''Our form is coming together and we're more compact throughout the game'', said coach French.
The Bears won the Biasca Tournament! They beat Metallurg Novokuznetsk, one of the teams they will be facing in the 2013/14 KHL season, in the final Biasca Tournament game with a convincing 5:2. Third place went to Kazakhstan's Saryarka from Karagand, and Swiss primary leaguers Ambri-Piotta came in fourth.
"I think that we played a very good two games. I'm happy with the second one because we showed character in a game that was pretty equal, in the second and third period we were really good and showed improvement from Friday's game. We played powerplays really well in the game against Saryarka, which is important because throughout the season that part of the game is going to be important to create advantages over the opponents'', commented Medveščak's satisfied coach.
Zagreb's team, whose net was defended by Mark Dekanich for the full 60 minutes, started the game off well, and secured the lead in the first three minutes just like they did the day before against Saryarka thanks to Andrew Murray. Eight minutes later Metalurg evened the score with a shot from Curtis McLean, while in minute 14 Mark Popovic made use of an assist from Jonathan Cheechoo and put the Bears ahead by one point. The period ended with Medveščak in the lead, which made Semyon Valuisky worry in minute 15.
''We've improved significantly since Maribor, our form is coming together, and I'm glad that the players are becoming more accepting of my ideas and that we're more compact throughout the game. We have a lot more work before the start of the championship, but our form is coming together and that's great news for us'', said French.
Unlike the first part that was fairly equal, the Bears starting taking control of the score in the third period. In minute 30 Hugh Jessiman and Boyd Kane managed to overtake Metallurg's defence and goalie, with an assist from Jessiman that Kane turned into a goal. In the final period there was some panic in the team from Novokuznetsk's bench as the Bears rattled their net twice between minutes 47 and 48. The first shot came from Matt Murley, followed by Dario Kostović. Throughout the third period their opponents collected 31 penalty minutes, while the Bears had only 6.
"We played two great games. I'm glad we showed what we're capable of to a KHL team. There's surely room for improvement, but little by little we're getting the shape of the game which is going to help us throughout the season'', said Popovic.
SEVENTH PREP GAME
KHL MEDVEŠČAK ZAGREB - METALLURG NOVOKUZNETSK 5:2 (2:2, 1:0, 2:0)
BIASCA - PDG Biasca. Spectators: 100. Referees: Stephane Rochette, Marco Prugger, Flavio Ambrosetti, Markus Brunner.
1:0 MED Murray (3)
1:1 MNK McLean (Antilla, Kosourov, 11)
2:1 MED Popovic (Cheechoo, 14)
2:2 MNK Valuisky (Kanarsky, 15)
3:2 MED Kane (Jessiman, 30)
4:2 MED Murley (Cheechoo, 47)
5:2 MED Kostović (Montador, G. Koren, 48)
KHL MEDVEŠČAK: Dekanich, Vasiljević, Popovic, Klubertanz, Letang, Martinović, Montador, Foster, Carle, Thomas, Murray, Willsie, Kane, Murley, Walker, Bjorkstrand, G. Koren, Kostović, Cheechoo, Jessiman, Glumac, Perkovich.
METALLURG NOVOKUZNETSK: Hovinen, Lozhkin, Giroux, Korabeynikov, Mäntylä, Aksyonenko, Chernov, Kanarsky, Kapotov, Gimbatov, Turukin, Vyglazov, Zyuzyakin, Akhmetov, Anttila, Yemelin, Galimov, Kosourov, McLean, Mitryakov, Valuisky, Martynov.
PENALTIES: Medveščak 18, Metallurg 41.