The second road trip of the season started on the ice of the Riga Arena against Dinamo. The second game between the two teams was very much like the first, hard fought and physical, but two goals scored on the powerplay brought the Bears their second win in a row, first win on away ice this season and a 6th spot in the Western conference standings.
“We’re happy with the result and that we found a way to get three points. I’m proud of the way my team fought, it was a hard game. Special teams were crucial in today’s game. Our powerplay scored two big goals, while the penalty kill was up to the task. Danny Taylor gave us a chance to win with a few extraordinary saves. He was our best player and when the goalie is your best player, you usually go home with points. I’m happy with the way we fought, there are we things we still need to improve on, but we’re happy with the first away win going forward”, said the Bears’ head coach Gordie Dwyer.
The match started off pretty even, but soon enough the hosts started putting pressure on the Bears and they slowly built their advantage on the ice. A few minutes after a great save by Danny Taylor against Andris Dzerins who came out the penalty box and rushed down the ice on a breakaway, Tom Sestito dangled through the Bears defense on his own and scored the first goal of the game to give Dinamo the early lead. That goal, mostly because of Taylor’s excellent perfomance, will be Dinamo’s last goal in this game.
Krisjanis Redlihs got a game misconduct for kneeing against Marek Kvapil, giving Medvescak a five minute, continuous powerplay. One special team got to work and scored a few goals, while the other made sure the lead stayed intact in the dying minutes of the game.
Jesse Saarinen scored his second goal of the season, tying the result.
Video source: www.khl.ru
“It’s our first away win and it means a lot to us. The finish was tense, but the boys showed character, we battled through to the end. We blocked a lot of shots and earned the win even though we took a lot of penalties. Taylor did an excellent job in goal today” said Saarinen.
A minute and a half later, Kvapil proved to be deadly against Dinamo once again. He took the puck from Tuukka Mäntylä behind the goal of Joacim Eriksson, found a way to get a shot of from the left circle behind the goalie to give Medveščak the lead that they would keep until the end of the game.
Video source: www.khl.ru
Dinamo kept the tempo up until the end of the second, but they couldn’t tie the game. The game got rougher and rougher in the third, while the hosts were getting even more frustrated with every second that passed. Taylor kept his net empty, while penalties poured for both teams to keep the finish intense and interesting.
The Bears continue their road trip on Friday the 25th of September in Moscow against Spartak, the game starts at 6:30 PM ECTS.
HC DINAMO RIGA – KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB 1:2 (1:0;0:2;0:0)
KHL, Arena Riga, Riga, Latvia
09:29 1-0 Sestito
22:43 1-1 Saarinen (Kvapil, Mantyla) PP1
24:12 1-2 Kvapil PP1
SHOTS ON GOAL: 29 - 27
PENALTIES: 35 min – 18 min
HK DINAMO RIGA: Eriksson, Sedlachek, Redlihs K., Sotnieks, Seigo, Jerofejevs, Galvins, Kundratek, Darzins, Locans, Skvorcovs, Saulietis, Redlihs M., Berzins, Leino, Dzerins, Kulda, Sestito, Indrasis, Meija, Bicevskis
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Taylor, Kroselj, Kinrade, Deutsch, Larkin, Mäntylä , Jurčina, Morrisonn, Katic, Genoway, Giliati, Glumac, Brule, Hedberg, Jämtin , Bjorkstrand, Smolenak, Saarinen, Mertl, Kvapil, Arkalov