Without big oscillations the Bears have played a full 60 minutes in Astana, but lack of execution has once again proven to be determative and has shaded a very good team game. Barys used what was offered and with a man advantage to start the second period they scored what would be a game winning goal. In the last second of the game, they confirmed it with an empty netter.
“I liked my team's energy today. We played an excellent 60 minutes and unfortunately faced a very good goaltender who made a lot of key saves and made the difference. Drew was very good in net for us and we had lots of possesion in the offensive zone and created chances. I can't fault the effort and that's a good sign after the break,“ Medvescak Head Coach, Goride Dwyer commented.
A cautious first period on both sides, with patiently testing each other out, brought the game to an even rhythm in which the goalies had little work. As time moved on, the game developed and scoring chances started accumulating. Brandon McMillan earned a penalty in the last minute of the first period and gave the hosts an advantage in the beginning of the second.
“It was a first game after the break and everybody was trying to get back to game situation. As the game went, we played better,” Alexandre Giroux said.
Penalty kill almost did their job as Evgeny Rymarev shot the back to the blue line from where Roman Savchenko fired one directly to the net. With only a goal behind, the Bears took initiative in the game and, for the most part, puck control, but not even a couple of quality scoring chances could get them on the board. A reverse situation from the first period ended the second one when Cam Barker was awarded a penalty that carried over to the final period.
“We played well, we were in their zone a lot and had our chances, but one goal on a power play made the difference. Sometimes special teams win and lose games, and it happened today. We have to be happy with the effort, but not with the loss,” Giroux concluded.
Even more skating and constant effort by Medvescak players was visible in the final period while they were trying to find a way around Henrik Karlsson, but all shots, 13 that came in the last 20 minutes, were blocked. After pulling Drew McIntyre for an extra skater in hopes of generating offense, Bears took penalties and Martin St. Pierre found an empty net in the last second to end the game.
“It was an excellent collective effort and we did a good job of limiting opportunities of their game breakers. For us, everything’s ‘team first’. Our success relies on our team concept and we need contributions from everybody. And we got that today, but we weren’t able to score any goals,” Dwyer said after everything.
Video source: www.khl.ru
On this short road trip, the Bears will visit two more Eastern teams. On Wednesday, 09 November starting at 3 PM CET Yugra will host them in Khanty-Mansiysk .
HC BARYS ASTANA – KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB 2:0 (0:0;1:0;1:0)
KHL, New Ice Palace, Astana, Kazahstan
21:13 1-0 Savchenko (Rymarev, Starchenko) PP1
59:59 2-0 St. Pierre EN, PP2
SHOTS ON GOAL: 24 - 30
PENALTIES: 4 min – 42 min
HC BARYS ASTANA: Karlsson, Poulin, Dawes, Bochenski, St. Pierre, Semyonov, Dallman, Starchenko, Kuchin, Rymarev, Tryasunov, Barker, Markelov, Trivino, Panyukov, Shalapov, Lipin, Khudyakov, Grents, Belygibayev, Ivanov, Savchenko
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: MacIntyre, Garnett, Mertl, Genoway, Katic, Morrisonn, Parlett, Butler, Lessio, McMillan, Bezina, Krejcik, Hedberg, Giroux, Pare, Smith, Larkin, Arkalov, Glumac, Sauve
Photo: HC Barys Astana