Sochi Hockey Club was finally able to break a record losing streak by beating Metallurg Magnitogorsk at home with a score of 3:2. The author of the winning goal, striker Sergei Popov shared his emotions after the victory.
– Sergey, a series of defeats hung over you like a sword of Damocles. He finally managed to cut him off. Share your impressions of the match?
– They went out and fought. We’ve already had five games with that attitude, but we lacked a bit to win. And finally, they removed it.
– Matches with Sochi are not boring to watch: you score quite a lot, and you can impose a fight on your opponent. What are the reasons for such a long negative series?
We have a young team. In the third period, someone may start to get nervous, someone flirts … But all this is experience – we will learn from our mistakes.
– Many experts speak positively of his connection with Matvey Michkov, who recently joined the ranks of the Sochi team. How did you play with that? What are the strengths of your new link partner?—
– Good Guy. When he arrived, they put us together right away. We communicate a lot, we discuss our actions, we analyze mistakes. We definitely have chemistry on ice. His strong point, I think, is his accurate shooting.
– The teams at the top of the standings now fight for the playoffs. Someone is fighting for the eight. Where do you look for motivation when it comes to going out on the ice?
– Play for the team. An athlete must be motivated in any situation. We don’t just play hockey this season. What we have now is also an experience that will allow us to improve next season.
– You recently signed a new contract with the Sochi hockey club, which is valid until April 2026. Why did you make such a decision and what prospects do you see for yourself here?
— I like the team and the city. As for the prospects, I don’t like to guess, I live from day to day. This is my first year in the KHL. In Sochi they trust me, I am growing here as a player. The atmosphere of the city is good: practice, go out and change.
The sea again…
I’ve only been at sea three times. After one of which I got sick. That’s why I don’t go there anymore! In Sochi, you can leave the ice and not think about hockey, and then come to training with a fresh head.
– What do you think of the first year of the KHL? What are your impressions of the league?
– I started slowly, but it has always been like that for me – I got used to the speed, to the league, to my teammates. Now I feel more comfortable, I play my hockey.
– The next opponent is Vityaz. He recently met with them and the team from the Moscow region turned out to be stronger. How will you act to change the game scenario?
“It is quite an experienced team. We have to play with the body, and we have a young team, a lot of energy, we will take it.
The victory over “Metallurg” interrupted the record losing streak of the Sochi team, which amounted to 21 matches. Sergei Svetlov’s team will play their next match on January 18 in Balashikha, near Moscow, against Vityaz.