About the League
Yegor Guskov played two games for U20 Team Russia at Four Nations Tournament, which wrapped in Czech Republic last well. Junior Hockey League current record-holder for most shutout wins helped Igor Larionov’s men win both bouts as Russia first defeated Sweden 4-1 and then the hosts of the tournament, who put on ice their best possible roster, 4-3. Overall Lokomotiv Yaroslavl goaltender stopped 46 shots in 120 minutes.
However, one of four goals that Guskov allowed at the tournament went viral. All because he scored against his own team. In the final game of the tournament Russia faced Czech Republic. Blowing a 2-goal lead, the visitors were tied 2-2 going into the third. During a power play Guskov went to stop the puck on the clearing attempt, looking to begin another offensive rush, but the puck went into the net instead.
“The puck wobbled a little and slung off the blade of my stick on that play. I lost focus a little due to fatigue and made a mistake. When I saw where the puck was going, I was just standing there in stupor. I didn’t myself up about it. I pulled myself together and got my head back in the game,” says Guskov.
- Igor Larionov said that after the game everyone in the dressing-room congratulated you on scoring your first goal for Team Russia.
- Yeah, there were a lot of jokes on the matter! I look back at the episode with a smile as well. I don’t beat myself up about it. Perhaps, it’s the only goal I didn’t think about after the final buzzer.
- Last season you said several times that you dream to score goal. Do you abandon the dream now?
- No, it’s still on! I had a chance to score a real goal at the tournament. I caught the puck with my glove with a minute to go in the game against Sweden when they had already pulled their goaltender. I wanted to drop the puck and shoot it but I wasn’t quick enough and the ref blew the play dead.
Own goal didn’t stop Russia from walking away with a win. Pavel Tyutnev scored the game-winning goal with 76 second remaining to be played in the third period. With the victory, Russia finished third at the tournament.
“In 50 years I have a lot of flukes. I allowed a few fluke goals myself. But it was the first time that I saw a goaltender score on his own net that way,” said assistant U20 Team Russia coach Oleg Bratash. “I would like to point out how everyone on the team responded to that complicated episode. First, everyone of the five skaters that were on the ice patted the goaltender on the pads to lift up his spirit. Then the team got going and won the game. That own game had a positive effect as well. Guskov should also be credited for putting it behind him quickly.”