A game that echoed the one in Zagreb from five days ago went by almost identically up to the end of the first period. Discipline and responsibility in the defense resisted the assaults from the Red Army which stepped onto the ice expectedly hungry for wins and goals that were lacking in their last two games.
The second away game in a row for the Bears improved the general impression of this mini road trip, but the points remain in Russia. Special teams decided the game in the CSKA Ice hall, as they usually do in tight and hard games like the one we’ve seen tonight.
“A hard game for both teams, we knew that we couldn’t expect any less than that, and the special teams decided the winner” Gordie Dwyer started his analysis and continued with pointing out the positives that have to be taken out of this game:”I congratulate CKSA on their win. One of the goals tonight was to erase the bad memory we had from our last game and improve everything, from readiness, approach and competitivity. I’m happy with that aspect. We came out ready to play, we fought until the very end, we kept to our system and plan and I can’t hold anything against anyone.”
Alexander Radulov who was closed off well in Zagreb, repaid his dues on home ice, where he participated in all three goals in the net of Danny Taylor. He earned his first point on a rebound from Nikita Zaitsev’s shot after a slalom through Medvescak’s defense on a powerplay, while Tomas Mertl sat in the penalty box. The very start to the second saw better opportunities for the Bears, and in the third minute, Jesse Saarinen who led the fast break after a breakout pass from Taylor, finished the play on his own, he evened the score on an odd man rush where he was followed by Gilbert Brule and Radek Smolenak.
But, a quick penalty after another unused powerplay saw Radulov earning his second point of the night in a play of his own creation. He fooled Patrick Bjorkstrand behind the net and found Sergei Andronov on his own in front of the net who made most of the gift he was given.
The Bears enter the third the same way they entered the second, a goal behind, but this time, instead of tying the score, Jan Mursak increased the lead after a rebound from Radulov right after Edwin Hedberg returned from the penalty box.
A game that had only a few sparks in it up until the last period, escalated in the last 15 minutes when 52 penalty minutes were handed out. The first pair to drop the gloves was Roman Lyubimov and Nathan Perkovich, a streak of penalties followed that saw the Bears on a 5-on-3 powerplay that they didn’t capitalize on, and immediately after Ilya Sorokin stopped the probably best chance of the game in mid-air.
“Our powerplay wasn’t good enough. We had chances but we didn’t know how to make the most of them,” said the owner of the Bears lone goal briefly and clearly.
Coach Dwyer agreed with his scorer:”The game was tight until the very end and special teams took the win tonight. Our powerplay had chances, especially in the last period, to bring the game within one goal if not to bring us a win, but we didn’t capitalize on our chances, while the CSKA powerplay was excellent.”
After two games of playing the guest team, the Bears return to their fans in the Ice hall for the last home game in November. On Tuesday, November 24 at 7:30 PM the Bears will host Torpedo Nizhni Novgorod, who hosted the Zagreb team earlier this month. Tickets are available at all Ticketshop sales spots as well as on www.ticketshop.hr, as always, tickets will also be available at the Dom sportova box office from 6:00 PM on game day.
HK CSKA MOSCOW – KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB 3:1 (1:0;1:1;1:0)
KHL, CSKA Ice hall, Moscow
17:51 1-0 Radulov (Zajcev) PP1
32:35 1-1 Saarinen (Taylor)
37:38 2-1 Andronov (Radulov) PP1
43:39 3-1 Mursak (Radulov, Kugrishev)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 37 - 20
PENALTIES: 43 min – 31 min
HC CSKA MOSCOW: Sorokin, Galimov, Denisov, Korotkov, Andronov, Lyubimov, Platt, Kugrishev, Yunkov, Zaitsev, Zharkov, Mursak, Kutuzov, Radulov, Pihlstrom, Kiselevich, Panin, Stolyarov, Mamin, Kvartalnov, Ozhiganov, Sergeyev
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Taylor, Kroselj, Kinrade, Genoway, Deutsh, Parlett, Zanoški, Kousa,Brule, Mäntylä, Hedberg, Jämtin, Bjorkstrand, Jurcina, Smolenak, Perkovich, Morrisonn, Saarinen, Mertl, Katic, Kvapil
Photo: HK CSKA Moskva/Elena Rusko