Slovenes Settle Shootout!

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HC SLOVAN Bratislava defeats Atlant Mytishchi 2:1 in Bratislava after shootout.


HC SLOVAN Bratislava - Atlant Mytishchi 2:1sn (1:0, 0:1, 0:0 - 0:0, 1:0)

Goals: 19. Tičar (Jeglič), deciding penalty shot: Tičar - 23. Leshchenko (Levitsky). Officials: Naumov, Soin - Balodis, Birin.

Penalties: 5:3 (2 min.), plus - Surový: 5+game misconduct (slashin), Nagy: 10 min. (unsportsmanlike conduct). Powerplay goals: 0:0, Shorthanded: 0:0. Attendance: 10,055 (sold out).

HC SLOVAN Bratislava: Backlund – Štajnoch, Sigalet, Brejčák, Baranka, Sersen, Mihálik – Surový, Murley, Bartovič - Nagy, Nedorost, Vondrka - Jeglič, Tičar, Netík – Šťastný, Bližňák, Ölvecký

Atlant Mytishchi: Engren – Korobov, Gilroy, Novopashin, Němec, Dyblenko, Tiulyapkin, Yarullin – Chernov, Engqvist, Shmelyov – Soshnikov, Vrána, Potapov – Radulov, Bodrov, Kozlov – Leshchenko, Yashin, Levitsky

Slovan was forced to defend a powerplay early on, as Murley sat out two minutes for slashing. The visitors had a couple of shots, but Backlund handled them without undue concern. Slovan could have taken the lead in the 10th minute, when Šťastný and Ölvecký tried to force the puck home, Engren kept his team on level pegging. Radulov shot from between the circles at the other end, but he too failed to score. Play then shifted from end to end, but played mostly on centre ice, neither side able to conjure up a signifcant chance. An overlap in the 16th minute looked promising for the Sky Blues, but Yashin stopped it with a foul. A decent shot from Nedorost found Engren ready, but the goalie was surprised by his own teammate near the end of the powerplay, Tičar's hopeful effort from an angle deflecting into the net to give Slovan the lead - 1:0.

Atlant replied shortly after the break, as Leshchenko won the puck off Štajnoch, turned and shot past Backlund - 1:1. Baranka surged forward soon after, and Engren had work to do in deflecting his powerful shot past the post. Netík and Tičar then saw their combined effort denied by the visitors' goaltender, as did Bližňák after getting himself into a good position. Slovan continued to press, and captain Bartovič broke in the 32nd minute, but he was unable to find a way, and nor was Surový with the follow-up. Penalties against Nagy and Netík then served to halt the home team's progress, although Atlant failed to find the much-prized second goal. Slovan again created pressure late in the period, but Engren remained in fine form in goal.

In the 43rd minute, Surový received 5 minutes and a game misconduct penalty for slashing. The Atlant powerplay began as 4-on-3, thanks to a minor scuffle between Tičar and Dyblenko, but Atlant barely troubled Backlund. A similar fate awaited Slovan in their own powerplay a few minutes later. A winning goal failed to materialise, and so the game went into overtime.

Both teams had chances to seal the deal in overtime, not least Chernov one-on-one with Backlund, and then Bartovič with a penalty shot after he was tripped in the 63rd minute. While on the bench, Nagy was served a ten-minute penalty for dissent, and was thus unable to take part in the shootout. Both our Slovene forwards scored in the shootout, with Tičar slotting in the winner in the fourth round.

Petri Matikainen, Slovan head coach: "We've been though a tough period recently, but I think the team is still making progress. We skated well, created plenty of chances, and won it in the end. I don't know why we get penalised so often, more than we deserve... But I'm satsified with how the team played today, and if we keep it up, we'll certainly start to score more goals."

Alexej Kudashov, Atlant head coach: "I think it was an even game today. We lost in a shootout, which is disappointing, but we'll keep on going."

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