U-20 World Championships. Valery Nichushkin: we looked decent tonight

‘We have to forget this match and refocus for the next bout against team Germany’, says Nichushkin.
Don’t you think that team Russia could be scoring more?
I don’t see any problem with our team not scoring a lot. The results are satisfying, and that’s all that matters in the end.

When the team had the lead twice tonight, everyone seemingly focused on the defense. Is that right?
Well, obviously we could not allow any goals at these points in time, so we focused on counterattacks, following coach’s advice. I think we did well in this aspect and looked decent tonight.

Did you see your today’s opponents in action yesterday against Germany?
No. Everyone knows that both Canada and USA jump into the game right off the bat, so we would have our chances. That’s exactly how it turned out; the game was difficult nonetheless.

Did Makarov’s amazing save charge the team with confidence?
Of course it did! Andrey had a great match tonight, by the way.

The team seemingly lacked discipline in the closing moments of the match…
If you are talking about the penalties, I will have to disagree. Referees began to even the teams out in terms of penalty minutes. There was a moment when one of our guys was being completely obliterated in the attacking zone, but referees did not see it. So no, I don’t agree that we lacked discipline.

When you began the attack that led to the game’s winning goal, did you understand you took a huge risk against four opponents?
My partners were on alert, so everything was more or less under control. In fact, I got a bit lucky with that goal because the defensemen made a positional mistake in this exchange.

Due to Shalunov’s DQ your line got broken. Do you feel a little uncomfortable because of this?
I would not say I do; plus our team performs well whatever the lines are.

by Yaroslav Naumkov