Excellent game by Zagreb Bears was crowned with a second win in a row on home ice. After they beat Severstal by a large margin, the Bears put in huge effort and with a minimal score took three points away from the first team in the East to end their eight game winning streak.
“It’s certainly a big win for our hockey team. We knew Ak Bars is one of the top teams in the East and this game was a great measuring stick for our team. It was great to be back on home ice and with some new additions to our team which seem to vitalize us. I really liked our start to the game, we were ready to play right from the puck drop and for the first 10-15 minutes we controlled the play.
From that point to Ak Bars scored a power play goal which set us back on our heels. The second period was back and forth, but in the third one we were able to get back to using our depth. Everyone bought in and everyone played extremely hard,” Medvescak’s Head Coach Gordie Dwyer said after the game.
Superb start to the game was rewarded by a goal on the first shot to the net of Stanislav Galimov. “Pare drove the net and I managed to open up and just fired one on the net,” Brandon McMillan said of his goal that opened the game.
Despite constant pressure, hard forchechecking and generating scoring chances, net of Snow leopards remained intact, while the guest took advantage of Colby Genoway’s penalty to tie the score. “We can’t allow that many penalties against top teams,” commented coach Dwyer, and McMillan explained how the tie affected the team:
“Ak Bars is a very good team and we knew they will have their chances. But, we kept going and in the end we won.”
Second period went scoreless with play on bothe sides of the ice, and in the third the Bears took over the game once again. A few minutes in, Tomas Mertl found Blake Parlett’s rebound.
“We were in their zone, forwards gave the puck back and Morrisonn passed it to me. I had some time and found a shot and Mertl was there to pick it up. It was a big goal for our team, it gave a lead with 10 minutes left. We played good D and we held on to the lead and won,” Parlett commented.
On the game itself Parlett stated:”We all played a really good game. We’ve played them before so we knew we had to cut down on penalties because they have one of the best power play teams, and four lines that can score goals. We limited their time in our zone and we cut off their odd-man rushes.”
With players returning to the lineup after missing some time due to injuries, the Bears’ D is finally complete. “It helps getting the guys back. We can distribute ice time better and keep the guys fresher later in the game.”
Parlett’s D pair, Shaone Morrisonn was once again one of the best players out there:
“Morrisonn was really dialed in today, you could see it out there. He had smaller injuries lately, but today he was ready to go. Funny story, we saw him getting in to the ring at 3:15 and he was completely focused on the game,” coach Dwyer said of his D-man.
Lucas Lessio played his first game in the Bears’ jersey. “Lucas had an interesting first shift colliding with the ref, but after that he showed he was a good addition to our team. He plays with speed, and a lot of physicality. Early in the game he was one of the few he were able to penetrate in their zone and create scoring chances. I’m happy with his effort and performance,” coach Dwyer said of his new forward.
With good positioning and great defensive play the hosts kept the currently first team of the Eastern Conference to only one goal and handed them their first defeat after eight games. What the key in this victory was, coach Dwyer explained. “The way we positioned on the ice and the way we played without the puck limited their chances. We made a lot of very good decisions and we didn’t allow a lot of scoring chances. We had patience in their zone and we succeeded in getting an early lead. Our PK was great, especially late in the game when they pushed to tie it up.”
Video source: www.khl.ru
The Bears play two more game on home ice in October. On Wednesday, 19 October they will play their 200th game in the KHL. They host Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk starting at 7 PM.
Tickets are available at all Ticketshop sale points, online on www.ticketshop.hr and at Dom sportova Box office 90 minutes prior to puck drop.
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB – AK BARS KAZAN 2:1 (1:1;0:0;)
KHL, Ice Hall of Dom sportova, Zagreb
04:32 1-0 McMillan (Pare, Bezina)
13:46 1-1 Malikhin (Popov, Glinkin) PP1
47:59 2-1 Mertl (Parlett, Morrisonn)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 27 - 34
PENALTIES: 10 min – 6 min
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Taylor, MacIntyre, Genoway, Parlett, Giroux, Lessio, Glumac, Hedberg, Butler, Larkin, Krejcik, Bolduc, Bezina, Perkovich, Smith, Morrisonn, Mertl, McMillan, Katic, Pare
AK BARS KAZAN: Galimov, Bilyalov, Cherepanov, Zakharchuk, Popov, Glinkin, Zhukov, Glukhov, Svitov, Abrosimov, Varnakov, Jordan, Elliot, Sidorov, Obukhov, Lazarev, Azevedo, Ohtamaa, Tkachyov, Chibisov, Lukoyanov, Malikhin
Photo: Igor Šoban/Pixsell