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Kazakh team reaches Continental Hockey League playoffs
Astana's Barys defeated Moscow Region's Vityaz 6-4 on Feb. 26 in the final round of the Continental Hockey League's regular season and secured a spot in the playoffs.
KAZAKHSTAN - Astana's Barys defeated Moscow Region's Vityaz 6-4 on Feb. 26 in the final round of the Continental Hockey League's regular season and secured a spot in the playoffs. At the start of the season, the Kazakh newcomers to the KHL had a clear ambition to finish in the top 16. Barys showed it belonged in the league when it first hit the ice in September. A decisive string of three victories as the season wrapped up demonstrated how strong Barys' team had become.
Barys' players were ready to take on anyone on their home ice, and Vityaz was virtually doomed to defeat. After scoring six goals, the hosts let their guests close the gap somewhat, which demonstrated to local fans that it was the rudest team in the league.
Immediately after the match leading KHL defender and Barys captain Kevin Dallman was presented, on the ice, with a birthday cake in the shape of Astana's hockey arena in the name of all Barys' fans.
"Aside from the happiness, I'm unbelievably tired right now”, Dallman said. “The team’s got to relax a few days, and then we'll be back on the ice. I believe that thanks to our team spirit we'll do well in the playoffs. Of course, the guys from Kazan [Barys will meet Kazan's Ak Bars in the first round of the playoffs] are very strong. But now we've got the spirit, and all our leading players' injuries have healed. It's like a new season has begun for us and we're ready to impress the fans. In the playoffs, all kinds of surprises can happen.”
Barys finished in 15th place in the KHL. Now, in the octo-final of the Gagarin Cup, it will meet Kazan's Ak Bars, which finished in second place. The octo-final is a best-of-five series. The first two games take place in Kazan on Mar. 2-3. The series then shifts to Astana on Mar. 5-6.
[sports.kz, championat.ru, hc-barys.kz]