Last game of the Bears’ homestand proved this is a team that will always give their best, no matter which opponent they face. Severstal Cherepovets left the Ice Hall with seven goals and a second loss in a row obtained.
“Severstal may not be as big on paper as some of the other teams we’ve faced, but this is a strong league and there are no easy games or easy opponents. Our effort level was just the same and, as the scoreboard showed, we gave our best,” Mark Katic, scorer of Bears’ sixth goal said and walked us through the goal:
“They had a bad line change and Butler made an exceptional pass, like the one in American football. I just took advantage of what I got. Had the puck gone over the ice to my stick, their D would probably stop it; but like this I just caught it. It was a great play by Butler.”
The visitors were the first ones to get on the board: “They took an early lead right after I got back on the ice after taking a bad penalty. Obviously, I have to watch out for those. But we’re confident in each other and we knew we just had to stick to our game plan. We got back to work and battled a win,” Katic said, and goalie Niko Hovinen who had 37 saves, added:
“I felt good in goal for the entire evening. Even when they scored first, I wasn’t worried. At the end of the day, you can’t allow yourself to be. We battled and won this one as a team. Having a big lead by the end helped my game too. All in all, it was a fun game to play.”
The Bears took the lead in the first period courtesy of Tomas Mertl and Francis Pare, and in the second one goals poured in visitor’s net. Four pucks found their way behind Kovar’s and Smiryagin’s back thanks to Colby Genoway, Mertl, and Brandon McMillan.
“I am very happy for Tomas Mertl who’s been a real role model for everyone here. He’s a great worker, always giving a 100%, but he was snake bitten in the beginning of the season. I’m glad he overcame it with determination and hard work and it was nice to see him contribute with three goals. He is one of the leaders on the ice for us,” Head Coach Gordie Dwyer said about hat-trick owner, Mertl and on the game itself he added:
“This was an important game for our club, the final one in the homestand. We played well, managed to pick up points despite a shortened bench and we were disciplined away from the puck which led to our goals. I am very glad Niko Hovinen had a good game, he got a bit of his confidence back and he found his game.”
In the final 20 minutes, guests put a stronger pressure on Bears’ D, but great positioning and play didn’t give up many chances to shorten the lead.
“With a lead of five or six goals in the final period, it’s normal that the team will slow down and that opposition will take over for a bit try to score. With that said, I think we ended the game on a good note, played smart with a lead like that and closed the game,” Hovinen said of the end of the game.
Tomas Mertl was announced Player of the game.
Video source: www.khl.ru
This game ended the Bears' homestand and they are off for a three game road trip. On Monday, 10 October in VTB Ice Palace Dynamo Moscow awaits. Puck drops at 6:30 PM CEST.
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB – HC SEVERSTAL CHEREPOVETS 7:3 (2:1;4:1;1:1)
KHL, Ice Hall of Dom sportova, Zagreb
10:08 0-1 Vovchenko (Trunov)
13:25 1-1 Mertl (Genoway)
16:08 2-1 Pare
20:50 3-1 Genoway (Katic) PP1
20:56 3-2 Vovchenko (Trunov)
24:50 4-2 Mertl (Giroux, Genoway) PP1
25:29 5-2 McMillan
27:39 6-2 Katic (Butler, Sauve)
44:55 7-2 Mertl (Butler, Katic) PP1
51:25 7-3 Polak (Kagarlitsky)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 33 - 40
PENALTIES: 16 min – 8 min
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Hovinen, Smith, Sauve, Genoway, Hedberg, Mertl, Larkin, Morrisonn, Butler, McMillan, Krejcik, Bezina, Katic, Giroux, Glumac, Perkovich, Pare, Arkalov
HC SEVERSTAL CHEREPOVETS: Kovar, Smiryagin, Kudako, Wilson, Stasenko, Evseyenkov, Masuhr, Kagarlitsky, Kazakovtsev, Trubachov, Karlin, Vovchenko, Mons, Sizov, Khokhlov, Magogin, Chernov, Polak, Monakhov, Trunov, Yezhov, Orlov
Photo: Igor Šoban/Pixsell