Avangard vs. Traktor 3:4 (SO). Press-conference after the match
Traktor’s head coach:
Great back-and-forth match for the fans and a nerve-racking one for players and coaches. Tonight’s game showed we still have certain aspects of the game to improve at. In a playoff-like game like tonight’s mistakes that we made should not be allowed. With that said, I believe this will only work for the benefit of our team.
Petri Matikainen, Avangard’s head coach:
I would have to agree with my counterpart – the game was spectacular to watch. I am satisfied with some aspects of tonight’s match. I think we lost psychologically tonight. I have to give credit to our opponents though – they were very sharp attack-wise. As far as Avangard goes, we have a lot of things to think about and mistakes to correct.
Question to Matikainen: Tonight your counterpart chose a substitute goaltender. Would you venture to do the same thing and put Reizvikh in the net?
Matikainen: I understand that someday we will have to let the Russian goaltender play more, but as for tonight’s game, we chose Rämö over Reizvikh beforehand. Mezin, by the way, played a great game tonight; I would even go so far as to say that he stole the game from us.
Question to Belousov: Do you have any questions to any of your players?
Belousov: Coaches are rarely satisfied with everyone’s performance; so, to answer your question, yes, I do, but I am not going to get personal here.
Question to Belousov: Why did you choose Mezin over Garnett for tonight’s match?
Belousov: Andrey proved he’s someone we could rely on. Given that, now I’m considering shuffling the goalies for each game.
Question to Belousov: Traktor is paired up with Metallurg Magnitogorsk to play the two odd season matches. Are you tired of the everlasting struggle for power between Traktor and Metallurg?
Belousov: I am Traktor’s coach, and I think about my team.
Question to Belousov: So there’s no task to rank higher at the end of the season than Metallurg?
Belousov: No, absolutely not.
Question to Matikainen: Did you plan to have Semin execute a penalty shot in the shootouts or did you just pick the ones who were less tired?
Matikainen: I never compile a list of ‘shooters’ before the game, I do it on the fly. Semin was on the roll tonight, he scored twice and could score even more; that is why I decided to put him in penalty shootouts.
Question to Matikainen: Both teams kept the high pace of the game until the very end. How would you explain it? Emotions?
Matikainen: Today two great teams squared off, each has great players; consequently the pace was high throughout the matchup.
Question to Matikainen: Do you think your second period timeout worked?
Matikainen: I don’t think so; I took a timeout because I saw that my players were somewhat floating around the ice aimlessly. It worked short-term, but then things got out of control again.
Photo courtesy of Avangard’s Press Office