— Gennadiy, good afternoon. The first question : As a player with experience of playing at a high level in the Extra League and the Major League, as well as playing for the national team of Belarus in ice hockey – is short hockey a different sport?
— It is a similar sport, but there is a difference in the speed of decision-making and, of course, the rules. I would like to mention that an important difference is the size of the ice, because some players need to completely change their game style to look competitive in short hockey. Here the initiative shifts quickly from one team to the other and back again.
— According to Mogilev’s stats in this tournament, your team plays too much open hockey: you score a lot, but also let your opponents to score. Don’t you think it’s that such loosing in control of the puck which often leads to a negative result? After all, recently Mogilev was in the top three, and now it’s on the 5th place, although you still score a lot of goals.
— We are trying to improve our defense, but because of constant rotation our game in defense suffers. First of all, it is the chemistry. We are trying to build it, but the constant rotation strongly hinders it. As for our standings – there is 12 points difference between us and the playoff zone, and you can see that we are slowly closing the gap. We go into every game looking only for a win. Of course it’s nice to beat the table leaders, but first of all we have to beat our direct competitors for 3-4 position and playoff zone.
— If the team doesn’t manage to finish in the top 4 in the regular season, they will be without a chance to play in the playoff. If that’s the case, can Mogilev’s performance in this tournament be considered good?
— I think there were more positives in this tournament. We tried to please our fans and enjoy playing in such international tournament, so such a thing, like not making the playoffs, won’t affect our team spirit.
— Who are the players you would like to mention in this tournament? Is there a player, whose play style you admire ?
— I would like to congratulate and recognize our goalie, Stanislav Shamko, for scoring the first goal in short hockey, which is historic, because none of the goalies have ever scored before.
— How do you find the organisation of the tournament?
— Everything is on top: food, accommodation and organization. No complaints, uniform is always clean, skates are sharpened and the ice has become familiar.
— Would you like to stay in Short Hockey?
— If short hockey continues to progress at the same pace, I would like to continue.
— Do you have any personal fans?
— Yes, of course. My family, girlfriend, brother are my personal fans. Ilya Klyachin is a personal fan too.
— Did you know that the International Short Hockey Federation is planning to hold its first World Short Hockey Championship this summer. If you are called up to play for the Short Hockey team of Belarus, would you accept the invitation?
— Sure. I would gladly accept an invitation to take part in such an event. Tell you more, if it is in the summer, I will be able to gain more experience, maybe even with the guys who now play with me, and come to the tournament, so send invitations. ( laughing)
— Thank you very much, good luck to you. And no injuries!