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Monday, 19 November 2012

Zagreb Bears In 1st Place in E.B.E.L. Hockey League

15,000 plus fans in attendance simulating a "starry sky" with cell phones during the moment of silence for the town of Vukovar before the hockey game.

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The last game of the first part of this season`s Pan Arena Ice Fever between Medveščak and Red Bull Salzburg was opened in a special way - with one minute of silence and "a starry sky" for Vukovar. At that moment Arena Zagreb was in complete darkness and the fans used their mobile phones to represent a clear sky full of stars, in honor of the 21st anniversary of the fall of the city of Vukovar. All that was made even more special by a special victory (2:0) of the Bears and defeat of the Red Bulls in front of 15.000 fans, the first shutout of this season for Robert Kristan and keeping the first place in the EBEL rankings.

- It is always great to win. This is the first time Medveščak reached the first place in four seasons and that is good for the club, it feels good, but we mustn`t get carried away because the season is far from over. If we remain among the first six till the playoffs, we will be content - said Medveščak`s coach Marty Raymond.

After an excellent attempt by Dario Kostović in the 10th minute, stopped by the goalpost, and also the entire second period without goals, in the second the Bears patiently waited for a perfect opportunity to open up, which they would use to outsmart Luka Gračnar, Red Bull`s 19-year-old goalie. Not even after three unused power plays (28th, 31st and 35th) did the players of Medveščak look worried, they even put more pressure on the guests and two minutes before the end of the period took the lead with 1:0. Dustin Jeffrey first tried to put the puck into the net of the Slovenian Luka Gračnar. The puck was on the right route to end up in the net because it passed through Gračnar`s feet, who left the goal a bit, but Curtis Fraser didn`t want to take any chances and gave it an additional push to enter the net.

- Kristan was amazing, as well as Fraser, Kostović, Buck... Every time, in every game someone else pops up - Raymond used the opportunity to commend the players who were crucial for the victory against the Red Bulls.

- This was the best game of the season for Lix. He was confident at the goal and it was a pleasure to watch him defend.

Intro KHL Medveščak Zagreb season 2012/13 

The Bears opened the last period with a shorthanded goal only 30 seconds into the game. In the 40th minute Tom Zanoški was sent to the bench because of hooking. But as we all know, the Zagreb shieldmen handle shorthanded situations really well, as against Salzburg. Saša Martinović, Kenny MacAulay, Dario Kostović and Brandon Buck managed to use a situation if front of the opponent`s goal and score. Kostović added to Buck who was several metres away from the Slovenian goalie and then sent it into the net.

- Red Bulls are workers, but we again had a solid performance on ice. Although we were without some players, we showed character. We again found a way to win, however difficult the situation - said Buck about keeping the top position in the rankings.

- We are exactly where we want to be and we know it is difficult to remain first especially against teams like Red Bull, Klagenfurt, Graz... Now we have three difficult away games in front of us in Klagenfurt, Salzburg and Linz for which we have to prepare really well.

Game highlights

The last game of the first part of the AIF was dedicated to Croatian bomb disposal teams and one of their members, Mato Lukić who luckily survived one action in the field, had the honour to throw the first puck.

The Bears will play the next game on Tuesday at 7:15 in Klagenfurt against EC-KAC.

 Related previsous posts:  zagreb-medvescak-fill-roman-amphitheater






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