A more confident win than the last one, 1:2 from the end of last September, somewhat evened the score from the last game these two teams played in the Ice hall and gave the Bears three new, very important points. Riga’s Dinamo has to settle for two goals in Danny Taylor’s net, as well as shaking the Bears’ hands as they dominated most of the match.
Joacim Eriksson had to take five pucks out of his net in sixty minutes, the first one coming at the end of the first period in which the Bears attacked relentlessly, but the final step always seemed to be lacking. The hosts answered the Bears initial pressure, but Taylor kept his composure and his net clean and the game was pretty even. Three and a half minutes before the first intermission, the Bears finally gain the lead that they would not drop. After the puck bounced around in front of the goal a couple of times, it found a way to Stefano Giliati, who was left unguarded and he couldn’t miss the empty net.
“These are a great three points for our club. They weren’t the prettiest, or the easiest, we made a part of the game tough for ourselves. It seems that the refereeing criteria is a bit more strict and sensitive than it was thus far this season and we’re trying to adjust. But, we’re at our best and we give our all when we’re faced with a challenge. Today we had one and we were up to the task. Special teams, both of them, were great and it once again proved that when the goalie is one of the best players on the team - that team wins. There’s still a lot of work ahead of us, but this is a great win,” Medvescak’s head coach Gordie Dwyer shortly analyzed the game.
The second goal wouldn’t come until the halfway point of the game, as a parade of penalties took place all the way until the very end. Thomas Larkin scored his first as a Bear on a seemingly simple redirect of Tomaš Mertl’s shot:"It’s a great feeling to win, maybe an even better one to score. But, what matters most are the three points that we needed to stay in the fight for the playoffs.” Larkin commented humbly and continued his analysis:
“We dominated in their zone and we were solid in our own end. Taylor was up to the task, the whole team contributed and it was a proper team game. But, aside from us, there were also our fans. I’d like to thank everyone who came, it was amazing to see and hear them. Especially hearing them cheer louder than the whole arena.”
Dinamo found the the net for the first time at the start of the third period, right after Gilbert Brule missed an excellent breakaway on the other end, but the minimal deficit lasted less than five minutes because Tuuka Mäntylä scored the game winning goal right after a powerplay on a shot from the blue line.
After the Bears defended a 3 on 5 situation, Brule scores on an excellent individual effort and not even two minutes later, Radek Smolenak scores on Mertl’s third assist of the night.
The hosts scored one more goal, courtesy of Fillpa Toluzakov, but way too little to answer to the game played by the inspired Bears who had the support of their fans, a fact that no one missed:”It’s really wonderful to have this kind of support on an away game. Thanks everyone and thank You for bringing us luck,” said team captain Mike Glumac.
Video source: www.khl.ru
With this win the Bears remain all but a step away from the playoff sport, right below the deviding line with two points less than Slovan. Their next game is on Friday, January 8, at the Ice Hall at 7PM agains Spartak from Moscow. That will be the penultimate home game of this regular season.
Tickets are available at all Ticketshop sales points, online via www.ticketshop.hr and on game day 90 minutes before the start of the game at Dom sportova box office.
HC DINAMO RIGA – KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB 2:5 (0:1;0:1;1:3)
KHL, Arena Riga, Riga, Latvija
16:37 0-1 Giliati (Hedberg)
30:53 0-2 Larkin (Mertl, Katic)
42:50 1-2 Meija (Sotnieks)
47:45 1-3 Mäntylä (Hedberg, Mertl)
52:05 1-4 Brule (Smolenak)
53:53 1-5 Smolenak (Mertl, Genoway)
56:17 2-5 Toluzakov
SHOTS ON GOAL: 26 - 32
PENALTIES: 8 min – 49 min
HC DINAMO RIGA: Eriksson, Sedlacek, Jass, Redlihs K., Darzins, Sotnieks, Skvorcovs, Seigo, Redlihs M., Berzins, Zabis, Kulda, Sestito, Cibulskis, Galvins, Indrasis, Pavlovs, Meija, Toluzakov, Bicevskis
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Taylor, Krošelj, Genoway, Deutsch, Parlett, Larkin, Giliati, Glumac, Brule, Mäntylä, Hedberg, Jämtin, Bolduc, Bjorkstrand, Gysbers, Jurcina, Smolenak, Morrisonn, Saarinen, Mertl, Katic