A thrilling, entertaining and hard fought game in which both teams stuck to their game plans and limited the mistakes they make, offered a ton of excitement and goals after a scoreless first period. The very ending turned into a dramatic finish that saw the guest emerge as winners.
The Bears played an excellent first period keeping one of the most prolific offensive lines in league in check and without a serious scoring chance on Michael Garnett. The Ice hall erupted at the three minute mark when Alexandre Bolduc chipped in a rebound, but the goal was waived off due to an offside.
“We were flying out there in the first 10 minutes and played a really good game. We were pushing for a lead and I don't know why it was called off. They said offside, but... well, we just have to take it,” Jiri Smejkal, scorer of the Bears third and tying goal, and the assistant to the waived off one, said.
With discipline, puck possession and good management the Bears held control of the game for most of the time. The guest took the initial lead and again a lead for the second break with two goal by Brandon Bochenski. Medvescak answered on the first one within two minutes, on a power play when Alexandre Giroux put in his own rebound.
“It feels good to score a goal, but it feels really bad to lose it this way. We came back to 3:3 only to lose it by a goal in the final seconds. But, we’ve played well and we need to concentrate on the positive, and there were a lot of those,” Giroux commented.
Balace of power remained the same in the final frame and Barys was again the team to score first. Nigel Dawes stepped in for Bochenski and gave his team the most dangerous lead in hockey.
Not a minute later Kirill Voronin celebrated his birthday with a goal right off the bully.
Shots continued on both sides and Smejkal tied it all up again.
“We were practicing something like that and Krejcik made a great pass to find my going to the net. I just shot and we were even. But, we allowed a goal on the next shift and then let Barys win. I know there were a lot of positives, but we’re sad and disappointed,” Smejkal said.
Final eight dramatic moments with three goals followed a tie. Dawes seemingly had no problems in putting one behind Garnett one more time and on the last power play of the game, with an extra skater on the Bears’ side, Astana found an empty net.
Goran Bezina set up the final score with a goal with 20 seconds left.
“We played smart, disciplined and created a lot of chances. In the end, the stars in Barys’ roster were just that and they brought victory,” Medvescak’s head coach Gordie Dwyer commented.
Video source: www.khl.ru
Two more games remain in this homestand. On Friday, 13 January the Bears will host Avtomobilist Ekaterinburg at 7 PM.
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB – HC BARYS ASTANA 4:5 (0:0;1:2;3:3)
KHL, Ice Hall of Dom sportova, Zagreb
28:57 0-1 Bochenski
30:52 1-1 Giroux (Pare, Genoway) PP1
31:34 1-2 Bochenski (Dowes) PP1
43:38 1-3 Dawes (Bochenski, Boyd)
44:36 2-3 Voronin (Glumac)
51:08 3-3 Smejkal (Krejcik, Katic)
53:13 3-4 Dawes (Dallman, Bochenski)
58:06 3-5 Shinnimin SH1, EN
59:20 4-5 Bezina (Lessio, Krejcik)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 42 - 24
PENALTIES: 2 min – 6 min
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Garnett, Gajdučenko, Genoway, Kozak, Parlett, Mahbod, Zanoski, Giroux, Smejkal, Lessio, Glumac, Larkin, Bolduc, Bezina, Perkovich, Smith, Voronin, Katic, Pare, Arkalov, Krejcik
HC BARYS ASTANA: Karlsson, Poulin, Dawes, Bochenski, Boyd, Semjonov, Dallman, Mihaylis, Shinnimin, St. Pierre, Shalapov, Barker, Khudakov, Kuchin, Pushkarov, Savchenko, Lipin, Grents, Belgibayev, Trivino, Panyukov, Tryasunov
Photo: Igor Soban/Pixsell