Medvescak played host to an unpleasant division rival Dinamo Riga in their fifth game on home ice and after a big and hard fought game came on top of the West. With a goal from Marek Kvapil in overtime special teams gave the final outline to the game and great teamwork left its mark on an impressive win which showed this team has complete trust in their coaching staff and the system they are to play.
„I was very happy with the compete level my team showed. I think the first period was the most important one for Riga. They played great and I want to thank them for coming out and playing hard. We got back to our game in the second period and in the end special teams decided the game. Both teams fought very hard in an even and physical match-up,“ commented Medvescak's head coach Gordie Dwyer.
Skating-wise much stronger and incomparably faster than any of the previous four games in the Ice hall this season, this game showed tight and intense competition which usually led to longer dominance periods of one team. Dinamo had the initiative in the first 20 minutes, but Medvescak came out just as strong in the second.
Stefano Giliati scored his first goal as a Bear as the teams' first powerplay goal of the season for initial lead.
Video source: www.khl.ru
While the first two periods of the game will be remembered for the first drop of gloves and the first powerplay goal of the season, the third period offered an outstanding level of hockey worth admiring. The speed was ruthless, changes only on the fly and goalkeepers kept exchanging saves one for another. The price of a moment's inobservance was a goal against, and that's exactly what happened to the hosts. Dzerins Andris evened up the game with eight minutes left on the clock and forced an overtime after a complete mess and confusion Mikelis Redlihs brought to Zagreb zone.
Kvapil once again made the most important play. With a man advantage, playing 4-on-3 in overtime, the found a hole and sent the puck behind Joacim Eriksson's back to lead the team to victory.
Video source: www.khl.ru
„My goal was a reward to the entire team for a very good game. My linemates did most of the work and sent the puck directly to my stick. In the end, Dinamo was pretty exhausted and that helped us too,“ said the game winner scorer after the match.
The second story of the night was definitely the return of Gasper Kroselj, later rewarded as the Player of the game, between the pipes in the Den.
„It is very nice to come back to these fans, to home crowd. I'm extremely happy with the win. There are no word to describe the feeling. The whole team worked very hard for it. We knew going in that it will be a tough match-up after a demanding week we have had.“
Medvescak are off to their first string of away games. Next game is set for Sunday, 6th of September 2015 at 5:30 PM in Bratislava against Slovan.
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB – HC DINAMO RIGA 2:1 OT (0:0;1:0;0:1;1:0)
KHL, Ice hall of Dom sportova, Zagreb
27:40 1-0 Giliati PPG
51:39 1-1 Andris (Redlihs, Kundratek)
61:35 2-1 Kvapil (Gysbers, Mantyla) PPG
SOG: 25 - 22
PIM: 14 - 10
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Kroselj, Heeter, Kinrade, Genoway, Deutsch, Larkin, Zanoski, Giliati, Glumac, Mantyla, Hedberg, Jamtin, Bjorkstrand, Gysbers, Smolenak, Perkovich, Morrison, Mertl, Katic, Kvapil, Arkalov
HC DINAMO RIGA: Eriksson, Sedlachek, Redlish, Darzins, Sotnieks, Locans, Skvorcovs, Seigo, Saulietis, Redlihs, Berzins, Leino, Dzerins, Kulda, Sestito, Cibulskis, Schutz, Galvins, Indrasis, Kundratek, Meija