Playing a good and smart game, with reducing the number of mistakes and courtesy of goals by Goran Bezina and Francis Pare the Bears returned in the winning column. Michael Garnett's 35 saves made sure that Severstal leaves Zagreb pointless of the second time this season.
“These are three big points for us and I’m very happy my guys found a way tonight. The most important thing for us was to stop limit their rushes and odd man rushes and to take the momentum away from them. We were disciplined and structured through the neutral zone. When both teams have over 30 shots on goal, the main story are the goalies and I think Garnett played exceptional tonight,” Gordie Dwyer, Medvescak’s head coach commented.
An uneventful first period was played at a high pace and had a few good chances, like Nathan Perkovich’s near the 20 minute mark. Medvescak had two power play opportunities while the guest had one, but goalies performed at the highest level.
“We lacked a bit of energy in the first period. We had a lot of shots on goal during the game, but most of them came from the outside. We have to continue shooting and getting those pucks to the net,” scorer of the first goal said.
Second frame offered two goals, one on each side. And while Bezina was unerring from the blue line to give the hosts a lead, Evgeny Mons used a deflected puck Garnett couldn’t secure to tie the game.
“I’ve had so little chances from the blue line this season to be able to one-time the puck to the net, that I just shot. It’s had to score from the blue line without any bodies in front, so this worked well,” Bezina said of his goal.
A bit more energetic final period saw abundant chances on both sides and both goalies duelled in stopping outside and slot chances to keep the nets empty. Until the 53rd minute when Derek Smith and Kirill Voronin made a play to keep in the puck in the offensive zone and Pare took over taking the puck to the slot and sending it behind Jakub Kovar’s back for his 30th point of the season.
“Kirill was very good today. His speed created some chances and as in all games he as played in for us so far, his contribution was felt,” coach Dwyer said on Voronin who had two assists.
Severstal searched for another tie and pulled their goalie for an extra skater with 90 seconds to go. That was when Garnett put on a show.
“Today, like every day he played for us, Garnett was excellent in net. We have full confidence in him,” Bezina commented.
Izvor video materijala: www.khl.ru
Bears return on home ice hosting Eastern conference teams on Wednesday, 11 January at 7 PM. Kazahstan representative, Barys Astana will visit the Ice hall.
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB – HC SEVERSTAL CHEREPOVETS 2:1 (0:0;1:1;1:0)
KHL, Ice hall of Dom sportova, Zagreb
23:27 1-0 Bezina (Voronin, Glumac)
31:06 1-1 Mons (Kagarlitsky, Sizov)
51:13 2-1 Pare (Smith, Voronin)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 36 - 34
PENALTIES: 4 min – 6 min
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Garnett, Gaiduchenko, Kozak, Parlett, Mahbod, Zanoski, Giroux, Smejkal, Lessio, Glumac, Hedberg, Larkin, Krejcik, Bolduc, Bezina, Perkovich, Smith, Voronin, Pare, Arkalov
HC SEVERSTAL CHEREPOVETS: Kovar, Smiryagin, Wilson, Stasenko, Evseenkov, Masuhr, Kagarlitsky, Trubachyov, Avtsin, Karlin, Vovchenko, Mons, Sizov, Khokhlov, Chernov, Khatsei, Monahov, Trunyov, Jezhov, Ugarov
Photo: Igor Soban/Pixsell