A new head coach, a renewed line-up, a series of six victories in a row, three matches without a single goal in Scrivens’ net, tireless Materukhin, full houses during home matches — this is Dinamo Minsk 2016
Moment from Dinamo Minsk-Dinamo Moscow match
A serious of six victories by the ‘bisons’, including four away victories, was interrupted by an embarrassing defeat in extra time from Vityaz of the Moscow Region (2:3). However, the team and fans didn’t cry over it long and were ready to return to the wave of victory.
Dinamo Moscow became another victim for the ‘bisons’. They say that shells never hit the same place twice, Dinamo Minsk expressively denied this. On September 24th, it defeated Dinamo Moscow — 3:0 — and on this occasion, the game ended 2:0. Andrey Stepanov and Alexander Materukhin both scored across the two matches. The number of shots was also approximately the same: in September, the ‘bisons’ threatened their rivals’ net 20 times and 22 in this match. Unlike the match against Vityaz, when Craig Woodcroft’s trainees were constantly moving away from their net, this time, the squad placed the ball accurately and made no unnecessary mistakes.
Head coach of Dinamo Minsk, Craig Woodcroft, commented on the victory over the Moscow club, “The previous game against Vityaz was unsuccessful, so we wanted to start this match in a more positive way. Dinamo Moscow is a skilful team with a strong selection of players. It’s a true ‘heavyweight’ in the Kontinental Hockey League. I asked the team to follow the plan, to play in a disciplined manner and they undertook the challenge. We managed to kick quick pucks, then Scrivens, defenders and all forward lines played perfectly — a true team win.”
Dinamo Minsk again showed a good game and achieved a positive result. Moreover, for the first time since March, the Minsk Arena saw the maximum number of spectators — 15,086.
We’d like to note that Alexander Materukhin is playing fantastically this season; he manages to do practically everything. At present, he is a leader of the team both in the number of pucks scored and points earned. The goalkeeper of the Minsk team, Ben Scrivens, played the third game of the season with no missed goals so far. Our young players, who receive more and more playing time from Craig Woodcroft, are also encouraging. In total, the whole squad is showing excellent hockey this season — creative, at great pace and unyielding. Several times the team even made comebacks, pulling the game back even at a score of 0:3 against. In a word, Craig Woodcroft’s plan is working.
After 15 matches, Dinamo Minsk boasts 32 points and is placed fourth in the KHL Championships’ Western Conference.
By Semen Bondarev