Medveščak players are once again, as a part of their KHL preseason preparations, competing in the preseason tournament held in Straubing. They opened the tournament against Thomas Sabo Ice Tigers from Nürnberg. The Ice Tigers team includes a few former Bears (Foster, Klubertanz, Segal), of which Kyle Klubertanz assisted in Ice Tigers’ first goal.
For the team that lost in the quarterfinal of the DEL last season to the future champions ( Adler Mannheim), this was only their first preseason game, they began skating only 10 days ago. They were missing a key component in their team, 39 year old Canadian center, Steven Reinprecht who is out because of hand surgery for up to six weeks.
Medveščak started the game well, though there weren’t many great chances on either side, the Bears built their game and pressure slowly but surely. The advantage on the ice was proven on the scoreboard in the 18th minute, when Andreas Jämtin intercepted some lousy communications in the Ice Tiger defense and scored the game’s first goal. After the first period ended, the heat rose and the gloves fell off, it all ended in two minor penalties for the Ice Tigers and one minor for Medveščak.
The start of the second period was nothing short of furious, the Ice Tigers tied the game, courtesy for Patrick Reimer. Only a minute and a half later, Medveščak strikes back, Colby Genoway makes it a 2:1 game. Near the end of the period, after the goalie change in Medveščak, the Bears increase their lead to 2, on a powerplay goal by Stefano Giliati.
In the last period, drama ensued. The Ice Tigers showed great willpower and they slowly built up momentum, which resulted in a hurricane of goals in the last five minutes of the game. Reimer cut the deficit to one (becoming the first player in the game to score two goals). The first tie of the period was brought to the Ice Tigers by Alexander Oblinger. Gilbert Brule, after assisting for an earlier goal, scored one of his own to give Medveščak the lead, but with only 28 seconds left on the clock, the Ice Tigers tied the game for the third time, Oblinger became the second man on the ice with 2 goals to his name.
The game headed straight into the penalty shootout when the third period ended, after five misses (two by Medveščak and three by the Ice TIgers), Gilbert Brule ended the game, giving Medveščak their third preseason win in as many games.
“Though we started the game on a high note, leading 3:1 after two periods, we shouldn’t have let them comeback. In the third period we felt a bit tired and they took advantage, but in the end we got the win. The lack of energy in the final period is proof of the hard work and extremely difficult tempo of practice we’ve had as of late. We feel that we’re growing as a team, both on and off the ice and these preseason games are helping us a lot.” said Gilbert Brule, owner of the game-winning penalty.
Head coach Gordie Dwyer didn’t hide his satisfaction with the win and the effort the Bears put in:” We’re happy with the win. We played very well, especially in the first two periods in which we created a lot of good scoring chances. Nürnberg took advantage of a few chances late in the game, but we kept our composure and in the end came out with the win after the shootout. It’s obvious that some players are still trying to find a role to fit in with the team, but they’re all trying very hard and that’s great. All that’s left is to analyze this game and prepare for the next one (Cup final on 16.08. against Augsburg Panthers).
Milan Jurčina played his first preseason game with Medveščak.
The final of the tournament will be played on 16.08.2015. from 14:30 against the Augsburg Panthers. It will be a rematch of the last year’s final when Medveščak lost to the Panthers.
THIRD PRESEASON GAME
KHL MEDVEŠČAK ZAGREB - THOMAS SABO ICE TIGERS NüRNBERG 5:4 SO (1:0;2:1;1:3;;1:0)
18:27 - 1:0 Jämtin (Genoway, Bjorkstrand)
20:56 - 1:1 Reimer (Klubertanz)
21:38 - 2:1 Genoway (Brule)
37:38 - 3:1 Giliati PPG (Brule, Genoway)
45:33 - 3:2 Reimer (Fraser)
54:14 - 3:3 Oblinger (Möchel, El-Sayed)
55:29 - 4:3 Brule (Saarinen)
59:32 - 4:4 Oblinger (P. Reimer, Ehliz)
60:00 - 5:4 Brule
KHL MEDVEŠČAK ZAGREB : Heeter, Taylor, Mäntylä, Gysbers, Morrisonn, Kinrade, Katic, Jurčina, Deutsch, Topol, Jämtin, Brule, Giliati, Smoleňák, Mertl, Kvapil, Saarinen, Genoway, Bjorkstrand, Zanoški, Perkovich, Glumac, Arkalov
THOMAS SABO ICE TIGERS NüRNBERG: Jenike, Reimer, Borer, Foster, Nowak, Oblinger, Reimer, Buzas, Joslin, Weber, Schwarz, Segal, Steckel, Ehliz, Fraser, Pfleger, Klubertanz, Kabitzky, Printz, Möchel, El-Sayed, Pföderl