Zagreb Bears have embarked on the second phase of training camp which will include longer stays in the Czech Republic and Wales and finally short trips to Bratislava and Graz before heading home to Zagreb. First week they will spend in Karlovy Vary and during that time two games are scheduled in nearby cities – Chomutov and Litvninov.
“First exhibition games will be about evaluating players in certain situation, to see how we perform on the ice. This will be a really important week for us as a group. We’ll have an opportunity to see guys and what they have early on. From there, playing against other teams helps the competitive environment and our compete level. We are going to get a lot of practice time, we want to get into our systems and how we want to play collectively. For myself as a coach, it is important to develop the team identity and with a lot of returning players we’ve identified that are going to help, play to our team strengths, and new players who jumped on board and are willing to do that, I’m sure we’ll be on the same page,” Gordie Dwyer, Head Coach said.
Avangard Omsk is the first team the Bears will match up to. So far, the regular season results go in favor of Omsk Hawks who have four wins out of five matches. But, right now the result is secondary.
“The game against Omsk will be the first of the preseason and with a game like that you want to have your systems in-play and work on them from there – fine-tune and tweak them. It’s not about winning or losing in the preseason and as much as it is in the regular season,” Assistant Coach Connor Cameron mentioned briefly.
Omsk brought in 16 new players this summer and so far in the preseason they’ve played two games – against Avtomobilist (Yekaterinburg) and Pirates (Chomutov), losing both of them.
“No matter the changes they’ve made, Omsk is a very good team with very good players. Last year they had a really good offensive line, and their goalie is really good. They are a Russian team, so they play fast, they never stop, and they skate really hard. We want to score goals, obviously, but it should be fun. At this point is season we can’t expect much, but we have to control what we can and learn from mistakes to be better every single day,” Francis Pare, new Bears forward gave an overview of the game.
Ivan Jankovic has a similar opinion:”To start with, we are not going to the Czech Republic to win, we are going there to play as a team and fine-tune our game and to see and feel how we can work together on the ice.”
The game is scheduled for tomorrow (Tuesday, 2 August) at 5 PM CEST in Chomutov. Live stream will be available for a price of around 2 euro HERE.