After the last skate before the game, Medvescak players unanimously concluded they are facing a tight and hard fought game with a special feel for the first away game of the season. Expectations proved to be more than true after 60 minutes of play in Slovnaft arena.
A tight match-up constantly interrupted by penalties was defined by special teams play, and decided in a wild finish when Slovan managed to take their second win of the season to end their home streak, with 42 seconds left on the clock after trailing for almost 40 minutes of the game.
It said 2:2 on the board and last minute of regulation was on countdown when Lukas Kaspar took the puck from Ladislav Nagy and went forward through the right side of the ice. He came storming down the ice towards Gasper Kroselj and fired a shot from the right circle. Kroselj managed to block it, but couldn't control the rebound and the puck goes right behind the back of Simon Gysbers and directly to the stick of Marek Viedensky who doesn't waste the gift to turn the game around. The Bears leave Bratislava with no points and with a first regulation loss of the season, but point-wise still remain near the very top of the League.
Video source: www.khl.ru
„We knew coming in that the first away game will be hard fought and very tight. Slovan have a good offensive team with some strong goaltending. I like the way my team competed, I like the way we battled today. In the end we came up short. Congratulations to Slovan. The game went back and forth, both teams had chances and obviously the special teams played a factor as well,“, Gordie Dwyer, Medvescak head coach said in his game analysis and added:
“I'm extremely satisfied with the team this year. We have players from 11 different nations and our focus is creating a team identity. We had a very successful training camp, an excellent preseason and a good start to the season so far. Our focus is who we have to be day in and day out to be successful as a club. I'm satisfied for where we are right now, but it's still early in the season and there is room for improvement.“
The aforementioned rivlary everyone was talking about pregame and the special feels of it were obvious from the very start. The number of penalties, with a game misconduct on each side resulted in an increased ice time for special teams whoes play dictated the game.
Medvescak took the lead that will hold up until the last ten minutes of the game with a powerplay goal by Marek Kvapil in the middle of the first period. From the blue line all the way to Barry Brust, who played his first game for the new team, he took the puck all on his own through the left side of the ice.
Video source: www.khl.ru
Slovan turned the game around with two quick goals only 27 seconds apart, and the Bears managed to respond five minutes later with a goal by Tomas Mertl.
„It's dissapointing the lose at the very end when the whole team fought so hard. They scored on a powerplay, and then again in quick succession and we ended up on the wrong side of a wild finnish. We have to learn from this game, find a way not to repeat the mistakes we made and turn our attention to the next game. We have to games in Moscow,“ Medvescak defensemen Shaone Morrisonn said after the game.
Bears continue the first road trip in Moscow on Tuesday, 08th of September at 6:30 PM Zagreb time with a game against Dynamo Moscow.
HC SLOVAN BRATISLAVA – KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB 3:2 (0:1; 0:0; 3:1)
KHL, Slovnaft arena, Bratislava
12:45 0-1 Kvapil PPG
49:59 1-1 Barker PPG (Kaspar, Ticar)
50:26 2-1 Nedorost (Svarny)
55:42 2-2 Mertl (Smolenak, Kinrade)
59:18 3-2 Viedensky (Kaspar, Nagy)
SOG: 39 - 20
PIM: 37 - 37
HC SLOVAN BRATISLAVA: Luza, Sresen, Nedorost, Jeglic, Ticar, Viedensky, Nagy, Skalicky, Brust, Garnett, Lusnak, Surovy, Svarny, Barker, Mihalik, Stastny, Bartovic, Kozak, Kaspar, Skokan, Starosta
KHL MEDVEŠČAK ZAGREB: Kroselj, Heeter, Kinrade, Genoway, Deutsch, Larkin, Giliati, Glumac, Brule, Mantyla, Hedberg, Jamtin, Bjorkstrand, Gysbers, Smolenak, Perkovich, Morrisonn, Saarinen, Mertl, Katic, Kvapil