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Author: Alexander Ryukhin (Gazeta.ru)Date: 01/13/2006
Ilya Zubov (Ottawa Senators): I slept for three days after the finals

2006 Russian Super League

Ilya Zubov practicing with Traktor (Chelyabinsk) during the 2004-05 season (Photo Courtesy of HC Traktor)
Spartak forward Ilya Zubov, the author of the winning goal scored against Dynamo told Gazeta.ru regarding the meaning of the game, his rest and the silver medal at the U20 World Junior Championships.

Spartak head coach Valery Bragin's phrase during the post game briefing after the match against CSKA. He answered the question regarding forward Ilya Zubov by saying smiling "He is sleeping." And he was absolutely right. After his return from Canada, where our national team earned the silver medals at the U20 WJC, the young forward, in his own words, needed sleep. When he first returned to the ice in Russia, he gave his club a victory with a goal against the best team in the Super League, of which he is very proud.

It was great to score a goal against such a serious opponent, especially one that was a game winner. The game against Dynamo was especially important to us. After the game against CSKA, we needed to regain our confidence. I think we did it here, despite us not being in the best shape as a team.

Yes, towards the end of the game Spartak noticeably let down...
I. Zubov:
I won't hide it, it was very difficult for us, especially for me. I recently returned from Canada. Fortunately we were able to keep pat it and withstand our opponent, though our opponent really wanted to even the score. I want to say thanks to Moss, who played very well.

Can we say that your goal was what broke the opponent?
I. Zubov: Well, if it ended up being the game winner, then yes. I was able to score when Dynamo was on the power play. But in any case, most of the credit belongs to Litvinenko, who gave me a great pass. All I needed to do wass put it in the net.

Unlike during the match against CSKA, Spartak played quite well this time against Dynamo.
I. Zubov: Yes, we especially practiced this component of the game during the latest practices. And, as you can see, our efforts paid off.

Did Dynamo show hockey worthy of the Super League champions?
I. Zubov: I don't think so. But there are a lot of objective reasons for that. Seemingly after the victory in St. Petersburg, the squad was not ready or motivated enough yet.

Are you still feeling the jetlag?
I. Zubov: It's less now. You won't believe it, but after the game against Canada, I slept for almost three days. I wasn't ready for the game against Canada. And today too, I will repate that I did not feel all that well. I think I will be 100 percent before the next game.

According to the coaches, you impressed at the U20 WJC.
I. Zubov: I am glad to hear that. I think I played hard. It's unfortunate that we could not beat the Canadians. At least we did not deserve such a resounding defeat.

What do you think happened to Russia in the finals?
I. Zubov: It's tough to say. We seemed to have done everything right. Maybe we underestimated the opponent a bit. I don't want to nod towards the referee, but if he counted Lemtyugov's goal, everything could have ended up differently.

Have you already shown the silver medal to your linemates?
I. Zubov: Yes, they told me I should have brought back gold.

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