Russia U18 reaction after beating Slovakia at the Ivan Hlinka memorial tournament
Russia U18 head coach Alexander Zybin:
- It's good that we won, but we conceded a few poor goals. I wasn't impressed with the fact that our players stopped playing a team game, a move which allowed the opponents to have dangerous counterattacks. I asked my players not to let the Slovaks get to close to them, as the opponents played a rough game and I didn't want any of our guys to get injured. Nevertheless, the team stuck to the game plan overall. It's a real shame that Grigory Denisenko and Danila Galenyuk can't play in the tournament any more, we've had to look for more line combinations. Some of the players were poor in the pre-game warm-ups, and that resulted in Slovakia scoring an early goal. In the dressing room, I told the players that we have a very important match against Finland tomorrow.
Russia U18 forward Pavel Rotenberg:
- We started the game poorly because of our mentality. We thought it would be easy, but Slovakia managed to score early. The coach told us that we need to get going and the captain gave us a good talking to. Dmitry Zavgorodniy gave me a great pass for my first goal, before I managed to tip in a shot for my second. We had a good training camp, all of us are ready physically.
Russia U18 forward Alexander Zhabreev:
- We played against a good opponent, there are no weak teams at this competition. However, we underestimated the Slovaks at the start of the game and they scored a goal. However, the coaches told us what we needed to do. I'm happy with our overall performance, I scored two goals and earned one assist. Yegor Sokolv and Dmitry Zavgorodniy set me up for the first goal, while I struck my second on the powerplay. We need to analyse our mistakes before playing Finland tomorrow.
Russian Ice Hockey Federation