Third was the charm for the Bears who, after a constant battle and taking over the lead, finally managed to put the fourth puck in Metallurg’s net with two and a half minutes left and secure the win.
A good, fast and physical game from the very beginning was marked by Alexandre Giroux and Gilbert Brule, who combined for 4 out of 5 Bears’ goals of the evening, and Bears’ D who didn’t have a single skater with less than 20 minutes of ice time.
“It feels great to get this win. Obviously, it’s good to score, but this was all team, it was a team win. We showed we can outskate and outwork them and we can push through when we’re all tied up,” said Brule, the owner of two goals in the final 20 minutes of play.
“We have a tight schedule, a lot of games crammed up, but we keep getting better. It’s easier to breathe after this win. Honestly, it should’ve been easier to take the three points, but our mistakes cost us once again. At the end of the day, we’re happy with the win, and we’re moving on,” Goran Bezina, who skated for over 30 minutes said after the game.
The Bears got on the board in the first minute when Colby Genoway found himself in the right place in front of Mikhail Biryukov’s goal. Brandon McMillan battled through the boards on the left and shot the puck up front where Genoway tipped it in.
By tying up the score, a curtsy of Ignat Zemchenko, a mere five minutes later, the hosts showed that the game will be open and a constant effort for puck possession and gaining space on the ice. Significantly less penalties for Zagreb side, three throughout the game vs five for the home team, gave the Bears’ PP unit a chance to make an impact.
On the first chance they got, Giroux deftly chipped in a rebound off of Brule’s shot and secured a minimal lead going into the first break.
20 shots on goal in the second period wasn’t enough for the Bears to gain a bigger lead, but on the other side, Nikita Yazov took advantage of the chance he got and tied the score once again.
“That final period was tough to play, lots of changes on the scoreboard, especially when they tied up with five minutes left. But we kept pushing through and persevered,” Brule, who broke through and scored his first goal with ten minutes left on the clock.
The host came back once again, and three minutes later Brule deflects Blake Parlett’s shot from the blue line.
‘Kuznya’ pulled the goalie and pushed from all sides, but Danny Taylor was ready and Giroux stole the puck with ten seconds left to make it 3:5.
“These are three very big points for our hockey club. We were missing a few regulars and a lot of players had to play in positions they usually don’t. It was a gutsy play on our side. We found a way to stick to our game plan for the whole 60 minutes and pulled off a win,” Gordie Dwyer, Medvescak’s Head Coach said.
Video source: www.khl.ru
The fourth road game awaits the Bears in Omsk. On Tuesday, 13 September starting at 3 PM CEST they will be hosted by Avangard.
HC METALLURG NOVOKUZNETSK – KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB 3:5 (1:2,1:0;1:3)
KHL, Metallurg's Sports Palace, Novokuznetsk
00:42 0-1 Genoway (McMillan)
04:56 1-1 Zemchenko
09:15 1-2 Giroux (Brule) PP1
37:29 2-2 Jazkov (Komaristy)
49:33 2-3 Brule
54:19 3-3 Viharev (Anisin, Semjonov)
57:30 3-4 Brule (Parlett, Pare)
59:50 3-5 Giroux EN
SHOTS ON GOAL: 30-48
PENALTIES: 10 min – 6 min
HC METALLURG NOVOKUZNETSK: Biryukov, Kareev, Komaristy, Lebedev, Zemchenko, Kuklev, Lyamkin, Anisin, Viharev, Semyonov, Dyakov, Viksna, Jazkov, Polishchuk, Razumov, Arbuzov, Vasilchenko, Yemec, Blagoi, Miheev, Musin, Tatalin
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Taylor, Hovinen, Mertl, Genoway, McMillan, Bezina, Parlett, Butler, Brule, Pare, Larkin, Sauve, Hedberg, Giroux, Perkovich, Bolduc, Smejkal, Mahbod, Arkalov, Glumac
Photo: HC Metallurg Novokuznetsk