On Saturday night, Capitals prospect and 2015 first-round pick Ilya Samsonov backstopped the Hershey Bears to their eighth consecutive win and extended their point streak to 14 games.
Samsonov made 20 saves against the Lehigh Valley Phantoms and stopped all three shots in the shootout to secure the Bears the 3-2 win.
Following the game, Samsonov met with the media and utilized his newfound confidence in speaking English to conduct his second interview without the need of a translator.
Thanks to Chocolate Hockey, there is video of the exchange.
Ilya Samsonov chatted with the media Saturday after earning Hershey an extra point in a shootout victory against Lehigh Valley pic.twitter.com/USFi7IbZmM
— Chocolate Hockey (@ChocHockey) February 17, 2019
Samsonov was asked how he feels about the number of games having to be decided in shootouts. Hershey have gone to the shootout nine times in the 2018-19 season.
Samsonov said he is not a fan of the long games and shootouts.
“No. Because long, long play. Doesn’t like shootouts,” replied Samsonov.
Next, Samsonov spoke about what his mindset is like during a shootout.
“Just relax. Relax,” he said. “I play. I watch what you do, forward. And done.”
With eight straight wins, the Bears are having a lot of fun, which one reporter picked up on.
Samsonov confirmed that, saying he was having, “Much, much fun.”
Hershey’s win over Lehigh Valley was an important one in the standings race, with the Phantoms above them in the standings.
With a game in hand heading into Sunday’s contest, and just one point behind the Phantoms, Samsonov remarked on just how crucial that win was.
“Yeah, 100% big win. Big win today,” Samsonov said. “We want a win tomorrow because it’s hard work. We want to go playoff zone. Super hard. Very hard tonight.”
Headline photo: Cara Bahniuk
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