The stands erupted when Goran Bezina shot a rebound behind the back of SKA St Petersburg goalie, Mikko Koskinen in the second minute of overtime. For the second time in history this NHL caliber team has fallen in the Den.
A superb game by the Bears in which they held on to their plan and style of play, using speed and physicality to knock down the epitome of Russian style of hockey, resulted in a big win without even once falling behind. Not even Yevgeny Dadonov’s hat trick, or Russian blitzkrieg at the end of regulation, did help Piter reach a win.
“Our D played great, special teams were up to the challenge, and we all battled for this win. We knew we needed a strong start, we showed our true face and won two points, point no one thought we could win. When we’re healthy and we play our game, we can beat everyone,” Bezina commented.
Bobby Butler’s goal opened the game and in the next four and a half minutes two more pucks ended up in the net, one on each side. “This was Butler’s best performance of the season. Sometimes these skilled players play in waves and their confidence level is a big factor. I was extremely happy to see him open up the scoring,” Bears’ Head Coach Gordie Dwyer said on his first scorer of the evening.
“We felt great out there and played a really good team game. SKA is an unbelievable team and to take two points is a big thing. On my goal, D made a great pass, I found myself in a 2-on-1 and just shot the puck. Good things happen when you shoot the puck to the net,” Butler commented.
On the game itself, head coach had only good things to say: “I’m happy with my team, with the way they played against one of the top teams of the KHL. I am very happy with the start we had, I thought one first period was excellent. In the second we had some chances, and in the third we held on to our lead.
St. Petersburg pushed us in the final period and went all out. It was a gutsy game by the boys and it led us to a game winning goal in overtime. I’m happy with the contribution throughout the line-up and I was very happy to see players like Bezina and Mertl have first goals of the season.”
Dadonov’s second goal was answered by Tomas Mertl at the end of the second period. In the last twenty minutes first Shaone Morrisonn, later chosen as the player of the game, gave the Bears a two-goal lead; and later Dadonov and Barabanov tied it up with three minutes left on the clock.
“We knew we had to keep working and in the end it paid off. That’s how we want to approach every game, work hard, for full 60 minutes and give our best every night,” Butler commented on the last minutes of the game.
Bears' D was stretched thin once again, having played the most of the game without Blake Parlett who earned a game misconduct. “This season we had a lot of penalties so we got used to playing shorthanded. Of course, it was tough. Parlett is a big factor for our defense, and SKA roles four excellent lines. But, the whole team responded and stepped up,” Edwin Hedberg said and added:
“The fans were great from the start and it means a lot in these big games.”
This game marked the start of Pink October in the Den. A group of fans, Sektor Bavaria München donated 100 pink pucks which found their new owners courtesy of Medvescak’s fans who one again showed their big heart and joined the fight against breast cancer.
Video source: www.khl.ru
One hockey giant will follow another. CSKA Moscow continues hockey festivities in Zagreb the day after tomorrow, on Tuesday, 4 October. Puck drops at 7 PM CEST. Tickets are available at all Ticketshop points of sale, on www.ticketshop.hr and at the Box office of Dom sportova, 90 prior to start of the game.
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB – SKA ST. PETRSBURG 5:4 OT (2:1;1:1;1:2;1:0)
KHL, Ice Hall of Dom sportova, Zagreb
04:06 1-0 Butler
04:49 1-1 Dadonov (Gusev, Shipachev)
08:48 2-1 Brule (Krejcik, Pare) PP1
27:24 2-2 Dadonov (Gusev, Belov) PP1
39:51 3-2 Mertl PP1
44:12 4-2 Morrisonn (Hedberg, Pare)
50:14 4-3 Dadonov (Shipachev, Khafizullin)
57:10 4-4 Barabanov (Kovalchuk, Koskinen)
61:19 5-4 Bezina (Krejcik, Genoway) PP1
SHOTS ON GOAL: 23 -31
PENALTIES: 35 min – 10 min
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Taylor, Hovinen, Mertl, Genoway, Bolduc, Parlett, Morrisonn, Brule, Butler, McMillan, Krejcik, Bezina, Giroux, Hedberg, Pare, Larkin, Katic, Glumac, Perkovich, Arkalov, Smejkal
SKA ST. PETERsBURG: Koskinen, Shestyorkin, Koskiranta, Plotnikov, Kovalchuk, Voynov, Zubarev, Dadonov, Shipachev, Gusev, Khafizullin, Chudinov, Moses, Prohorkin, Barabanov, Yakovlev, Belov, Kablukov, Ketov, Dergachev, Rukavishnikov, Rikov
Photo: Igor Šoban/Pixsell