About the League
Participants of the 2019 Sirius Junior Club World Cup comment on the tournament’s opening game. Loko Yaroslavl defeated Team AJHL 3-2, erasing a 2-goal deficit.
“I want to thank the boys for the passion, emotions and spirit they showed, even down 2-0,” said Loko head-coach Igor Melyakov. “This was my first official game as Loko head-coach, so in the beginning I was a little nervous, as anybody would be. But then we went headlong into work and forgot about everything. We worked as a team. I would say that killing a penalty in the second period was the key moment of the game. We managed, we pulled through and that gave us extra emotions. We believed we could win from the beginning but it was difficult to achieve. The puck just wouldn’t go in. The nervousness played against us.
“We still wait for several players to join our team, as some of them are currently with Team Russia and will join us later in the tournament. We do have a strong team. Other boys put their skill on display tonight. They played well and replaced our top players. As you can, we managed. Right now our priority is to quickly recover and analyze our future opponent in detail. We will rely on information, which we’ll get after watching the tape”.
“We faced a really good team, Russian champion, with big, strong and mighty players,” said Team AJHL head-coach Boris Rybalka. “We began the game well but we had the far bench in the second period so we it was taking us a long time to change, which led to a lot of penalties. Even though we have to make a lot of adjustments to our game, I’m proud of my team. We called our next games ‘Game 7s’ among ourselves. It means that we have to win the remaining two games of round robin and then, if necessary, we’re going to be ready to face Russian champion in the playoffs. As a coach with 26 years of experience, I was interested to get to know Loko school. It’s impressive how skilled Yaroslavl players are. When we get back home, we’re going to look at videos and photos. We will figure out the reason for such success.”
“It was a bad game. Awful start and bad conversion rate,” said Loko forward Kirill Slepets. “Thank God, we won. That’s the most important thing. I don’t think we were nervous. We just lost concentration in the beginning. Unfortunately, it happens to us often that we take a lot of shots and can’t score. We made Tretiak out of their goaltender ourselves. It’s very frustrating. Have Canadians surprised us? No, we studied their game. I think, everyone wants to beat the reigning champion. That’s why it’s tougher to defend the title than to win it. We are considered one of the top schools in the country. Beating teams of this caliber, we prove our worth. Canadians played one of the first games as a team but they all play in the same style – the Canadian style, dump-and-chase. When that’s the brand of hockey you play, you don’t need chemistry much. Our opponent played rough but that’s their style and we had anticipated that. After the game Vladimir Putin and Dmitry Medvedev came into our dressing-room, congratulated us with the win and wished us luck in next games.”