About the League
Alexandr Sokolov, Head coach HC REAKTOR:
“First of all, I’d like to say a few words about our opponent,” said Reaktor Nizhnekamsk head-coach Alexander Sokolov. “The Swedes taught us how to play tough. What we couldn’t explain to our players with words, they learned in action. A player with a puck is being checked by two other players – one of them gets the puck loose and the other is right there to pick it up. That’s exactly what I was asking for. This is the future of hockey. I would like to thank the Swedes for this lesson. When there are a lot of fans in the stands, it’s great for the visiting team but it puts a lot of pressure and responsibility on the home team. We need to learn how to play in front of a soldout crowd. It’s not easy to do and we also got a little unlucky – we shouldn’t have allowed the second goal. But it wouldn’t be right to say we lost because we were unlucky. Our opponent deserved to win.
“Now we’re going to see how we’re going to deal with this loss. Without any doubt it was a priceless experience. Losses like that make players stronger. Tomorrow nobody is going to skate effortlessly and give up space. We have to skate hard and shoot the puck. Excellence can only be achieved through adversary. Anyone can skate with his head down on open ice. It’s much more difficult when you face adversary. We going to learn our lesson and adjust.”
Viktor Stråle, Head coach HC MALMO REDHAWKS:
“It was a very competitive and fast-paced game all the way through,” said Malmö RedHawks head-coach Viktor Stråle. “We felt the difference because the ice in Sweden is a little softer so the players had to get used to it. It was a great experience for us. The fans were great, they cheered for Reaktor but they treated us with respect. It’s great to get a win in front of such crowd. We are not used to play in front of a 5-6 crowd. We see this tournament as a great opportunity to get ready for the season playing against the teams we never faced before. The level of hockey is very high and it’s a great opportunity for the players to get experience. We’re happy to be here.”