A tight and physical game, intense until the very end, the match between Medvescak and Torpedo offered two leads for the Bears, responsible and excellent defending with a stout Danny Taylor who made 19 saves gave the Bears a big and important victory that kept the Bears in the 6th place of the Western conference.
Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod came to the Ice hall as the only team that the Bears haven’t defeated in their three seasons of playing in the KHL. With a high pressure, a physical game and speed they tried to turn the game in their favour once again, but they were met by a more than ready Bears squad:
“We came out ready to compete and to play this game in our favour. We needed contribution from the whole team to win against one of the strongest teams in the league and that’s exactly what we got. We knew that games against Torpedo are always tough and they play very physically, so we were prepared. At times the game was difficult, on both sides and both teams had their chances. I’m happy that the boys stuck to our game plan for the whole 60 minutes and gave themselves a chance to win,” Gordie Dwyer started the analysis.
A good start to the game lead to the opening of the scoring in the middle of the first at the end of a powerplay for Medvescak. Mark Katic scored on an assist by Gilbert Brule to earn his first goal of the season, his sixth for Medveščak, in the sixth game between Medvescak and Torpedo, and as the Bears sixth goal against Torpedo. “It finally opened up this season. It’s definitely most important to win, but it’s also a great feeling to score. I’ve waited long, too long,” said the owner of the game’s first goal.
Coach Dwyer commented on the play of his special teams: ”We made a few adjustments on the powerplay and it was visible, today we looked a lot better. The idea was to create a bigger crowd in front of the net and constantly have someone in that area. I’m really glad that Katic scored his first goal of the season and was rewarded for all his effort.”
After the first intermission the game continued in a similar rhythm, but this time it was Torpedo who got the tying goal at the very start and started blocking off access to Mihail Biryukov’s net. In the most even period of the game, the Bears score the second, game-winning goal, courtesy of Patrick Bjorkstrand. “This was one of the best games for Bjorki as of late. His speed and his responsibility on offense tonight gave us a lot of chances and contributed towards the win. After all, his goal speaks for itself, it decided the game,” the home team coach complimented the game-winner.
In the last 20 minutes, Torpedo upped the pressure and threw all they had forward. The game was mostly played in the home team’s end, with a few trips towards the away team’s goal:”This league is very balanced, sometimes details prevail and no team will give up without a fight, which Torpedo proved today. We had a few critical moments, a few penalties that we didn’t need, but our goalie was steadfast and the defense did a great job. It was expected from them to throw everything forward when they were only one goal behind, but we held to our lead. There’s no team in the league that we haven’t beaten now. We’ve proved that we can play with everyone and we have to build on that to keep earning wins,” Katic concluded the analysis.
Video material source: www.khl.ru
The Bears finished off November in the Ice hall with this win, now they’re going on a road trip, with 4 games across the Eastern conference. The trip begins on Sunday 29th of November in Yekaterinburg where they will face off against Avtomobilist for the second time this season. The game starts at 12:30 PM CET.
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB – HK TORPEDO NIZHNI NOVGOROD 2:1 (1:0;1:1;0:0)
KHL, Ice hall of Dom sportova, Zagreb
11:42 1-0 Katic (Brule) PP1
23:18 1-1 Budkin
36:40 2-1 Bjorkstrand
SHOTS ON GOAL: 26 - 20
PENALTIES: 12 min - 18 min
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Taylor, Krošelj, Kinrade, Deutsch, Parlett, Giliati, Kousa, Glumac, Brule, Mäntylä, Hedberg, Jämtin, Bjorkstrand, Jurčina, Smolenak, Perkovich, Morrisonn, Saarinen, Mertl, Katic, Kvapil
HC TORPEDO NIZHNY NOVGOROD: Biryukov, Proskuryakov, Yergoshev, Budkin, Galuzin, Ashton, Sopin, Daugavins, Schutz, Sergyenko, Homitsky, Kolganov, Syomin, Makarov, Alyaev, Shurakov, Ilyin, Kostitsin, Piganovich, Rudenkov, Potapov Kulyomin