About the League
Tolpar lead series 1-0
Khanty-Mansiysk scored the initial goal of the post-season but it was the visitors who walked away victorious.
Igor Grishin, Tolpar Ufa head-coach.
“It was the first game of the playoffs. Obviously, there was anxiety and several other troubles. Besides, our opponent was really motivated. We didn’t have a good first period because the boys couldn’t execute the things we had agreed on at a team meeting,” believes Grishin. “But starting from the second period, we changed our game and began playing the way we had asked them to. We grabbed the momentum, created a lot of scoring chances and scored. Unfortunately, we took several penalties in the third period, which threw us off the rails and that’s why late minutes of regulation were nerve-racking. I wouldn’t say that we gave up the momentum but because of those two penalties we lost a little of control on the game. However, we managed to get a win and we’re happy with that. We’re getting the boys ready for tomorrow’s game. We need them rested and ready to play better than they did today.”
Stalnye Lisy lead series 1-0
The fate of the game in Magnitogorsk was decided by a sole goal, which took place just over a minute in – Yegor Moshkin had the tally.
Alexei Zavarukhin, Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk head-coach.
“You could feel the boys were nervous. They burned out a little and allowed an unnecessary goal in early in the game,” says Zavarukhin. “Later on we created our own scoring chances but we had a slight trouble with conversion. We’re going to take a closer look at the game now. We told the boys that they lost just one bout and they still have games ahead of them. We’re going to come out hard for them. Our opponent played smart hockey. We created a lot of scoring chances and hit the post on several occasions but the conversion rate needs improving. All we had to do was to score.”
Danil Zinovyev. Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk forward.
“The game was even. We just couldn’t convert on our scoring chances,” adds Zinovyev. “Other than that – the boys did a great job and battled till the end. It’s not the end of the world, we’re going to keep pushing forward. We weren’t nervous at all. It’s better to start a series on home ice but it is what it is. We’re going to fix our mistakes tomorrow, improve our conversion rate and everything is going to be alright. Hitting posts and bars so many times, we feel pumped up because we couldn’t score. We had to bury a few ‘garbage’ goals. Obviously, had we scored, it would have been a lot easier to play. Some games are just like that.”
Irbis lead series 1-0Yet another game with a narrow margin. Maxim Bykov was credited with the only marker in this one.
Artyom Anisimov, Irbis Kazan head-coach.
“It was a game between two very good teams,” says Anisimov. “The game proved that the boys are improving. That’s true for both teams. It was a good game. One goal proved to be deciding.”
Vladislav Otmakhov, Avto Yekaterinburg head-coach.
“The score is on the board. The game was decided by just a single goal. It was the first playoff game for several of our boys. We had a good chance in the third period on a power play but we couldn’t capitalize on it,” explains Otmakhov. “We need to get a good night’s sleep, rest and recover now.”
Artur Akhtyamov, Irbis Kazan netminder.
“Obviously, it’s great that we won. But it’s only the first game. Hopefully, we’re going to go for a long run. Above all, we mustn’t lose focus. Yes, it’s great to win but at the very least we still have two important games ahead of us. So we’re going to continue getting ready for them. What moment was difficult? Actually, all of them. Every shot is dangerous in the playoffs,” believes Akhtyamov. “That’s why I’m not going to single out any of them. Experience playing on Bars helps. After all, VHL is a men’s league. Today we spent a lot of time killing penalties. So the experience I have gained playing for Bars, obviously, helps me.”
Chayka 1-2 Sputnik OT
Sputnik lead series 1-0
Eighth best team of the Eastern Conference managed to upset the favorites in Nizhny Novgorod. Regulation ended in a tie and Vyacheslav Kolesnikov won it for Almetyevsk in overtime.
Nikolai Voyevodin, Chayka Nizhny Novgorod head-coach.
“It was a tough, tough game,” admits Voyevodin. “Sputnik is an organized team and we just couldn’t get a lucky bounce. We’re going to take a closer look at the game and give advice to the boys. We’re going to get ready for tomorrow’s game.”
Denis Pochivalov, Chayka Nizhny Novgorod forward.
“We had a decent game but we had to capitalize on our chances and score goals,” adds Pochivalov. “We didn’t get any luck in this game but we’re going to do better in the next one. We’re going to talk to the boys and cool our heads.”