The Bears have opened the KHL season at home with style. The previously undefeated team from Sochi arrived as guests for the evening, and history repeated itself. Sochi was the first one to take the lead, but after regulation, the Bears were victorious and took big two points which put them on top of the Western Conference.
“Three wins in a row, they’re not the easiest or the pretties always, but points are what counts,” Gordie Dwyer, Medvescak’s Head Coach commented after another great victory.
“We were looking forward to be coming home, playing in front of our fans. And once more home ice proved to be a great advantage for us. We started the game well, but we knew we’ll have to battle. Sochi is currently one of the top teams in the League and playing some pretty good hockey,” the coach continued on.
Medvescak’s Dman, Yann Sauve played his first game in the Ice Hall and confirmed that home ice atmosphere is something they have been eagerly awaiting:”The fans were constantly involved in the game and supported us. This was the first time I experienced chants like that. It was great!”
And on the game itself, he said:”Defense did a good job tonight, we made it hard for them to come to our goal. As a team we played good, although again we took a lot of penalties. In the end we just stuck to what we talked about. And we won.”
The win arrived on goals by Mark Katic, Colby Genoway and Shaone Morrisonn. After the first period, which was basically used for sizing up and setting the standard of the game that will until the end remain a true competition in every sense of the word, the Bears made a comeback in the second and showed they can play with anybody.
The first of this season on away ice, and now on home ice as well, was scored by Katic. “I shot the puck and honestly couldn’t see where it was going, I was screened by their D. Luckily, it found the back of the net. I hope it was the first of many more to come,” Katic, who changed his position on the ice this season, said of his goal.
“You don’t see many changes like that in professional hockey, especially at this level. Our team though that Katic could do well because of the skill set he has. It’s great to see him do so well, be rewarded and find a way to chip in. He’s a great addition to our offense,” coach Dwyer thinks of his new forward.
The Bears turned the game round a few minutes later on power play when Genoway shot a one-timer from the top of right bully circle. With many penalties taken, guests managed to get the puck in Danny Taylor’s net for the second time of the night in the third period, and take the game to overtime.
And then, the game was decided by a Dman with a bit different role this season:”Mo is a true professional. He has the experience of many years of playing in the NHL, but kudos to him for coming in to training camp in great shape, and working hard day in and day out. He leads the team by example and he had a great start. We want him to be more offensively involved and shoot on the net. It’s great to see such a player get rewarded with a game-winner,” coach Dwyer praised Morrisonn.
This was his second goal for Medvescak in his 102th game for the team. “It’s good to get the first one out of the way and hopefully there will be some more to come for our fans. I felt good out there tonight, Parlett and I are gelling together. I want to contribute offensively more this season. To get the first goal in front of our fans, and a game winner, is really something special. It’s the best crowd in the league, without a doubt. I won’t forget this game.”
Danny Taylor was announced as the player of the game. The held the team in and blocked 35 shots on goal.
Video source: www.khl.ru
The Bears will be back in Dom sportova the day after tomorrow. On Wednesday, 31 August they host Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod starting at 6:45 PM.
Tickets are available on all Ticketshop points of sale, online on www.ticketshop.com and at main Box office in Dom sportova, 90 minutes before the game.
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB – HC SOCHI 3:2 OT (0:1;2:0;0:1;1:0)
KHL, Ice Hall of Dom sportova, Zagreb
07:26 0-1 Krikunov (Petersson, Ignatushkin) PP1
22:02 1-1 Katic (Bezina, Butler)
27:06 2-1 Genoway (Pare, Smith) PP1
46:14 2-2 Maxwell (Petersson, Fantenberg) PP2
62:04 3-2 Morrisonn (McMillan, Hedberg)
SHOTS ON GOAL: 42 - 37
PENALTIES: 28 min – 16 min
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Taylor, Hovinen, Sauve, Genoway, Parlett, Mahbod, Smejkal, Giroux, Glumac, Brule, Hedberg, Butler, Larkin, Bolduc, Bezina, Smith, Morrisonn, Mertl, McMillan, Katic, Pare
HC SOCHI: Barulin, Shikin, Fantenberg, Derlyuk, Padakin, Tomilin, Krikunov, Ignatushkin, O'Dell, Petersson, Mamkin, Schchegolkov, Maxwell, Tolpeko, Pedan, Mamshev, Gorokhov, Levitsky, Skachkov, Delynov
Photo: Igor Šoban / Pixsell