2019 YEARBOOK. DMITRY SHUGAYEV

2019 YEARBOOK. DMITRY SHUGAYEV
Interview
08.07.2019 в 18:00
2019 YEARBOOK. DMITRY SHUGAYEV
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Former Atlanty Moscow Region and Almaz Cherepovets goaltender Dmitry Shugayev spoke to Junior Hockey League media relations department about why he decided to take the place between the pipes, how much time takes his pre-game routine, Kharlamov Cup Finals and winning at chess.

- You’ve played three seasons in major junior hockey. Which one would you say was the most difficult?
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Probably, the first one. Transitioning from junior to major junior hockey is always tricky, so my rookie season was the most difficult one for me.

- Which one was the most memorable?
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My last season was the most memorable, the one I spent with Almaz. We did well in the regular season and got to compete in the playoffs. It’s not something you get to forget soon.

- You have told the story how Alexei Artamkin was involved in your move from Atlanty to Almaz. How did you end up in Mytischi in the first place?
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I played my last two junior hockey seasons in Ryazan. One of my teammates went to Atlanty for a try-out and I was invited to accompany him. They told me they would try-out another goaltender along with me. There were no guarantees with Atlanty. I went to Mytischi and began practising. After two days of practising I was told I made the team.

- How did you decide to be a goaltender?
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I didn’t like running as a kid. When we were playing, we would just use barrels for goal. So I would just stand between the barrels as if I was a goaltender. Our coach saw that and asked me if I wanted to be a goaltender. I spoke about it with my father and told the coach the next day that I was ready. It just so happened that it was a game-practice day. So they put me in goal in skater’s equipment and the puck hit me in the knee. I left the practice in tears, determined I would never get between the pipes again. But the pain eased off after a while and the desire to play in goal came back. Besides, they gave me goaltending equipment and I felt better protected (laughs).

- What qualities do you think a goaltender should possess?
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Many people say that a goaltender stands for half a team, so you must have leader qualities to begin with. You also have to do well under stress. You have to stay calm on the ice, regardless of how the game is going.

- Is that true that goaltenders are a superstitious folk?
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There is some truth in it. Every goaltender has his own superstitions and routines. Although, I wouldn’t want to share mine.

- How about this then – how much time does your pre-game routine take?
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Actually, not that long. I’m used to it and it doesn’t take much time. It’s mostly about the order of putting the gear on – with which skate you start or which pad…

- There are a lot of good goaltenders among your former teammates. Who would you single out?
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I wouldn’t want to single out anybody. Every goaltender has his own upsides and shortcomings. But if we look back at the past season, I played along with Konstantin Shostak. He looks very good for his age. He was recently called up to Team Belarus to play at the Black Sea Cup. I think he did well there.

- Do you already know where you’re going to start next season?
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Yes. I have received a qualified offer from Severstal [Cherepovets] for two seasons, so I’m staying within the club’s system. I have a 2-way contract, so everything is going to be depend on me.

- Did you follow Kharlamov Cup Finals?
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Of course, I did. I even was at Game 6 when Loko [Yaroslavl] tied the game up with two minutes remaining to play in regulation. I was just as shocked by the turn of events as many! Loko did a great job. They managed to salvage the game and win the series in the end.

- It’s widely accepted that Avto Yekaterinburg goaltender Vladimir Galkin was the MVP of the finals. Who surprised you in the series?
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It’s a difficult question, given the fact I didn’t follow the Eastern Conference closely during the season. When I saw Galkin in action, I didn’t think he was exactly standing on his head. He’s very good at getting into the right position, although he did get lucky a few times. However, everybody knows that you have to be good to be lucky and lucky to be good, so I’m not trying to take anything away from him. As for Loko, I know a lot of guys there. They have a strong team with many players who have Team Russia experience, so I expected them to do well.

- What are your plans for the upcoming season?
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I was already told that I would go to the pre-season camp with Severstal. I want to do well at the camp and prove my worth. If there’s going to be an opportunity, I would gladly play in KHL. If not, then I would have to play in VHL and gain experience. Adjusting from junior to professional hockey isn’t easy. I have to be ready for it and gain confidence in VHL. My biggest goal is to stay on the team and play regularly.

- Do you follow your personal statistics during the season?
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Yes, of course, I do. I think, those who say they don’t, are not being honest. I follow it. It motivates me to play better than other goaltenders and improve my statistics.

- Goals Against Average is heavily depended on the strength of the team, while Save Percentage can be high if you’re on a defensive-minded team, which doesn’t allow shots from in tight. What numbers do you value the most?
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All statistics are important, even though goaltender isn’t the only one who’s responsible for it. The entire team must help out their goaltender defensively so he would have good statistic. Communication between goaltender and skaters must be at the highest level as well. I paid attention to everything – stopped shots, Goals Against Average, shutouts, etc. I think that the number of shutouts is also important in goaltending evaluation. The number shows your investment in your team’s success.

- Do you have any favorite spots in Cherepovets?
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The boys and I often go to June mall for the movies. When the weather is good we can stroll down the waterfront, listen to music and indulge in thoughts.

- You said in one of your interviews that if it weren’t for hockey, you’d opt for chess. Why?
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It was a joke (laughs). Although, I did learn to play chess already in the kindergarten. I went to chess classes. One time we had a small tournament and I won it. I even have a picture of me as a kid with a chess crown on my head.

- Which team is going to be the biggest surprise of the upcoming JHL season?
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It’s difficult to say exactly who’s it going to be but I would want it to be somebody from the bottom half of the table, so it would add unpredictability and intrigue. Junior hockey is famous for it’s unpredictability so I expect that one of the underdogs is going to surprise us – the fans – in the upcoming season.

- A traditional question for you. What would be your advice to young players, who will just begin their careers in major junior hockey?
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Work as much as you can, listen to your coaches and interpret their demands the right way. Only those who do nothing make no mistake. So you have to set the bar high for yourself, keep your eyes on the prize and don’t beat yourself about fails.

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