trip continues in Ufa, with a game against Salavat Yulaev on Friday, October 9 at 4 PM Zagreb time.
HK METALLURG MAGNITOGORSK – KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB 3:2 OT (0:0;1:0;2:1;1:0)
KHL, Arena Metallurg, Magnitogorsk, Russia
30:52 0-1 Bjorkstrand (Saarinen)
42:48 1-1 Mozyakin (Zaripov, Kovar)
47:23 1-2 Brule (Bjorkstrand, Mertl)
52:01 2-2 Osala (Wolski, Habarov)
60:31 3-2 Mozyakin (Lee, Kovar)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 37 - 23
PENATLIES: 6 min – 8 min
HK METALLURG MAGNITOGORSK: Koshechkin, Samsonov, Lee, Antipin, Batiršin, Zhloba, Bereglazov, Tereschenko, Medvedev, Habarov, Wolski, Mozyakin, Kaletnik, Zhelezkov, Timkin, Zaripov, Platonov, Filippi, Kovar, Osala, Kosov, Potekhin
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Kroselj, Heeter, Kinrade, Larkin, Mäntylä , Jurcina, Morrisonn, Katic, Genoway, Giliati, Glumac, Brule, Hedberg, Jämtin, Bjorkstrand, Smolenak, Perkovich, Saarinen, Mertl, Kvapil