With four wins from four preseason games, Medvescak comes to Bratislava for the beginning of the final week of training camp.
“The game against Slovan will be at another level. They've played some exhibition games and are getting ready for the season, just like us. It will be good to jump in the KHL level and play against competition we’ll see often,” Gordie Dwyer, Medvescak Head Coach said about the game and added his expectations:
“We're looking forward to the game. We expect a lot quicker pace that will demand some adjustments.”
After the first two games finished with a minimal win for the Bears, in the last two against Cardiff Devils their offense increased goals per game and now, going to the fifth preseason game they have three players with two goals scored: Colby Genoway, Brandon McMillan and Mark Katic.
The latter wore the ‘C’ in Wales last night and on the upcoming game he says:
“It will be a good game. They've made a lot of big signings in the off season, so it will be a true test to see where we're at right now. We feel really good, it will be a good test, but I think we're up to the challenge.”
Of the mentioned big signings, Zagreb fans are most familiar with Radek Smolenak and Jonathan Cheechoo (this duo scored the only two goals in Slovan’s last game), while the bigger names of the other 12 new faces are Jeff Taffe, Kyle Chipchura and Andrej Merszaros.
Slovan also lost last season’s captain when Tomas Surovy moved to Banska Bystrica. The function was entrusted to Smolenak in last weekend’s Steel Cup tournament in Vitkovice.
Slovan won the tournament in Vitkovice with two wins and a loss, and before it had played five preseason games. In July they had two wins against Torpedo and Zlin, only to start August with losses against Sparta and Brno. Those were the four away games and in a re-match against Brno, played in Bratislava, Slovan won 2:1.
Geographically speaking, Slovan is Medvescak’s closest KHL team and the rivalry of these two teams is helped by the fact that they play the maximum number of regular season games against each other (4). In the 12 games played so far each team had six wins.
The only time these two met outside of the KHL was for a preseason game last summer with the Bears wining thanks to goals by Smolenak (2) and Mertl.
Tomorrow’s game in Slovnaft arena starts at 7 PM, tickets can be purchased HERE.