With an excellent first 40 minutes of the game and a flowing attack, the Bears decided the winner in their 32nd game of the season. The spotlight shone on Radek Smolenak, with a lot of help from Tuukka Mäntyla and Gilbert Brule. The guests from Cherepovets came out strong in the last period, ready to fight until the very end, but as their head coach Dimitri Juskevich said, it wasn’t enough:”This was our third away game and the smaller dimensions of the ice that we played on here were simply too big a change for us and we couldn’t adjust in time and we spent the game chasing after the result.”
In analyzing the game, Medvescak head coach Gordie Dwyer pointed out the first two periods and he took the third as a valuable lesson from which the Bears have to learn:”We knew that the game wouldn’t be easy considering the road trip we just came home from. Through most of the game we kept our structure and we took most of our chances. In the last 20 minutes we dropped the intensity and Severstal kept the game interesting with their constant pressure. We’re happy with the new three points and we’re looking towards Monday.”
The game began with a minute of silence for the recently passed Darko Loncar, nicknamed “The Russian”, former player of KHL Sisak. The first few minutes resulted in a fast paced game on both sides of the ice, and the guests struck first. In a struggle in front of Danny Taylor’s net, Igor Skorokhodov managed to put the puck in. Soon after the goal, the first penalty was given to Severstal and while Ilya Hohlov was in the penalty box, Smolenak scored his first goal of the night to tie the game for the first and last time tonight.
Coach Dwyer commented the goal at the very start of the powerplay:”Our games as of late have become very disciplined on both sides, but the few opportunities we had, we created chances and today we realized them into big goals.” The second goal the coach mentioned was scored by Mäntyla on an excellent Smolenak assist at the halfway point of the game, the goal would prove to be game-winning.
The second period started with a goal for the Bears off a Brule shot that tricked Jakub Stepanek. Smolenak, who took part in all the Bears goals tonight picked this one as his favourite:”We wanted to go on the offensive strong, push the puck deep. We managed to do that and we were rewarded with Brule’s excellent shot. It’s always nice to see.”
Smolenak played the game in line with Brule and Jesse Saarinen:”They’re both really fast and have an excellent view of the game. Brule likes to play physical and always tries to push the puck in their part of the ice as a much as he can. Jesse plays a very similar style and I feel great playing with them in a line.”
Smolenak capped off the excellent second period by the Bears with his second goal of the night, fourth for the Bears, which proved to be deadly for Severstal’s goalie Stepanek, because he spent the last period on the bench, replaced by Sergei Magarilov.
In the last period, Cherepovets came out fighting and managed to put one more puck behind Taylor:”We made some mistakes in the third, but Danny kept us in it and Smolenak had a big night. We kept to our system and we fought, the last period could’ve been better, but we’ve won the points and that’s what matters.” said Shaone Morrisonn, one of the key defensemen for the Bears, this was his second game after an injury:”It’s an excellent feeling being back with the team and playing. I’ve spent most of the time playing with Kinrade, but it doesn’t matter who I’m on the ice with, all of the guys know their role and the game plan and it’s easy to play like that.”
To sum things up, coach Dwyer commented on Smolenak’s big night:”In games like these you need your best players to show their colours and I’m really happy that Smolenak found a way to do that. It was an excellent game for him and his whole line, they managed to create proper mayhem in the Severstal defense.”
Video material source: www.khl.ru
The Bears will play their next game against CSKA Moscow on Monday, November 16 starting at 7:30 PM. Tickets are available on all Ticketshop sales spots, as well as online on www.ticketshop.hr, as always, tickets will also be available on the Dom sportova box office at the day of the game at 6 PM.
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB – HC SEVERSTAL CHEEREPOVETS 4:2 (1:1;3:0;0:1)
KHL, Ice hall of Dom sportova, Zagreb
10:15 0-1 Skorokhodov (Nikoncev)
11:35 1-1 Smolenak (Mäntylä, Jurčina) PP1
20:44 2-1 Brule (Smolenak)
29:57 3-1 Mäntylä (Smolenak, Mertl) PP1
37:45 4-1 Smolenak (Brule, Mäntylä)
57:34 4-2 Kagarlicki (Trubachov)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 24 - 31
PENALTIES: 8 min – 10 min
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Taylor, Kroselj, Kinrade, Deutsch, Parlett, Giliati, Glumac, Brule, Mäntylä, Hedberg, Jämtin, Bolduc, Bjorkstrand, Jurcina, Smolenak, Perkovich, Morrisonn, Saarinen, Mertl, Katic, Kvapil
HC SEVERSTAL CHEREPOVETS: Stepanek, Magarilov, Kudako, Stasenko, Berdnikov, Kagatlicky, Nikoncev, Kazakovtsev, Trubachov, Skorohodov, Karlsson, Mons, Hokhlov, Dorofeev, Popov, Nemec, Gimatov, Viharev, Monahov, Trunyev, Kovirshin, Buchnevich