With a great team effort and an even better contribution from the special teams, as well as with keeping their composure, the Bears earned a great victory over Dynamo Moscow. A strong start and sticking to their gameplan with contributions throughout the lineup in which every player did his part, were the main features of Medveščak’s performance tonight in front of the sold-out Ice hall of Dom sportova.
“I’m happy with the way our team played tonight. It was a hard game, Dynamo Moscow is a great opponent. They have a lot of skill, they’re quick and control the puck well. We knew it wouldn’t be easy to earn points tonight. There wasn’t a lot of room for us to develop our game. We had to fight for every puck, for every chance to score a goal. We fought until the end and we found a way to keep the points in Zagreb. I’m happy that we won against Dynamo Moscow for the first time in Dom sportova and I hope that we will continue to play at the level we displayed tonight. It’s nice to play in front of a filled Ice hall, the fans played a huge part tonight and we’re grateful for that. The atmosphere was amazing,” commented head coach Gordie Dwyer.
The first period, after the initial pressure from the Bears went by with special teams taking the spotlight, primarily Medvescak’s penalty kill squad: ”We played the penalty kill really well throughout the season and it was no different tonight. We tried to keep ourselves away from the penalty box because we knew that Dynamo is extremely dangerous on the powerplay,” said the owner of the Bears’ first goal Tuukka Mäntylä. His shot on the powerplay tied the game at the very end of the second period. A period in which Dynamo was a lot more active than in the first, but the Bears weren’t lacking in activity either.
“We earned the three points tonight with our play, our effort and our commitment. The points in this part of the season are especially important for us to ensure the playoffs. Danny Taylor played brilliantly throughout the season, giving us a chance to win and take all of the points” analyzed Mäntylä and added: ”We started playing better on the powerplay than we did at the start of the season. We shot more and we created chances. When the team plays that way and puts in the effort during the game to not make mistakes, positive changes start to happen and the puck finds the net more often.“
The third period started off at square one, with the guests visibly nervous. Adding that to the relentless Bears and the constant creation of chances and the prolonged stays in Dynamo’s third, penalties for the Muscovites were not a surprise. But, the great last five minutes the Bears played with a man advantage thanks to the penalty for Bryukin and they kept the three points on home ice.
“We played really well tonight. Everyone put in an equal amount of effort, it was obvious we wanted the three points and it paid off in the end. Everything went our way more or less, aside from all the penalties we got at the end. We had a man advantage for five minutes at the end. When you play that long on the powerplay, all you want to do is just score a goal. I saw some space, I saw Bolduc putting up a screen and I shot it as hard as I could. Every game is important for us to get into the playoffs, our goal is to play in the playoffs and we will do all we can to make it happen,” commented Gilbert Brule, who scored the game-winning goal.
Edwin Hedberg was announced as the HOK Player of the game, this time chosen by members of the media and HOK donated 20 000 kuna to the “Senzori” association for the 30 shots on goal and the 2 goals the Bears scored against Dynamo.
The Bears have a short break, they return to the ice on Wednesday, 20th of January in Bratislava, in Slovnaft arena where they will be hosted by their rival Slovan.
An interesting information for the end. In recent years, every time that pupils from the Vladimir Nazor primary school from Slavonski Brod came to a Medveščak game, the Bears haven’t lost. Tonight there were 162 of them in the Den and the Bears won. Coincidence? We think not. We thank them from the bottom of our hearts for their support.
Video material source: www.khl.ru
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB – HC DYNAMO MOSCOW 2:1 (0:0;1:1;1:0)
KHL, Ice Hall of Dom sportova, Zagreb
37:29 0-1 Shipov (Igumnov, Osipov)
39:17 1-1 Mäntylä (Saarinen, Mertl) PP1
57:32 2-1 Brule (Gysbers, Katic) PP1
SHOTS ON GOAL: 30 - 29
PENALTIES: 57 min – 35 min
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Taylor, Kroselj, Genoway, Deutsch, Parlett, Larkin, Giliati, Glumac, Brule, Mäntylä, Hedberg, Jämtin, Bolduc, Bjorkstrand, Gysbers, Jurcina, Smolenak, Morrison, Saarinen, Mertl, Katic
HC DYNAMO MOSCOW: Eryomenko, Lazushin, Barantsev, Tsvetkov, Babenko, Hietanen, Kokarev, Filatov, Gorovikov, Galimov, Tereshchenko, Pestushko, Sinitsyn, Osipov, Solovyov, Igumnov, Koryangin, Bryukvin, Fyodorov, Mironov, Karpov, Shipov