Press conference of head coaches Ilya Vorobyov and Craig Woodcroft, as well as players Taylor Beck and Alexander Pavlovich.
Ilya Vorobyov, Metallurg head coach:
– Now every win is hard to get as all teams have got in their shapes. We did a good job during this break. This game was the first after it. Usually, exactly these games are not easy for us. The guys fought well and won on this important day. Congratulations to the fans of Metallurg! At home this year we will no longer play, so happy New Year to all!
– Today the team managed to score one goal in the power play, but it was the result not a team scheme but a good throw of one person. You did not have time to work on the power play in the break due to the fact that seven players at once went off to their national teams, didn't you?
– One day we were working only on the power play game. So far, the timing is not sound yet. We will continue to work.
– Many people expected Koshechkin to play tonight as Olkinuora played in the national team but he didn't. Why?
– So did we (laughs). Vasya had an accident today – the skate broke down at the wrong time. He was supposed to play today, but Juho replaced him, so that's what happened.
– At first, it was a little bit scary to see how the coach of Dynamo uses three foreign players against our fourth link. Despite some troubles, you continued to trust the fourth link and use them against the opponent's best players.
– You know, in the first half of the period I liked how they play against the leaders. Then some moments were not very good, but then the guys improved and again began to play better against them. Then the coach of the guests already tried to put them under another link.
– What did you like most about the team's game today, and what did you not like?
– Again, we can go back to power play– we should capitalize more. We had a lot chances in the power play. We did a good job before the first match, and we must give credit to Dynamo Minsk, who played very well and worked very hard.
Craig Woodcroft, Dynamo Minsk head coach:
– I am disappointed with today's result. We played well in many moments but lost in the key things of this meeting. Today we were not as dangerous as we should have been in front of the opponent's net, we did not make as many shots as necessary. We need to improve it. I'm not happy with today's result.
– The decision to put the leading foreign players against the fourth line is not the most obvious, but you did exactly that. Why?
– I see it a little differently, and for us, it's just a line-up for the game, it's not crucial.
– Today, for the first time in a long time, Pavlovich played. How happy are you with them?
– I think that Pavlovich played a good game today after a long absence. He helped us physically, created chances, did everything we expected from him. I am happy with his game today.
– You said that the situation forces new players to take leading roles. Falkovsky scored a perfect goal, and Gorbunov got two assistant points. How did you like the game of these guys and maybe say a few good words about the other guys?
– As for Roman Gorbunov, he was our most effective player today, he created chances, fought, brought great benefits to the team. As for Stepan, he shot greatly, we know it. When he threw – it was great, he threw a great puck. We told him that we need to shoot more often. He scored today. Also, I want to say that more guys should take the lead, each player in the team has his own role, but not every player fulfills it. We need all the guys to be ready to play their role, to take responsibility, and to be ready to play 100%.
– The team needs to recover from two defeats, and it will meet Christmas in the sky. What will it look like?
– Yes, you are right, we need to get back to the victory track. We have a game on January 26. What will our next days look like? Tomorrow we will have a team meeting where we will discuss what we need to add and to change in order to win the next game, where to get energy, and how we need to look in the next match.
Alexander Pavlovich, Dynamo Minsk forward:
– Not a bad match. We controlled the whole game except for the second half of the second period when we got penalties... At all, it was an equal game, one goal difference.
– How do you feel, have you recovered after a long break?
– Glad to be back in the game. I felt pretty good. Unfortunately,I our loss spoiled my mood.
– A team, that is good in attack, loses and misses 8 goals, how hard is it to get back on track mentally?
– You need to forget the bad moments. That game was over, today was an important start. The first period was 0-0. Then we had more confidence in our skills, and I think that the game not bad at all.
– The problem of Dynamo is the third period. What is the reason?
– It seems to me that we lose concentration if we miss goals just in a few minutes before the end of the game. We need to pay attention to this, tighten it up. On the other hand, both Magnitogorsk and Ufa are repeated champions. Strong teams that can play great in the end, it should also be taken into account. We should have played a simpler game.
– You feel a lack of players, a number of leaders are injured.
– Except for two games with a big score in the last five matches. In the rest of the games,, we had both the desire and the plan. I would not say that the gap is a big problem. The schedule is tight, someone has more load, someone less. I think the scouting department is looking for, I think, a central forward as Sharangovic departs.
Taylor Back, Metallurg forward:
– We really wanted to win the anniversary game. Of course, there are certain things that needed adjustments during the third period. The rest of the time we won with confidence, which is important on such a day.
– Before your second goal, you were attacking actively, but in the end you decided to throw. Why?
– I expected that there would be a slightly different placing. We've been working on it. But in the end, I improvised, it turned out a little not according to plan. I need to shoot more often. I'm glad I managed to score.
– In the last games before the break, you looked a little faded. What did you change in yourself to regain your energy?
– Of course, I was not satisfied with the fact that I didn't score for a long time. When it happens, the thoughts in my head are not the same, they interfere. We had a great break, time to recover, and work. Very cool work! The break was definitely good. I rebooted my head, worked out well. And I added a positive first goal, which is very important. Everything went well.
– What was missing before the hat-trick?
– I tried. Everyone wants to get a hat-trick! But not so many chances were given by the opponent, to be honest. The main thing is the team's victory.
– Do you know how many doubles you did in the KHL?
– Six! Today – the sixth, it was the second with Metallurg. How do you like the anniversary jerseys?
– I liked it, comfortable, beautiful. In general, I love alternative jerseys. That's cool.
– What do you say about Dynamo today?
– Good team. In the last few years, they have not developed, there were difficulties, but now very good NHL players are there. The Belarusian players fit in well with the legionnaires, a strong goalkeeper. A cool, trained team. It was hard with them today. I see them in the playoff, I think they can overcome the first round.