Uralets Arena in Yekaterinburg is no longer an unconquerable fortress for Zagreb’s Bears. In their 155 game in the KHL, with Simon Gysbers’ second goal of the season, 34 saves by Danny Taylor for his third shutout of the season, the Bears have won against Avtomobilist for the first time on their ice and took home all three points.
In an even game from the start, action wasn’t lacking on either side, and throughout the game the away team displayed discipline and complete subordination to the system.
“A tough game for both teams is behind us. My boys came out ready to fight for new points and to play from the start. I’m very happy with the start we had to the game, especially with the whole first period. We kept to our game plan and it gave us a good foundation and a bit of a boost for the remainder of the game. I have to compliment our goalie Taylor who was incredible, especially at the very end where he enabled us to go away with three points,” said head coach Gordie Dwyer after the game.
In a tough and battle-filled game errors were not tolerated, and the style of the game itself gave a presumption that the first goal would mean a lot and would probably swing the game completely. In the first period, which went by without a single penalty, the initial gauging of the teams lead to a fast game that went back and forth, testing the goalies in the procedure. The second period started in a similar fashion, in which the crucial first goal was scored by the Bears.
Alexandre Bolduc won the faceoff in the offensive zone, sent the puck back towards the blue line and Gysbers shot a one-timer and Jakub Kovar was left helpless for the first and last time in this game: “The three points are what matters here, but it’s always nice to score. I haven’t played a lot as of late, so this goal means even more to me and I’m glad I contributed to the win.” commented the Bears defenseman who scored the game-winning goal.
While the Bears created chances for the remainder of the second and the start of the third, the last ten minutes of the game went by in an all-out siege of Taylor’s net:”It was a great game for both teams. In the last period there was a lot of action around my net, but during most of the game we played really, really well. We played with a plan, with a purpose, we dumped the pucks deep into their zone and displayed what kind of game we want to keep throughout all 60 minutes. The result after a display like this was almost secondary. The defense did a great job keeping all the shots coming from the outside, they gave them a few chances, but nothing out of the ordinary. It was a true team win,” the goalie gave a complete team analysis.
It was the third time this season that Taylor locked his net and for the first time on away ice. But, Taylor puts the game plan before anything else:” The result is less important in this moment, the way we played to earn the result is more important to me because that’s the way I want to continue playing. In agreement with coach Klemen, we decided how I will play and I stuck with the plan, that’s most important. Naturally, a win, especially one like this means a lot and gives additional confidence, but also, it’s not only mine and honestly, there was a bit of luck involved.”
Video source: www.khl.ru
The second Eastern tour of the season the Bears continue on Tuesday, December 1 in Hanty Mansiysk. The game in Ugra arena starts at 3 PM CET and it will be televised on Sporklub 1.
HC AVTOMOBILIST YEKATERINBURG – KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB 0:1 (0:0;0:1;0:0)
KHL, Uralets Arena, Yekaterinburg
26:41 0-1 Gysbers (Bolduc)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 34 - 33
PENALTIES: 2 min – 6 min
HC AVTOMOBILIST YEKATERINBURG: Kovar, Ustinsky, Kivisto, Žuravlyov, Timashov, Mikhnov, Alekseyev, Torchenyuk, Simakov, Golyshev, Popov, Yemelin, Turbin, Koukal, Antonovsky, Schemerov, Gareyev, Polozov, Pankov, Elo, Tryamkin, Vasilevsky
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Taylor, Krošelj, Kinrade, Genoway, Deutsch, Parlett, Giliati, Glumac, Brule, Mäntylä, Hedberg, Bolduc, Bjorkstrand, Gysbers, Jurčina, Smolenak, Perkovich, Morrisonn, Saarinen, Mertl, Kvapil