Dadonov makes difference

Narrow win for Continental Cup host Donbass Donetsk

11.01.2013
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The Donbass Donetsk players celebrate Yevgeni Dadonov’s game-winning goal. Photo: Valeri Dudush

DONETSK – Host Donbass Donetsk started the 2013 IIHF Continental Cup Super Final with a win. The Ukrainian KHL team defeated Belarusian champion Metallurg Zhlobin 1-0.

Yevgeni Dadonov, who returned to the KHL after three years with the Florida Panthers, scored the only goal of the game.

As indicated on a banner of its fans, Metallurg Zhlobin showed its teeth and did its best to unsettle the favourites. Goalkeeper Dmitri Milchakov, one of the best netminders in the Belarusian Extraliga, was the backbone of his team with 28 saves.

The 26-year-old saved all shots when the first period ended scoreless despite 15-5 shots on goal in Donbass Donetsk’s favour. The host team had three power plays in the opening frame but didn’t manage to capitalize on its opportunities. Randy Robitaille had bad luck when his shot only hit the goal post.

At 6:46 of the second period, Dadonov broke the deadlock after a double pass with Vaclav Nedorost.

“We’re happy that we won and everything is over,” Donbass head coach Julius Supler said. “The guys were a little nervous and we didn’t score as we want on the power play. We had many chances but we didn’t shoot efficiently. It was pretty tough for us. But we scored one goal on the PP and it was enough.”

The Belarusians’ biggest problem was penalties. They took too many and lost energy in defending the cage. While they did well in defending against the Ukrainians, they had trouble finding the way to the net on the other side.

Metallurg Zhlobin had some shots in the third period, especially when Sergei Tereshenko was sent to the penalty box for interference, but they didn’t bring the puck past Slovak Donbass goalie Jan Laco.

Another chance arose when Donbass forward Vitali Donika was assessed a penalty for hooking with 2:35 left in regulation time, but again, Metallurg had too little to offer against a well organized Donbass defence.

MARTIN MERK

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