September 26, 2022
The BHL regular season has started. The first Group A matches took place in Lithuania. Granitas Kaunas and Dragunas Klaipeda hosted Estonian clubs Viljandi and Mistra. The weekend was a successful one for the visiting teams.
Granitas-Karys Kaunas – Viljandi HC 27:29 (16:15)
The match between Granitas and Viljandi was very tough. During the entire match, no opponent managed to gain more than a two-goal lead. The winner turned out at the end of the match.
Marko Koks (coach, Viljandi):
I said even before that the matches will be very tough because everyone wants to win against the champion. It was to find our game at the beginning of the match and it was good that the goalkeeper helped a lot. In the second half, we found our best ways to finish attacks successfully. That led us to our victory.
Vaidotas Grosas (coach, Granitas-Karys):
Match was very close, the leading team changed many times. I think, we didn’t win because of poor shooting realization and bad job in defence. There are a lot of challanges ahead.
Granitas-Karys – Starolis 7, Giedraitis 6, Monvilas 5.
Viljandi – Varik, Voika, Basarab, Koks – 5.
Dragunas Klaipeda – Viljandi HC 21:30 (7:13)
Marko Koks (coach, Viljandi):
We defended well, which allowed us to launch many quick counterattacks. That was our plan. The goalkeeper helped us a lot at the start of the match again, which gave us a self-confidence. We are pleased with the good start of the season. We win two important away victories. These victories are very important for a place in the quarter-final.
Gintaras Cibulskis (coach, Dragunas):
Minus five goals at the beginning of the first half was not something terrible, nothing was lost, but unfortunately, we didn’t score from very good positions. It’s a shame we didn’t have any leaders today. I tried to motivate the team but nothing worked. It’s a pity that we didn’t manage to win a single point at home.
Dragunas – Biknius 5, Draksas 4, Mazrimas, Smantauskas 3.
Viljandi – Koks 9, Varik, Koovit 4.
Mistra also won twice in Lithuania against Dragunas and Granitas. Estonian clubs Mistra and Viljandi have 4 points each and share 1–2 places in Group A.
Dragunas Klaipeda – Mistra 25:26 (12:13)
Dragunas – Smantauskas 7, Draksas 6, Lapiniauskas 4.
Mistra – Orlovskyi, Sokorovich 6, Naumenko 4.
Granitas-Karys Kaunas – Mistra 25:32 (16:14)
Granitas-Karys – Starolis 8, Lazauskas 6, Sarkauskas, Giedraitis 4.
Mistra – Naumenko 10, Orlovskyi 7, Slastinovski 5.
Juri Lepp (coach, Mistra):
This season, we have assembled such a strong team that we will fight only for victories in every match. Dragunas is not a team at the same level us a couple of years ago. Dragunas team had a lot of changes and a lot of young players have joined the team. We beat Dragunas because we have more equal players. We started bad in the match against Granitas. But we made substitutions and Granitas could not follow the tempo dictated by us. It is a good start of the season for us, even our opponents were not the strongest in the weekend matches.
Modestas Starolis (Granitas-Karys) became BHL Top scorer after 2 matches, scoring 15 goals. Danil Gumianov (Tallinn) and Hendrik Koks (Viljandi) scored 14 goals.
The next round of the BHL will take place on 22–23 October.