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Yunost Minsk - BK Mlada Boleslav

Preview: Yunost Minsk vs BK Mlada Boleslav

Regular contenders in the Belarusian Extraliga, Yunost Minsk have won seven national titles in the last 13 years and have played in the league finals three years running. They now take their game to the international stage where they've also had success in the past, winning the Continental Cup in 2007 and 2011. Last season's Belarusian representatives, Neman Grodno, were competitive and nearly advanced out of the group, so don't expect Yunost to be pushovers in Group L.

BK Mlada Boleslav are also first-time competitors in the CHL. They don't have a lot of experience at the top level of Czech hockey but had their best season ever in 2015-16, reaching the Extraliga semi-finals. David Vyborny, the team's recently-retired captain and newly-appointed head coach said, “We are delighted that we can participate. In Mlada Boleslav this is a big step. We hope that we can once again have a good season in the Extraliga so we get in there next year.”

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Yunost Minsk - BK Mlada Boleslav

Yunost Minsk - BK Mlada Boleslav

Yunost Minsk win at home in CHL debut

Mlada Boleslav played a strong road game, out-shooting Yunost 27-18, but Dmitri Milchakov was strong in goal and backstopped his team to a win. Jakub Osrava scored Boleslav's first two goals, while Vadim Yerokho, Jesse Niinimaki, Maxim Parfeyevets, Alexei Yefimenko and Viktor Turkin all had two-point games for Yunost. Turkin's goal broke a 3-3 deadlock on a two-man advantage with only 2:09 to play.

Yunost coach Mikhail Zaharov acknowledged that it wasn't easy for his team. "This was such a difficult game. Mlada Boleslav had a lot of big names. In the Champions League there are no weak teams, of course. We are glad to snatch this victory. But today we had a lot of mistakes on the ice. Kogalev and Meleshko also were injured. The defensive pair of (Nikita) Mitskevich and (Vadim) Yerokho were at their highest level tonight. Milchakov also played an important role today, constantly making saves. Of course, we prepared for this opponent, watched the video. We also analyzed the game of (goalie) Jan Lukas. Most of goals he missed were from his crease. Therefore, we were constantly creating traffic in front of his net, and our plan worked successfully."

According to defenceman Oleg Goroshko, the team didn't panic after giving up an early goal on a 3-on-4 penalty kill. “It was a shorthanded goal – kind of a lottery, the puck took a bad bounce and they scored. However, we didn't change anything and continued to do our job. I would not say that it was difficult game, especially since they just flew in on game day. I think that it affected them, but it will be much harder to play against them in the Czech Republic. We tried to play our hockey.”

“It was a great game,” Mlada Boleslav coach Frantisek Vyborny simply assesed. Our main task was to play a good game and not to assess the refereeing. We have acquired a great experience.”











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