Zagreb’s KHL Medveščak made an impressive and convincing debut in the KHL over the weekend against Russian powerhouse, HC CSKA Moscow.
Medveščak opened the season at Dom Sportova in front of 7,500 fans, and did not disappoint.
The newcomers in the Kontenental Hockey League scored seven goals in the game to give them a 7-1 victory over last year’s KHL semifinalists.
Former NHL player and league-leader in goals in 2006 (56 goals), Jonathan Cheechoo, scored twice for the Bears in his debut in Zagreb.
Medveščak captain, Alan Letang scored in the first five minutes of the game, and never looked back. After the first 20 minutes, the Bears were up by two goals, but they unleashed a flurry of offense in the second half, scoring two more goals in 10 minutes.
”We didn’t expect this kind of result. Going into the game we said how we have to play our game, and as the game went on, we just got better. We still have a lot of room for improvement, we didn’t dictate the tempo while under pressure the way we wanted to. The score is great, but we have to improve our performance on the ice,” head coach, Mark French, said.
The Bears continued to dominate the scoreboard in the third period, scoring three more goals. More particularly, it was the Bear’s power play unit that was firing on all cylinders and helped them achieve victory. The power play was four for five on Friday.
”We entered the game a little poorly. The boys were probably really excited because of the amazing atmosphere, but we played better and better as the game went on, and four power play goals were a pretty good help to win the game,” captain, Letang said. “We played solidly, held our system, and for that reason CSKA Moskva’s players often wound up in the box. We’re going to have to play like this at home from game to game, we want to be a team that’s hard to beat on home ice.”
CSKA Moscow has a long history of dominating European ice hockey. The Moscow club has been crowned Soviet league champs 32 times, won the USSR cup 12 times, and were European champions on 20 occasions. Expectations are always high for Moscow, but Medveščak showed they they came into the KHL very ready to compete.
Medveščak was hoping to take the momentum of this historic win with them in to Riga on Sunday, but they fell short on their trip to Latvia when they lost 5-1 to Dinamo Riga.
KHL MEDVEŠČAK ZAGREB: Dekanich, Vasiljević, Montador, Popovic, Linglet, Thomas, Švarny, Walker, Glumac, Murray, Cheechoo, Vesce, G. Koren, Murley, Willsie, Kane, Jessiman, Letang, Foster, Bjorkstrand, Carle.
CSKA: Stana, Tretiak, Denisov, Zharkov, Filppula, Nepryayev, Misharin, Zaitsev, Grigorenko, Rylov, Zubov, Radulov, Shirokov, Reid, Gimayev, Prokhorkin, Pervyshin, Fyodorov, Saprykin, Morozov.
PENALTIES IN MINUTES: Medveščak 14 CSKA 10 SOG: Medveščak 30, CSKA 28.
That was my post as Anonymous. Don’t know why it came up like that
Feel free. I got a few more ill try and upload too
Ha, was curious about that as well. As far as I can tell, there’s no relation. Although, Kris Letang’s middle name is Alan. It’s a conspiracy.
@Mike – LOVE the videos. Mind if I add them to the post?? Those are awesome.
Any relation to Kris I wonder?
Heres a couple videos I took while at the home opener
This is all good stuff. Still haven’t been fortunate to attend a game but I definitely will next time I’m in Zagreb.
The intro video is great!
I wonder how one would look for Hajduk or Dinamo…if they had the $300 to pay an editor/videographer.
Yeah… They’re more or less a new team with a bunch of guys who haven’t played with each other. They’ll get better. They have quality on the team and will work up to more wins.
2 losses in a row now 🙁
Also if anyone is interested, the opening day on Saturday was the anniversary of the Lokomotive Yaroslavl air disaster, and every team had a memorial and ceremony in memory of the team. Forgot to put that in the post.
Yep. And division leaders are seeded as the top teams in the conferences too, just like in the NHL. The playoffs are structured just like the NHL as well.
So the format of the KHL is basically the same as the NHL right?
Top 8 in each conference make the playoffs?
@Ziva – They play some games at Zagreb Arena. It’s usually a special event game or something. Surprised they didn’t pay their first one there, but they will probably play five or 10 games there this season. If they can sustain an attendance to justify Zagreb Arena, they’ll switch.
@Armada – Mamic banned all the hockey fans from Maksimir for not praising his name enough.
Mamic should pop into a game once to see how fans should be treated, and how a real club should be run!
I thought Maksimir had a retractable ice surface?
I thought they were going to play their home games at Zagreb Arena.
I was at the game on Friday and it was unreal for a hockey game. Non stop cheering and singing the entire game. Its something you dont see in North America at a hockey game. Still cant believe they put in 7 against CSKA and hopefully they keep this up for the rest of the season.
And just posted basketball 🙂
I’ll do a report after all the 2nd round games also
Awesome! Go Bears!
we get hockey articles, but not basketball? cmonnnnn lol
Grew up in Chicago and used to have season tickets. With Toews and Kane being so young and already winning the Cup twice, the word “dynasty” is being used.