Photo: Davor Sajko

Home win for the Bears

Big win for Medveščak at home in Zagreb

Medvescak were off to a hot start, after merely two minutes the puck ended behind Toivonen’s back but was disallowed for crease violation. Thr first penalty of the game went to the home team and Graz managed to keep the puck in the att zone, without a shot whatsoever. A minute later young Rosandic saves a goal from a counter on the left, in the moments that Graz was more active. Just moments before Netik couldn’t rack one up from the slot. Graz opens the scoring in the 8th minute from the slot as Setzingr centers nicely into the slot from behind the net to find Buzeo. Balej fires a wristshot from blue in then12th minute but that only makes for an easy save by Toivonen. Three minutes later Morley saves a puck from exitting the zone, finds Mahbod in the slot but he misses high on a promissing chance. The Bears were more active towards the end but couldn’t put the puck in the back of the net.Zusevics can’t score after a nifty pass from the right wing three minutes into the second period. Two minutes afterwards Mahbod dekes out an opposing defender at the blueline but couldn’t scoring. The next play the home team is in the lead for the first time as Mario Puskarich netts his first goal of the seaon. The ensuing action proves Medvescak has come to life in the second period when Koskiranta fires from the left cirle only for his fellow countryman to make a glove save. Netik’s wrister ends up safely in Toivonen’s glove in the 29th minute as the home team worked hard on securing the lead in a tough game.

Even though shorthanded Medvescak had three scoring opportunities, neither finding the net. Throughout the second period Medvescak were clearly the better team while the visitors had something to think about during the intermission and surely wanted to put up a good display during the final 20 minutes.Neither team could take advantage of the third period opener as the play was more-less even.

Zusevics had thr first dangerous chance in the 48th minute when he couldn’t beat young Rosandic from the right wing. Marko Poyhonen answers right back but fires over the bar in the slot. After a powerplay by Graz that wasn’t too dangerous for the Bears’ goal, Balej answers unlucky after a quick counter and the score stands at 2:1. Medvescak had more of the play in the attacking zone especially in the second part of the period. Five minutes before the buzzer Olden is fouled one on one with the goalie and a penalty shot ensues – but the Norwegian couldn’t convert. During the 56th minute Aviani tried a nifty wraparound but only by centimeters misses the goal. Zuneo made Rosandic sweat with two shots in the following play, though the Croatian goalie kept his hand cool. Morley seals the deal late in the period with the empty-netter.
Grazzer’s coach had shared a few words: “We gave Medvescak the puck too often, especially in the first period and were lucky to have a tied game. I think our best period was the second but we’ll have to find the back of the net in order to take advantage.”
Doug Bradley, newly appointed Bear’s coach: “It feels really good to be back here, I met a lot of old, really old friends and I have a lot of happy memories from Zagreb. I’m satisfied with thr roster and the hitting power we possess, we have to play hard on every puck, this is the key. I’m here to make the playoffs and I’m positive we can achieve that. KAC has one of the best records in the last 15 games, I didn’t get a chance to see them, it will be a hard battle, we’ll have to stick to our plan and make them feel uncomfortable here.”
 Photo: Davor Sajko