About the League
Altay Ust-Kamenogorsk forward German Shaporev spoke to Junior Hockey League media relations department about his KHL All-Star Game experience. Shaporev looked back at scoring a hat-trick on Igor Bobkov, his performance at the Skills Competition and talking to KHL stars.
- How happy were you to be selected by Team Bobrov Division, which went on to win the All-Star tournament?
- I wanted to be on Team Bobrov Division right away because before the All-Star Game I knew there only Vladimir Tkachyov of SKA [St. Petersburg]. We’ve known each other since he was with Omskie Yastreby. After the end of the season he would come to our team practices and skated with us. That’s how we got to know each other and we stayed in touch. At the All-Star game I sat next to him and Yegor Morozov of Severstal [Cherepovets]. That’s why I talked the most with them. After the game Tkachyov invited me to go to the gym. We worked there together, did some cycling and sit-ups with weights. I asked him for a few sticks and he gave me them as a present.
- Skills Competition began with the speed lap. It seemed that you beat Yegor Anisimov but it was the JHC Dynamo St. Petersburg player who was named the winner.
- I don’t know what happened there. I think the thing is that the laser reacted to Anisimov’s stick. I wasn’t because of that. It’s just a little frustrating that I couldn’t help my team win. At the end of the Skills Competition I faced Yegor in hockey biathlon. He won that one fair and square. I wasn’t thinking about getting even with him. I mean, it’s a how. The most important thing is that’s it fun and the fans like it.
- What challenge did you enjoy the most?
- It was exciting watching the hardest shot challenge. I wanted to participate in it myself. I don’t know how hard my shot is, it would have been interesting to find out. I asked coaches to put me in but it wasn’t possible to replace anybody. You could use your phone right on the ice during the event but I was a little shy to do that. Obviously, no one said a word to me about it but I still felt a bit uncomfortable. That’s why I filmed just one challenge at the Skills Competition.
- After the game you posted a selfie with Kirill Kaprizov. What other KHL stars did you take a picture with?
- In-between the games I took pictures with Kaprizov and Tkachyov. Had a stayed a bit longer after the game, I would have probably taken a few more pictures. But right after I got my medal I raced to the airport. I really wanted to catch a plane to Novosibirsk to help Altay in the game against Sibirskie Snaipery. When I got to the airport, check-in was almost over but miraculously I made it. Unfortunately, I couldn’t help my team. I didn’t get to sleep on the plane all night and because of the time difference I got to rest just a few hours. So it was a little difficult out there on the ice. Besides the opponents played really physical against me. Everyone knew where I came from and how many goals I scored this season.
- Altay lost to Sibirskie Snaipery at the day of the All-Star Game. Did it affect your mood in a negative way?
- I watched a few minutes of that game. The boys just didn’t convert on their scoring chances and lost. I wasn’t really fazed by it as I was getting ready for the All-Star Game.
- How unusual was it to play in such format after Junior Hockey League?
- Sometimes I play in old-timers’ games. Sometimes even KHL players join in. We play smart and pass the puck. So it wasn’t difficult for me to adjust to that type of game. Participating in such event obviously gave me a certain experience but most importantly All-Star Game is a great chance to prove yourself.
- You certainly made a name for yourself scoring a hat-trick in the semifinal game against Team Chernyshev Division.
- Coaches and teammates told me not to make more passes than I needed and shoot when I get the chance. That’s why I scored three goals. In-between the game Vadim Shipachyov told Dmitry Fyodorov to talk to me so I wouldn’t get carried away after scoring the hat-trick (laughs). They told me to keep it up. I didn’t collect the puck after scoring the hat-trick. I was shy and besides it wasn’t an official game.
- Did you get to score on Linus Omark?
- Omark was in goal in the second game. I scored only on Igor Bobkov. I also wanted to try myself at a different position. One time at a summer camp I even tried to be a goaltender. But if I’m ever going back in net, it’s going to be a game where they don’t shoot so hard (laughs).
- After JHL Challenge Cup you played a few games in JHL and after the All-Star Game you went straight to Altay as well. Is it difficult to adjust?
- Getting in the right mindset wasn’t that difficult. It’s just that I didn’t get to sleep well, which affected my game – I wasn’t quick enough to beat the opposition. Did they see me play at the All-Star? Actually, opponents have played tight against me for a while now. I even heard that on some teams they hang pictures of my jersey number and Stas Petrosyan’s prior to the games against Altay so everyone would remember to play hard against us.
- Do you think that’s the reason why Altay has been in a slump since December?
- It’s not that. Our team isn’t just as hot as it used to be. We hit the slump after a road trip to Ufa and Yekaterinburg early in December. The boys just don’t play as hard as they used it early in the season. I want to hold a team meeting now and talk about it. Besides, Omskie Yastreby will soon be in Ust-Kamenogorsk and it’s my former team. I got to score against them in Omsk and now I want to do it at home as well. There’s very little time till the playoffs. Next couple of games will show if we can turn it around. Hopefully, we can climb back to the playoff zone. Otherwise, it’s going to be frustrating. Back in November we were second in our conference and now we’re risking missing the Kharlamov Cup Playoffs altogether.