Match thoughts shared in empty stadium

The Belarusian national team left the World Championship in Minsk, losing in the quarterfinal to national team of Sweden, 3:2

The Belarusian national team left the World Championship in Minsk, losing in the quarterfinal to national team of Sweden, 3:2
By Igor Leshin

The Belarusian national team left the World Championship in Minsk, losing in the quarterfinal to national team of Sweden, 3:2. They had a great chance of defeating the current world champions and to prolong the country’s participation, but they did not manage it. One thing is certain, people will talk for a long time about the reasons, consequences, heroes and circumstances of this vital match. People will examine the plays, will investigate it by the minute and will look scrutinise all those involved in this event. It is difficult to do this objectively, with still strong and seething emotions. But some things can be considered already now.


Geoff Platt’s goal into Swedes’ net

Team


Discussing the results of the performance of the Belarusians in Minsk, the defender of the national team, Vladimir Denisov, noted that the main result consists in the game of this team. It is difficult not to agree, and to recollect the times when we had such a strong national team, which really played and which could, and wanted to win and how being a fan of which was really pleasant. And it is possible to think up many reasons for that.

The hosting of the Championship in Belarus in this list was an important factor. Each player agreed that the atmosphere forced them to push themselves to the absolute limit. This leaves us with an important question: Would we have played in such a way if the tournament had been held not in Minsk? The answer was seen the day before on the ice of the Minsk-Arena. Having been left in the tournament without a leader, two goalkeepers and several basic players, Belarusian team had still kept fighting capacity and till the last seconds kept hope in the fans’ hearts that a miracle was possible. And, according to Vladimir Denisov’s belief, the matter is not only due to motivation.

Trainer


One year ago, Glen Hanlon left Minsk with an unpleasant taste in his mouth. And when by a compulsory decision he returned to the post of head coach, many people spoke about the impossibility to cross the notorious river for a second time. People explained the former trainer’s successes with the Canadians by a novelty of emotions. Today, hardly anyone will start talking about it. During the Minsk tournament, Glen had time to amaze everyone with his trainer’s intuition, professionalism and ability to find an approach for any player. Therefore, people today reflect more that the present contract of the Canadian is for two years. Rumours about interest shown in Hanlon from the Swiss appeared to linger. After the match with the Swedes, they surfaced again, and the trainer again refused to comment on his future. But seemingly, there are no doubts that in any circumstances it will influence the future of the Belarusian team.

Bullet


After the match, Alexey Kalyuzhny did not appear in the mixed zone. On their way from the ice, the Kostitsyn brothers also got ‘lost’, but there were many questions for the captain. Remembering all the numerous moments and twists in the plot of the match which had just ended on Minsk-Arena’s ice, the opposition which for many reasons can be considered a historical one, nearly everyone who appeared during these minutes in the arena or near their TV screens could understand the feelings of the captain. From the first minutes of the quarterfinal match, Kalyuzhny burdened himself with functions of the brain centre, the playmaker and leader of the team. Just after his graceful pass, Geoff Platt managed to level the score. To a great extent, it is necessary to thank him for the fact that, having failed the first period, the team did not scatter, but found a way to build an effective comeback. The bullet, appointed 7 minutes prior to the final siren, seemed a real gift to the captain. It was a great opportunity to put an effective end to the match.

It is possible to endlessly examine and analyse everything that happened after, but it is senseless.
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