KHL, 49th ROUND, MEDVESCAK ZAGREB – LOKOMOTIV YAROSLAVL 1:0 (0:0, 1:0, 0:0)
Zagreb, Arena Zagreb, Attendance: 15200. Referees: Anatoly Zakharov, Rafael Kadyrov, Alexander Sadovnikov, Sergei Shelyanin
Entering this game, Medvescak was one regulation win away from making the playoffs, unless everything went right for Atlant and everything wrong for the Bears during the remainder of the season. However, you couldn't tell that from the opening period of play. As the game progressed the fans got louder and set a record in terms of decibel created - the pace of play certainly picked up.
The start of the hockey game brought lots of stoppages, with Medvescak spending more time in the offensive zone. First powerplay of the game was called in favor of the visiting Lokomotiv, as Michael Ryan ended up in the box for tripping. At that point, Mark Dekanich was making sure his team didn't go a goal down by providing a couple of good stops up close. Sasa Martinovic got nailed for interference later on but that penalty was also negated by the Bears' special teams. Soon after, it was Kurtis Foster's turn in the box for roughing. Still, taking penalties against any team could have proven costly. Luckily for the home town faithful, it didn't in the opening frame.
A more energetic second period saw the first goal of the game. Not two minutes in and Medvescak took the lead. After some great work in behind the net Mike Glumac put a shot on goal which trickled in off Curtis Sanford and went in. Sector B and the rest of the home crowd got a scare six minutes in after a Lokomotiv shot hit the post, but it was waived off after a review. Some more Lokomotiv chances, mostly caused by defensive breakdowns, soon followed. The Bears answered with good shifts of their own, but no further scoring was done in the second.
The third period offered a more controlled pace, dictated by the home team. Until Matt Ellison hit the box for hooking, that is. Still, the 21st ranked KHL powerplay couldn't muster up anything signifficant against the 5th powerplay killing units of the Bears. Lokomotiv kept pressing hard, with Jeff Platt providing most of the spark for the away side. Yegor Averin came close to tying it up but his shot from the slot trickled past the right post and missed the net. It seemed that Medvescak pulled their foot off the gas a little bit early, but Mark French's team still managed to collect all three points on the night. With another Dekanich shutout, the playoffs are a whisker away.
KHL MEDVESCAK ZAGREB: Dekanich, Westlund, O'Connor, Klubertanz, Popovic, Linglet, Thomas, Nystrom, Svarny, Glumac, Murray, Cheechoo, Vesce, Ryan, Murley, Martinovic, Kane, Iggulden, Foster, Bjorkstrand, Ellison, Katic
COACH: Mark French
LOKOMOTIV YAROSLAVL: Sanford, Kolesnik, Holos, Plotnikov, Redlihs, Chernikov, Petrov, Kronwall, Averin, Pashnin, Peretyagin, Platt, Apalkov, Vasilyev, Yakovlev, Lybushkin, Musatov, Kapustin, Galimov, Gorokhov, Maltsev, Sprukts
COACH: Pyotr Vorobyov
1:0 MED Glumac (Ryan, 22.) EQ
PENALTY MINUTES: Medvescak 12, Lokomotiv 4
SHOTS ON GOAL: Medvescak 29, Lokomotiv 41