Medvescak capped 2014 in the league with a 5:3 win against Neftehimik. It also happened to be the Bears’ 100th game in the KHL, as well as Bill Thomas’ 100th game in the Bears’ jersey.
''I didn’t know this was my 100th game until they told me. Bjorkstrand and I performed in parallel until he missed a game, not because of an injury but because of the coach’s decision. I feel bad about that because he could have celebrated with me in this game'', said Thomas, adding:
''I like the symbolism. The club’s 100th game in the KHL is a meaningful thing.''
The game couldn’t have started better for the Bears than their 1:0 lead in the 3rd minute. Edwin Hedberg made the shot after catching a pass behind the net by lifting the puck over Kolppanenov’s barrier. In the 13th minute, before the powerplay was over, Ville Leino charged Neftehimik’s defense, created space for a shot, and scored right over the goalie’s shoulder.
''We have some intense practices during our break and we worked on a lot of things. We had two powerplay goals, and our penalty kill was really good, especially while the game was undecided. Heeter had a few really good games. In this game the Thomas, Bjorkstrand, and Sedberg lineup was very good'', said Coach Doug Shedden.
The Bears started the second period with a player in the box, and after they fended off their opponents, they scored a new goal. Eric Beaudoin, who debuted in Medvescak’s jersey, knocked the puck away from his opponent’s stick and right between the goalie’s legs. The team from Nizhnekamsk didn’t give up and caught up to 3:1 (Poligalov) in the 34th minute, but the Bears quickly got back to being +3 with a powerplay goal from Mark Flood. In the final period Medvescak scored once more thanks to Patrick Bjorkstrand, while Neftehimik scored two goals (Ivanov, Rubin).
''We needed this, we’re very happy that we managed to score five goals, special units were on par, the goalie as well, and we hope that we will continue to build on this. We still believe in the playoffs'', said Thomas, and Popovic added:
''We played well and with a lot of energy. This win was like a Christmas present.''