Jonathan Cheechoo and Bill Thomas score for Medveščak.
Medveščak played their fourth prep game in Maribor's Tabor Hall. After beating Torpedo and Olimpija (2), the Bears unfortunately lost to Vityaz after putting up a good fight. Vityaz won 4:2.
The Bears bared their teeth in the first minute. The players had barely warmed up and they already scored. Medveščak's defenceman Alan Letang came around Vityaz's net and passed the puck over to Jonathan Cheechoo in the center, who then slammed it in Vityaz's net. In minute 8 Andrew Murray and Kurtis Foster were out on two-minute penalties, but Medveščak's goalie Mark Dekanich, who guarded the net for the whole game, blocked every shot and didn't let Vityaz even the score while they were playing 5 on 3. The Bears held their lead until minute 25, but unfortunately in minute 25 Maxim Rybin levelled the playing field.
''We played well in the first period, but in the second one we lacked composure which probably cost us the victory. We have to play 5 on 5 more, which we didn't do in the second period and I hope that was a good lesson for us. Both goalies were really good. As for Dekanich, he made a couple of incredible saves, but we had 5 on 3 three times which is never a good recipe for winning'', commented Medveščak's coach Mark French adding:
''In the games against Torpedo and Vitjaz we saw where we stand and how we're going to carry ourselves against KHL opponents.''
Six minutes before the end of the second period, the Bears had two players less on the ice again, but unlike in the first period, this time they unfortunately weren't able to hold off their opponents. In the final seconds of playing 5 on 3, Vityaz secured a 2:1 lead thanks to Mike, while in minute 40 Alexander Korolyuk took the score to 3:1.
Despite Vityaz's lead, the Bears didn't give up their fight, and in minute 55 Bill Thomas reduced the point gap to 3:2. However, in minute 60 Vityaz secured a 4:2 victory with a shot on an empty net.
''In the first period there was more luck on our side and we played more in the offensive zone. In the second we had several penalties, and Vitjaz played 5 on 3 three times. Those situations where it was 5 on 3 hurt us because our opponents made the most of their opportunities in those times'', said forward Thomas.
The Bears have another prep game on Sunday at 6:00PM in Lin against the Black Wings.
FOURTH PREP GAME
VITYAZ - KHL MEDVEŠČAK ZAGREB 4:2 (0:1, 3:0, 1:1)
MARIBOR - Tabor Hall. 400 Spectators. Referees: Dremelj, Lešnjak, Černe, Pahor.
0:1 MED Cheechoo (Walker, Letang, 1)
1:1 VIT Rybin (Poltorak, 25)
2:1 VIT Iggulden (Afinogenov, Korolyuk, 34) PP2
3:1 VIT Korolyuk (40) PP2
3:2 MED Thomas (Klubertanz, Letang, 55)
4:2 VIT Korolyuk (Afinogenov, 60) EN
VITYAZ: Lisutin, Saprykin, Golovkov, Podzins, Hennessy, Iggulden, Seleznyov, Solodukhin, Rybin, Makeyev, Mezei, Poltorak, Glotov, Sabinin, Tatalin, Antonovsky, Topol, Chernov, Korolyov, Mamin, Pyett, Afinogenov, Korolyuk.
KHL MEDVEŠČAK: Dekanich, Vasiljević, Linglet, Perkovich, Cheechoo, Willsie, Murley, Thomas, Foster, Murray, Jessiman, Walker, Kane, Glumac, Bjorkstrand, Letang, Carle, Waugh, Klubertanz, Katic, G. Koren, Martinović.
PENALTIES: Vityaz 14, Medveščak 18.
SHOTS ON GOAL: Vityaz 23, Medveščak 38.