Posted: 06.04.2024 15:44:00

President's team won first match of Republican Hockey League final series

The Republican Hockey League draw is nearing completion, and the final series of up to two victories between the teams of the President of Belarus and the Minsk Region started at Minsk Olympic Arena today

This season, the rivals played at the preliminary stage as well: in November, the President's team won with the score of 9:4. However, the playoffs and especially the final series are completely different games, and everything here starts virtually from scratch.

Fans began to come to the Olympic Arena long before the start of the match, and not everyone even had enough seats in the stands. However, nothing could spoil the mood and impressions of the game, which turned out to be rich in sharp moments, bright and persistent struggle.

The score was opened by the Minsk Region team players in the third minute by Ilya Busilko, but just three minutes later, Pavel Volchek restored balance on the scoreboard. In the middle of the period, Artyom Karkotsky led the President's team ahead, but the guests won back again: Artur Abmetka scored in the 31st minute. The final third of the match was decisive: the President's team made their rivals feel upset three times. At first, Nikolai Lukashenko scored, and then he was followed by Artyom Antonenko and Artyom Karkotsky – to make the final score 5:2.

The defender of the President's team, Aleksei Baranov, told journalists, “It's a pity that the championship is coming to its end. It seems it has just begun, but we are already playing the final series.” The hockey player admitted that, before it, everyone in the team understood that there was nowhere to retreat, so everyone set up to win.

Speaking about the rivals, Mr. Baranov stressed, “There are young guys in the Minsk Region team. They have just recently left professional hockey, so maximum speeds are needed on our part. Actually, we enjoy a huge support. It’s a true pleasure to play in front of the stands, where our fans are all time supporting us.”

The Minsk Region team players also spoke about the crazy support. “Look at the mood of the fans in the stands, and of the hockey players. The holiday continues! We feel that those present sincerely support both teams. We will try to play as beautifully as possible, so that our fans will primarily appreciate the game,” Maksim Slysh said. “Our team players are not of the same high level as in the President’s squad, but we have a great desire to show our mettle!”

The first final match of the Republican Hockey League was actually accompanied by a festive atmosphere. Before the game and during breaks, famous and young artistes performed, and everyone could participate in contests and win prizes from the organisers. After the final whistle and the announcement of the best players of the match (Artyom Karkotsky and Vitaly Marchenko), fans received dozens of soft toys from the hockey players of the President's team. The fight between the teams of the President and the Minsk Region will continue in a week, on April 13th. Meanwhile, bronze awards of the Republican Hockey League have gone today to the Grodno Region team: in Baranovichi, it defeated the rivals from the Brest Region with the score of 6:3.