Traktor vs. Ak Bars 3:2. Press-conference after the match

Valery Belov, Ak Bars’ head coach:
I would like to congratulate Traktor and my counterpart in particular on a well-deserved victory. Our opponents were very motivated tonight. As far as my team goes, our shorthanded play left much to be desired. We gained great momentum before the break in the season, but seemingly during this break we somehow lost the game rhythm. Of course we are going to work very hard to get the momentum back.

Valery Belousov, Traktor’s head coach:
It was a very difficult matchup. We gained measly two points in last four away games, so we needed a victory tonight and I motivated my players accordingly. Tonight’s performance was great; I think that eventually we will get our best performance back.

Question to Belousov: Was Lemtyugov’s absence due to the surplus of forwards?
Belousov: Tonight we had four defensive pairs, so we decided not to rush him on the ice again and give him some more time to adapt. I think he will definitely be of some use for us in the future.

Question to Belov: Rate Zherdev’s debut.
Belov: I think he performed well tonight. He will be useful for Ak Bars, no doubt.

Question to Belousov: You now have three great goaltenders at your disposal. Is Mezin going to get another chance in this season?
Belousov: I believe he certainly is. It’s really hard say who’s #1 right now; all three goalies work very hard though, and I see the results of their work.