Some times in life I really do think I am privileged. I headed on this trip expecting to live relatively unpleasantly, eating cheaply and getting the crap seats at the hockey. However, today was a day to savour. My work with HC Slovan Bratislava meant that I was always in contact with the main people there, and when I told them that I was going to be heading over for the game today against Dinamo Riga, I was hopeful of simply meeting the people who I write for, and the possibility of a free ticket.
|A deserted Bratislava.|
The game wasn’t one of the best KHL games I’ve seen, but it was incredibly enjoyable none the less. Dinamo Riga had brought along around eighty or ninety fans with them who were incredibly loud, and occasionally the 8,000 in the Slovnaft Arena stirred, sending a wall of noise onto the ice. It was an important game for Slovan, as it was the first time that they had Miroslav Satan and Jaroslav Janus in the lineup following the cock-up made in not registering them soon enough before the opening game against Donbass Donetsk, which they lost 4:2.
However, my positivity was rocked somewhat after just ten seconds, as Riga took the lead to the delight of the travelling faithful. A terrible neutral zone defensive play let Riga walk right in on a 2 on 1, which Miks Indrasis buried. Slovan were awful in the opening period, truly terrible. They looked like they had never met each other, and the people who I were with said that they looked a shade of the team that played against Donbass two days before.
Jon Rowson white glove watch: Boy was I in for a treat tonight. It’s part of Riga’s away uniform to have white gloves, although a little too much burgundy for my liking. The best ones were on the hands of Aleksandrs Nizvijs. Well played sir, a finely deserved 6 Marek Ivan’s out of 10.
|The Slovnaft Arena blew me away.|
However, with the players at their disposal you can never count Slovan out of a game, and the pressure began to build. In a play very similar to the manner in which the first goal was scored, Miklik turned provider to scorer as he buried the chance after the dish from Michal Vondrka. Vondrka would then go on to have a golden chance on a 2 on 1 with Jon Sigalet in overtime, but he waited too long and Maris Jucers (yes, the awful goalie who played for Liepajas when the Blaze played them) managed to save it.
|Sadly Dinamo Riga blew Slovan away...|
After three nights in Bratislava, it’s time to hit the rails, as tomorrow I head an hour down the line to Vienna, where I’ll be watching EBEL regular season action between the Vienna Capitals and the Hungarian side SAPA Fehervar.
That’s all for now.
That’s all for now.