During the break between the game days, we had a talk with the Torpedo captain Aleksandr Liubimov, who talked about his team, their adaptation to the new sport, and how his team is getting in shape for the tournament.
It is important to note that the Torpedo is the only team at the ISHF LIGA PRO BELARUS OPEN CHALLENGE CUP 2021 tournament that won the match without conceding a goal.
— As captain, how do you rate the team’s performance?
— Average so far… We are gradually gaining momentum and trying to improve from game to game. Of course we do everything possible to win, but the lack of chemistry is a very important factor at the moment, so the game is a little unstable.
— After 3 defeats in a row you`ve won at once, without conceding a goal. What has changed?
— After this unsuccessful series of games I, as a captain, had a meeting with the team, talked to them, made conclusions after three defeats and decided that this cannot go on, we need to show our best game to achieve a positive result.
— How much time do you think your team need to achieve full chemistry?
— I think we need a few more game days to improve team chemistry and understanding between the teammates.
— But after those defeats, your team is on course for a confident second place in the standings, can you put up a good game against the leader?
— We will try. We don’t care who we play against, either underdog or leader, we are getting ready to meet with any opponent and try to win every game.
— How do you find the tournament itself?
— The tournament is cool. I would like to thank the tournament organizers for their work, because everything is well-organized.
— Do you feel the difference (as a hockey player) in the organization of this tournament and the tournament in Slovakia?
— Yes, of course, the difference can be felt. Starting with the locker rooms, because in Slovakia we were all in the same one, and ending with the service: here we always had a fresh uniform, fresh and tasty food and also comfort in our free time.
— Look, in Slovakia you were a captain, but then you played short hockey for the first time, now do you feel that you are used to the rules and is it easier for you?
— Yes, of course. In Slovakia I have gained experience, so I feel more confident here. I now have more stability in the game, I start to think up my tricks, and since the roster has changed, I help the guys who play short hockey for the first time to adapt, I give them advice both during the game, whether it’s from the bench or on the ice, as well as after matches.
— And one last question: in Belarus, the participants (teams) is stronger or weaker than in Slovakia?
— It seems to me that here the lineup is much stronger, because the guys who came here are already experienced in short hockey. Therefore, in each game with an experienced opponent, we gain experience, become more playable and learn something new on a new ice rink and with new rules.