A dynamic, quick and open game in which the special teams held the key word, went the way of the guests from Helsinki after a huge battle. Dominance by Medvescak in the first and last period resulted in only one goal in each period behind Henrik Karlsson, which proved insufficient to make up for the strong second period by Jokerit.
“I congratulate Jokerit on the win, these were huge points. It’s not our plan to try and outwit one of the best teams in the league when it comes to special teams, but the referees left us all with a couple of question marks and neither we, nor Jokerit, managed to find the medium and both teams faced penalties on numerous occasions. Their two powerplay goals made the difference tonight. I’m happy with the way we started the game and that we fought until the very end,” Medvescak’s head coach Gordie Dwyer gave his brief analysis.
In an even first period, to say the least, both teams had plenty of chances, when it seemed that the goalies would keep their nets empty, Mark Katic fired a one-timer from the right blue line:”I’m still not sure that Bolduc didn’t tip it on the way in, but the shot was good and I’m happy that it gave us the lead. It’s a shame we didn’t win, but it’s a great feeling to finally score first.”
Katic summed the leading goal up and continued with the remainder of the first period: “They came out strong in the second and they caught us, I wouldn’t say unprepared, but they took advantage of a few situations when we didn’t have the best reactions and they scored some goals. They are that kind of team, they punish absolutely every moment you’re not on 100%.”
In that second period, Jokerit managed to score three goals, starting with the one in the 50th second of the frame on the powerplay. The period in which the Bears found themselves in the penalty box a lot more than they would’ve liked to, but still fewer times than the guests, gave Jokerit a two-man advantage. But, it all came down to quick execution for which the guests are known for.
“Jokerit is an efficient team. They’re known for their quick breakaways and creating chances. We tried to respond to that style of play and limit their chances, but they are a team with defensemen who are extremely active on the offense and they’ve been playing together for years so they know each other well. We knew we’d have to cope with that,” coach Dwyer said.
The last period once again showed an inspired and active game by the Bears, who refused to stop their attacks :” In the third we attacked and had a lot of chances, but the puck wouldn’t go in. It’s like that in hockey, sometimes everything goes in, sometimes nothing will. It’s a game of centimeters. I’m happy with our approach in the last period and I think we need to stay in that mindset,” Katic commented.
Colby Genoway scored his fourth goal as a Bear after Radek Smolenak’s shot rebounded straight to him on the other post.
“We fought, especially well in 5 on 5 situations. But there weren’t many of those during the game. We kept to our system, we had control of the puck in the offensive zone. We played physically. It all came down to the fact that we played well on home ice with an equal number of players on the ice, we played the way we wanted to and in favour of our strong suits,” concluded Dwyer.
Video material source: www.khl.ru
The Bears continue their KHL season on Wednesday, 6th of January in Riga, where they will face off against Dinamo for the fourth time this season. The game starts from 18:30 Zagreb time and the game will be televised on Sportklub 2.
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB – HC JOKERIT HELSINKI 1:4 (1:0;0:3;1:1)
KHL, Ice hall of Dom sportova, Zagreb
19:40 1-0 Katic (Brule, Bjorkstrand) PP1
20:46 1-1 Kapanen (Joensuu, Larsen) PP1
23:46 1-2 Ohtamaa (Joensuu, Kozun)
36:20 1-3 Jaakola (Jormakka, Kennedy)
40:26 1-4 Lajunen (Kapanen, Regin) PP1
48:43 2-4 Genoway (Smolenak)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 36 - 31
PENALTIES: 20 min – 32 min
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Taylor, Krošelj, Genoway, Deutsch, Parlett, Giliati, Glumac, Brule, Mäntylä, Hedberg, Jämtin, Bolduc, Bjorkstrand, Gysbers, Jurčina, Smolenak, Perkovich, Morrisonn, Saarinen, Mertl, Katic
HC JOKERIT HELSINKI: Karlsson, Helenius, Jaakola, Kennedy, Pelletier, Wirtanen, Maki, Joensuu, Talaja, Jormakka, Kulda, Larsen, Kapanen, Jensen, Lajunen, Aaltonen, Kozun, Ohtamaa, Salliinen, Regin