Another game with big oscillations in the play of the Bears who once again struggled in ther attempts to find the back of the net, while the hosts again found a way to convert their chances and punish mistakes. Metallurg found the way to victory against Medveščak for the first time in their sixth attempt.
“I congratulate our opponents on the win. The game was a lot closer than the scoreboard shows. We’ve been struggling offensively as of late, we can’t convert our chances. The same happened tonight, we created quality chances, but we couldn’t capitalize. The hosts made the most of their opportunities, they knew how to convert on the powerplay and they always managed to score that goal that kept us at bay. The question remains, what would’ve happened if we managed score a few more goals,” the Bears head coach Gordie Dwyer commented at the press conference.
The Bears had a good start to the game, but after Jesse Saarinen got the first penalty of the game in the second minute, Gasper Kroselj managed to keep his net safe from most of the shots, but one shot from Robert Kousal tricked him and “Kuznya” took the early lead. A dynamic game with plenty of penalties throughout the first period gave the only tie of the game, on Adam Deutsch’s first goal as a Bear: ”It’s nice to score a goal, but I would’ve prefered a win. It’s a shame that we didn’t get any points,” started Deutsch and then commented on the goal itself:
Video material source: www.khl.ru
“Naturally, it’s a big thing for me to score that goal at this level of hockey. Bolduc passed me the puck and I went behind the goal with it, when I found myself at the other side, I just shot it. I had a bit of luck that it went in.”
Tuukka Mäntylä had the best comment regarding the Bears play in the second period, in which Metallurg took a two goal lead: ”We made too many mistakes, we left plenty of holes between our offense and defense and we had too many turnovers. Novokuznetsk has a good team and we have to play better than this.”
In the last period, the Bears were active on the attack, but not a single puck found the net behind Vladislav Podyapolski. The hosts on the other side scored two more goals. Fairchild scored his in the empty net, while Metallurg was on the penalty kill.
If before the game the playoffs were hardly reachable for the Bears, after it was all said and done in the Metallurg sports palace, they became unreachable. Although mathematics still leave a small window, all that is left for the Bears is to improve the general appeal of the season and the final score in the standings: ”We have to find a way to produce on the offense, we have to continue improving as a team and turn towards new games,” concluded Dwyer.
The Bears play the next two games of the road trip in the Far east, where they will first be hosted by Amur in Habarovsk, on Tuesday, February 2, at 10:30 CET.
HK METALLURG NOVOKUZNETSK – KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB 5:1 (1:1;2:0;2:0)
KHL, Metallurg Sports Palace, Novokuznetsk
02:26 1-0 Kousal (Manuhov) PP1
10:04 1-1 Deutsch (Bolduc)
30:32 2-1 Musin (Kousal) PP1
33:22 3-1 Manuhov (Fairchild)
52:20 4-1 Plotnikov (Makarenko)
55:47 5-1 Fairchild (Makarenko) SH1, EN
SHOTS ON GOAL: 37 - 28
PENALTIES: 14 min – 10 min
HC METALLURG NOVOKUZNETSK: Podyapolsky, Evstafyev,Nekolenko, Lebedev, Polishchuk, Zemchenko, Kousal, Manuhov, Shchukin, Fairchild, Glebov, Kapotov, Romanov, Skutar, Musin, Mitryakov, Makarenko, Kuklev, Jerdakov, Semyonov, Plotnikov, Lyamkin
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Kroselj, Lundström, Mäntylä, Gysbers, Bjorkstrand, Genoway, Smolenak, Morrisonn, Parlett, Saarinen, Brule, Giliati, Jurcina, Larkin, Katic, Bolduc, Hedberg, Deutsch, Zanoški, Jämtin, Glumac