Third luck was the charm. Not for the Bears tough, but for the Mammoths who won over Medvescak for the first time on the ice of Ugra arena and added three points to their total.
The dynamics and speed of possession exchanges from the very start painted a similar picture to the game played earlier between the two teams in Zagreb, but goalies in a better form and more reliable defending lead to a lot fewer pucks in the nets:”We knew that the game would be tough, we weren’t fooling ourselves. It all came down to the details and the level on which both teams were willing to play,” Gordie Dwyer started his analysis of today’s game.
The Bears came to face the Mammoths after two big wins in which they played well early on. Today’s match started off in a similar fashion and the even matchup through the first half of the game tested the goalies from the very beginning.
“We had a good start to the game and we played a good first period. But, all together, we played it safe. We should’ve put more attention on attacking” said Dwyer who commented the first lead:”Our first, and our only goal, it meant a lot, especially because it was scored on the powerplay. Sadly, the tying goal came soon and the after that we lost concentration.” It was scored by Marek Kvapil who finally broke his scoring fast and scored after more than a month of drought with a shot from the left circle to give the Bears the lead.
But the difference on the scoreboard didn’t keep. Not even a minute later the hosts tie the game, and eight minutes later, at the very end of the second period they took the lead. Danny Taylor, who was chosen as the best goalie in the KHL of the month of November kept his team in the game as long as he could. With excellent saves in the first he kept his net closed and at the end of the second he kept the gap minimal.
The crucial moment of the game happened at the start of the third. The Bears were faced with a too many players on ice penalty and while Radek Smolenak sat on the bench, Evgeny Lapenkov doubled the hosts’ lead: ”All congratulations to Ugra who played without stopping throughout all 60 minutes and took the chances they had. Our second penalty, the too many players on ice one in the last period, was questionable to say the least. Ugra took what was given to them and went on to a two goal lead with a powerplay goal. It was the turning point of the game and we couldn’t come back after it.”
After the third goal scored, Ugra got a boost while the Bears tried a few times to surprise Vladislav Fokin, but with no success. The end result of 4:1 was set by Igor Bortnikov seven minutes before the end of the game.
“It was a closer game than the result suggest. It’s on us to leave this game behind and focus on the next one in Omsk,” concluded coach Dwyer.
Video material source www.khl.ru
The Bears continue their tour of the Eastern conference on Thursday, December 3 in Omsk against Avangard, the game starts at 2 PM CET.
HK UGRA KHANTY-MANSIYSK – KHL MEDVESCAK 4:1 (0:0;2:1;2:0)
KHL, Ugra Arena, Khanty-Mansyisk
29:47 0-1 Kvapil (Jurcina) PP1
30:44 1-1 Medvedev (Lapenkov, Taratukhin)
38:11 2-1 Varfolomeyev (Kalashnikov, Ivanov)
45:46 3-1 Lapenkov (Antonov, Varfolomeyev) PP1
53:03 4-1 Vortnikov (Gogbunov, Panov)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 31 - 31
PENALTIES: 4 min – 6 min
HK UGRA KHANTY-MANSIYSK: Fokin, Gelashvili, Kalashnikov, Antonov, Shevchenko, Bulyansky, Taratukhin, Mamkin, Panov, Khvostov, Vasilychenko, Jatsenko, Ankudinov, Varfilomeyev, Zheldakov, Gorbunov, Pogorishny, Ivanov, Bortnikov, Medvedev, Belyev, Lapenkov
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Taylor, Kroselj, Kinrade, Genoway, Deutsch, Parlett, Giliati, Glumac, Brule, Mäntylä, Hedberg, Jämtin, Bolduc, Bjorkstrand, Gysbers, Jurcina, Smolenak, Morrisonn, Saarinen, Mertl, Kvapil