About the League
With the 2019 Sirius Junior Club World Cup looming, Team NAHL faced Krylia Sovetov Moscow in Setun.
Denis Popov took the place between the pipes for the Russian team, while Mattias Sholl got the nod for Team NAHL. Andrei Mitrofanov created the first scoring chance of the game. American team responded with a 2-on-1 rush but goaltenders were up for the task on both occasions. ‘Soviet Wings’ had a terrific opportunity to open up the scoring but Alexander Trofimov’s men failed to convert on a 2-man advantage. Roman Yermachikhin had a breakaway chance but Sholl came out on top and the fans didn’t get to see any goals in the first period.
Home team had to kill off another penalty in the second stanza but they went on to get on the board right after – Maxim Ascheulov hit the twine off assists by Pavel Zubchinsky and Alexei Shumilov. Both teams swapped their goaltenders mid-period. Moscow delegated Zakhar Vinogradov to the blue paint, while Jack Williams got to be his counterpart. It didn’t take Team NAHL long to find the equalizer as Max Borst redirected it home past Vinogradov. The game cooled down somewhat after that. The visitors had three powerplay opportunities late in the period but the teams still headed to the dressing-rooms for the second intermission tied 1-1.
Third period featured a lot of physical battles and neither side took many shots. American team got in the lead midway through the period – Brandon Lajoie received the puck from Andrew DeCarlo and wristed it top-shelf on the short-side. Krylia Sovetov got yet another penalty after that but managed to survive it. Moscow threw everything they had at the visitors in the final minutes of regulation and allowed an odd-man rush, which ended with Killian Kiecker-Olson impoving the lead to 3-1, thus setting the final score. With this win, Team NAHL is heading into Junior Club World Cup in great mood.
“I really liked our opposition today. Krylia Sovetov did a great job,” said Team NAHL head-coach Scott Langer. “As for us, it was our first game. We’d had just one practice before it. It was great to see the boys progress during the game. We didn’t do well in the first period, we looked better in the second and then even better in the third. It’s a good sign before the upcoming World Cup. The most difficult thing in this situation is to build a team from players who have never played with each other before. Our job as coaches is to build a competitive group in very short time. This is what we’re focusing on and we’re going to try to give our men our vision of the game. So far being in Russia was a great experience. It’s my first visit to the country and it’s an incredible experience.”
“It’s an exciting matchup between USA and Russia,” believes Krylia Sovetov head-coach Alexander Trofimov. “One thing I can’t understand so far is that this our third home game and it feels like we have a completely different group of people on the ice. We do great at away games, we play well and we win, and yet we can’t do it at home. We’re going to look into that. Perhaps, it has something to do with domestic atmosphere, although Krylia Sovetov always have terrific support. We are a ‘home’ team but so far the pre-season has shown otherwise. I expect the game against Canadian team to follow more or less the same scenario as the one against Americans. I expect my team to play differently.”
Krylia Sovetov - Team NAHL – 1-3 (0-0, 1-1, 0-2)
1-0 – Ascheulov (Zubchinsky, Odinokov) – 27-12
1-1 – Borst (Unassisted) – 31-26
1-2 – Lajoie (DeCarlo) – 49-37
1-3 – Horn (Jouppi) – 58-30
Goaltenders: Popov, Vinogradoc - Sholl, Williams