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SKA - Avangard. Press-conference

Roman RotenbergAvangardMarat KhusnutdinovMarat KhairullinSKA - Avangard - 070922
HC SKA press-service

HC SKA head coach Roman Rotenberg:

- I would like to congratulate everyone with the victory! This was an important game for us, and it's a team win. We prepared well and and followed the game plan. We knew that the opponents were going to provoke us, but we had agreed to reply with goals.

- How does Danila Moiseev feel now after receiving an injury in the third period? And how is Kirill Tankov?

- We have to get rid of these dirty fouls. Technical players need to be on the ice. Today, a nasty incident occurred. These things should not be happening in ice hockey. When a player is already falling, it's unacceptable to take his leg away. We will have information concerning Danila tomorrow. When it comes to Kirill, then thank God he is alive. I spoke with him today, he phoned me from the hospital. Kirill was on the edge, he was extremely lucky. We all wish him health! It's not clear yet just how long the recovery process will take, there is a chance that he will miss the entire season. The main thing for us is his health and that he will be able to return to ice hockey.

SKA - Avangard. Press-conference

- There are only two games against Avangard Omsk in the regular season. How important was it to win today?

- Every game is important for us, especially when we are playing at home. We want to make our fans happy. They offered us fantastic support throughout the entirety of today's match. All opponents try to play their best ice hockey against us. We can celebrate this win for five minutes, but then we have to prepare for our next match.

- Damir Zhafyarov dished out a magical assist for your third goal.

- It's the chemistry between our Tatar players! We need creative players like Damir in our team, we want to score as many goals as possible. We will work on improving our ruthlessness in front of goal, we're creating a lot of scoring opportunities in every game. We have to take responsibility, shoot more often and crash the net. We had trained effectively during the pre-season, preparing for the pace, provocation and even dirty tactics from opposing teams. I remember what Khabib Nurmagomedov told me about his preparation for a fight against Conor McGregor: he said that he trained against fighters like McGregor when preparing, competing with new opponents in every round. Hopefully, dirty tactics will be taken out of ice hockey, it's vital that technical players are on the ice.

- In three matches, Alexander Nikishin has already made four assists. When playing for Spartak Moscow, it took him 46 KHL games to achieve this. How has he adapted so quickly?

- This is down to the efforts of the entire coaching staff. Alexander is doing brilliantly too! He is receiving a lot of time on the ice, he's playing in the decisive moments of games. For example, he made an intelligent assist for our winning goal against Ufa. Alexander is on the ice for 25 minutes every game, he is threatening in the attacking zone and solid in defence. Furthermore, the physical side of his game is good. Alexander has huge potential, but we need to continue progressing. I think that he will improve further across the ice, our system is be rock-solid in defence and potent in attack.

- Marat Khairullin tallied an impressive hat-trick today.

- Marat is a modern player, he makes surprise decisions on the ice for the opponents. Yesterday, we held a briefing with Vladimir Yurzinov, and I think that it gave his line with Marat Khusnutdinov and Zhafyarov more strength psychologically. It allowed them to play at this level today. In the next game, we're counting on Marat playing even better.

- Why did you allow Dmitry Buchelnikov to take the penalty shot in the third period? Was it because you were already leading 3:0?

- We always make decisions in accordance with the situation. At that moment in time, Dmitry looked the most likely player to score with a penalty shot. Normally, he scores nine out of 10 attempts. This time, the puck took an awkward bounce. Nevertheless, I'm sure that Dmitry will score in the next game, it's a good experience for him.

HC Avangard Omsk head coach Dmitry Ryabykin:

- We started really well, we were excellent during the first period. However, our penalties ruined the game in the second. We tried to get back into proceedings, but we failed to take advantage of our powerplay in the third frame.

- How would you summarise your start to the KHL campaign? Is the factor of playing on the road taking its toll?

- How can I summarise our start if we have lost three on the bounce? It's been a poor start. Still, there have been positive things in all three games, we had the initiative in our first match and started well today. We will work hard.

- During pre-season, Avangard were great in attack. What has changed since the KHL's started?

- I can't say. The issue is that we are not capitalising on our chances, I can't remember the last time when we scored a dirty goal on the crease. We always want to score beautiful goals instead. We had a good talk with the guys after the second period today, but we couldn't save the game.

HC SKA forward Marat Khusnutdinov:

- It was a good match. We struggled at first, we couldn't find our tempo. After the first period, we had a conversation in the dressing room and subsequently changed our approach. We scored important goals and saw the game out successfully.

- SKA scored two goals within a mere 16 seconds in the second stanza.

- We increased our tempo, changing more often and not allowing the Avangard defence to breathe. We cornered them and scored good goals.

- What did Roman Rotenberg say to you after the first period?

- I won't reveal all of our secrets. In that opening frame, we saw how we could beat the opponents. The first period is always the most difficult one, especially when you're competing against a strong side. We played against Avangard in the summer, we know each other well. We are happy that we won the second period.

HC SKA forward Marat Khairullin:

- It was a tough game. We didn't start well, but we subsequently took charge. We won the second stanza and saw the match out.

- For your second goal, did you expect Damir Zhafyarov to make that pass to you?

- Yes, I know that he can make passes like that. We've been training this move. My hat-trick? Of course, it's great to score at our Ice Palace. I would like to thank my teammates for their assists and the fans and the coaches for supporting me. The main thing is our victory.

- With what mood are you preparing to host Dynamo Moscow?

- Victories always give you positive emotions. We always want to win, and this will be the same against Dynamo.

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