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Bears strike back on the wings of a strong first period

Reports 09.10.2015.
Bears strike back on the wings of a strong first period

“We talked about the importance of a strong start. Our need to focus on coming out strong and establishing our game. Obviously it worked and our first period was excellent. Our goaltender had a great night and he really kept us in it. As did our penalty kill. We know we can play against the best teams in this league only by being at our best and focusing on the details. I'm happy with the win,“ Gordie Dwyer Bears' head coach said of the game. A big win and a sort of a revenge for the loss in Zagreb put the Bears, at least for a short while at the very top of the Western standings.

An excellent first period started like a dream come true for the Bears. With his second shot of the game, in the first minute Patrick Bjorkstrand gave the visiting team a lead they will not drop. Salavat was still establishing their position on the ice when Geoffrey Kinrade shot the puck towards Niklas Svedberg who deflected it twice and through a jam of bodies in front of the net, the puck went straight left, to an umprotected part where Bjorkstrand strolled in and took the opportunity.

Video source: www.khl.ru

With a strong wind in their backs from scoring the opening goal Medvescak's game was fluent and offense-oriented from the very start. The pressure they put on paid off again four minutes in. Tomas Mertl won the battle on the boards, passed the puck to Marek Kvapil who was alone and unobstructed behind Svedberg's net until he pushed it forward in perfect timing for Radek Smolenak who shoots it in while falling down on one knee.

Video source: www.khl.ru

The pressure conitinues to build with the play mostly being developed in the home team's zone when Colby Genoway scores his second goal of the season as Medvescak's 50th. There was still more than 50 minutes of play left on the clock and the Bears had a three goal lead. Edwin Hedberg and Stefano Giliati broke out of the defensive zone in a rush and Genoway, who was keeping up on the other side in perfect sync , skated to the net and found the back of it.

Video source: www.khl.ru

The rest of the first period wnet by in the same tone, but without needed precision. Salavat answered Bears' strong first period with as strong second one. Taking over the initiative, they moved the result back to minus one within the first five minutes, but anything more was too demanding. A few moments of confoundment were shaken off by the fourth goal in Svedberg's net which brought back the calmness to their game. The line of Bjorkstrand – Brule – Saarinen set it up and Kinrade was the one to score.

Video source: www.khl.ru

The second half of the game brings a tougher tone and the Bears spend it mostly playing their special teams. Penalty kill once again did a great job and preserved the acquired lead.

After the second intermission the Bears found their game again and Hedberg takes it upon himself to get the puck almost all the way to Svedberg's goal when he passes it back for Giliati who scores his second of the season.

Video source: www.khl.ru

“It's always nice to score a goal and contribute to the win that way. It's been awhile since my last one. This road win was very important and big for us. Our confidence is boud to grow and now we just have to find a way to keep it going,“ Giliati commented afer the game.

One penalty after another marked the final period, including a 10-minute penalty by Nathan Perkovich, but Gasper Kroselj excelled at goalpost and never let in any doubt about the outcome. He finished with 35 saves.

Blake Parlett, who made his debut in the Bears' sweater was paired up with Tuukka Mäntylä and recorede just over 16 minutes of playing time:“I'm very happy to have finally played my first game. The boys made it easy for me. As the time went on, it was easier to get around the ice and do the things I was supposed to do. I'm satisfied with the outcome,“ and about the game itself he added:“We had an excellent first period and Gasper was very very good and kept us in in the second part. Our penalty kill did some great things too, so hat's off to them.“

Bears continue their road-trip and on Sunday, October 11 at 4 PM they are meeting Ak Bars in Kazan.


KHL, Ufa-Arena, Ufa, Bashkortostan


00:28 0-1 Bjorkstrand (Kinrade, Saarinen)

04:19 0-2 Smolenak (Katic, Kvapil)

08:52 0-3 Genoway (Hedberg, Giliati)

21:39 1-3 Soin (Lazarev)

25:30 2-3 Hlistov (Nesterov)

29:00 2-4 Kinrade (Brule, Saarinen)

42:40 2-5 Giliati (Kinrade, Hedberg)

SHOTS ON GOAL: 37 - 23

PENALTIES: 8 min - 28 min

HC SALAVAT YULAEV UFA: Svedberg, Sokhatsky, Arzamastsev, Bodrov, Goncharov, Vishnevsky, Loginov, Lepistö, Metlyuk, Tsulygin, Engqvist, Grigorenko, Umark, Lisin, Makarov, Hartikainen, Soin, Nesterov, Lazarev, Khlystov, Khripunov, Prokhorkin

KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Kroselj, Heeter, Kinrade, Morrisonn, Parlett, Mäntylä , Jurcina, Katic, Brule, Bjorkstrand, Saarinen, Smolenak, Mertl, Kvapil, Genoway, Giliati, Hedberg, Glumac, Jämtin, Perkovich