Slovan opens the new season with a loss despite good offense

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Although Slovan fired more shots on goal in each period than their opponent, the favorited home team won 1-5.


Metallurg Magnitogorsk - HC SLOVAN Bratislava 5-1 (3-0, 1-0, 1-1)

Goals: 8. Rylov (Varfolomeyev, Chibisov), 12. Kulemin (Mozyakin, Ellison), 15. Biryukov (Bereglazov), 33. Mozyakin (Kulemin, Ellison), 44. Lyubimov (Varfolomeyev, Chibisov) - 57. Virta (Liška, Schaus). On-ice officials: Ansons (Latvia), Tsiplyakov - Gordenko, Zacharov (all from Russia), penalties: 0-2 for 2 min, power plays and penalty kills 0-0.

Line ups:

Metallurg Magnitogorsk: Koshechkin - Biryukov, Bobryashov, Bereglazov, Matushkin, Vereshchagin, Rylov, Olshansky - Mozyakin, Ellison, Kulemin - Pakarinen, Rasmussen, Wolski - Varfolomeyev, Lyubimov, Chibisov - Nekolenko, Kaletnik, D. Platonov - J. Platonov

HC SLOVAN Bratislava: Čiliak - Sersen, Gélinas, Grman, Meszároš, Jánošík, Schaus, Švarný, Hedera - Řepík, Taffe, Červený - Lunter, Chipchura, Lamper – Liška, Rau, Virta - Hrnka, Šimun, Buc

The home team started the game with a leaving ceremony of their long-time defenseman Chris Lee, whose jersey n.4 got retired. Chris Lee helped to win two Gagarin Cups with the Metallurg.

The beginning of the game seemed a bit careful, but to everyone's surprise Slovan players dominated the ice and fired more shots than the home team. Hesitation of Slovan's defense was used against us, when Rylov scored the first goal in the 8th minute. It was actually Metallurg's very first shot on goal of the game, while we have already fired six shots on Metallurg's goal... 4 minutes later our defense didn't stop Kulemin, who scored the second goal. Three minutes later, Biryukov placed the puck easily into Čiliak's net. Čiliak, however, made some nice saves by the end of the first period.

The Slovans weren't very careful with penalties in the beginning of the second period, but thankgully they managed well during two penalty kills. Slovan then mobilized their team and a were close to scoring a goal few times, with the biggest chance of scoring belonging to Virta. Magnitogorsk used a mistake in our offense area, and Mozyakin scored the 4th goal in the 33rd minute. In that moment, Slovan was leading the SOG stats with 20-14 but with no goal effect.

In the third period, Magnitogorsk scored their fifth goal after less than 4 minutes into the game, after a big mistake in the defense again. Lyubimov got the puck near four defensemen and yet managed to place it behind Čiliak. Although trying really hard, Slovan managed to score only one goal thanks to Patrik Virta with assists from Liška and Schaus.

Slovan therefore leave without a point, in spite of their optically offensive game. The next chance to win some points will be in 48hrs on the ice of Traktor Chelyabinsk, who lost to CSKA Moscow today (0-3).

Vladimír Országh, HC SLOVAN head coach: "Considering it was our first game of the season and against the strong Magnitogorsk, we didn't perform bad. The beginning of the game was good from our side, in the next minute the opponent showed how strong they were by scoring three times while having a very low scoring opportunity. Positive is that we managed to create two power plays in the second period nad defended our goal well during two penalty kills. Although it was Magnitogorsk sho scored. We have young team, it was the first KHL game for many players and a huge experience. The team didn't give up despite the bad score, they didn't let them win that easily and they fought until the very end."

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