The group stage of the competition ended at the international student ice hockey tournament Student Hockey Challenge-2019 held in Barnaul, which is attended by the team of the Volga region Academy of sports. "Academicians", who went to Barnaul in a seriously updated composition, with a new coach, failed to make it to the semifinals, but showed, admittedly, a very decent game.
The opponents of the Academy team in the group stage were the current European Champions among students, the team of Charles University Prague (UK PRAHA), the team of the American University hockey League (ACHA) and the winners of the Student Hockey Challenge-2018, the team of universities of the Altai territory ("Dinamo-Altai-student"). In the opening match of the tournament with Czech students, our team lost with a score of 3: 4, leading in the course of the meeting 3: 2. In the match against the hosts of the tournament "academicians" also led in the score (1: 0), but failed to keep the advantage, eventually losing 1:5. In the final match of the group stage with the Americans wards Sergei Lukin lost 1:3, then equalized and took the lead (4: 3), but did not hold the advantage. In overtime, none of the opponents to throw the winning goal failed, and in the shootout luck smiled on the Americans. On Saturday, our team will play with Tambov "Derzhava" in the playoff match for 5-8 place.
Today we asked the head coach of our team Sergey Lukin, who headed it shortly before leaving for Barnaul, to sum up the interim results of the team's performance in the tournament:
- I just want to say that we looked decent in all three matches. With the Czechs so far played better than the opponent. Led the way. But the fact that we have in fact a new and young team, which gathered in full a few days before leaving for Barnaul, had an impact. And rivals, besides that Champions of Europe. They have a completely different regulation of student competitions, with virtually no age restrictions. There play guys, which on 30 years. And we have two freshmen 17 years old. Who understands sports, understands that such age difference is very significant. It's not even physics, but experience and psychology. We have most of the guys for the first time in their lives came to play in such a representative tournament. In the match against the hosts, we were 1-0 for a period and a half. And only in the second half of the match the opponents managed to turn the tide. And my guys purely psychologically cracked. And here it is necessary to take into account that they have an age-experienced team, compared to last season, fully preserved the composition. And the Americans have the League's regulations allows to state age players. Under this speech about team League! But our team managed, conceding in the score, to get ahead. But in overtime saved them from hitting the post! It's a shame to lose such a match on shootouts. But the game is not a shame. I was convinced that we have a great, ambitious team, the boys are fighting, with the character, with all we fought, somewhere looked much better. All the tournament nicely surprised that we are at the start of the season, barely meeting demonstrate that kind of hockey. Let the score on the scoreboard says otherwise, but those who understand hockey, understand that everything is ahead of us.