On March 12, the hockey playoffs of the Ukrainian Championship started in Kalush, and today, on the 13th, the Iceberg Arena in Kremenchug will pick up the baton, where the game No. 1 between the local Kremenchug and the Kalush Legion will take place. About how the winner of the regular season was preparing for the start of the playoffs, our site asked one of the leaders of the team from Poltava region – a 22-year-old striker Gleb Krivoshapkina.
– Gleb, Kremenchuk enters the playoff games as the winner of the first stage. Does this make your club the clear favorite against Legion?
– Of course not! Success in the first stage does not guarantee us anything, except for the advantage of our site in the playoffs until the very last match. Yes, the victory gave the team strength and confidence, but the regular season is just a smooth part of the season, a prelude or “warming up” to the main battles. And the playoffs are a new story in every game. This is a battle for the title, a completely different intensity of passion and dedication. There are no weaklings here, because those do not get into the playoffs.
– Feel the excitement before the start of the decisive stage of the season?
– Absolutely not. I feel complete confidence in my team.
– How was the almost 10-day preparation for the playoffs? Has anything changed in the training process after the completion of the first stage?
– We haven’t changed anything, we are working closely in our usual schedule, as we have done throughout the season.
– Is Legion a convenient opponent for you?
I find it difficult to answer… The only thing I can say is that there are no passing matches in the playoffs with anyone.
– Which of the six matches in the season against Legion is the most memorable?
– You know, somehow they didn’t stick in my memory… I had too many games in the season, taking into account the Continental Cup and performances for the national and student teams of Ukraine.
– In this regard, how do you feel at the end of the season? What form are you in?
– I feel in the best condition! Fully focused and ready for the playoffs.
– In the regular season Gleb Krivoshapkin scored 40 (17+23) points. Satisfied with your job?
– I am one of the leaders of the team, the forward of the first link, so my direct duty is to score, give assists and benefit the team. At the same time, I emphasize that team achievements have always been more important for me, and not my own, so I calmly perceive personal statistics and am not particularly interested in them. If we comment on the figures, then, probably, they became possible due to the large amount of work done at the summer training camp in preparation for the season.
– Was it very different from those that were in your career before?
– Not physically, but mentally different. Due to the start of a large-scale war and the early completion of the previous season, I lived with my parents in my native Kharkov for six months and did not even think about training! Can you imagine what it’s like to be under daily shelling of the city, endless sirens and “arrivals”?! You probably remember from the news the shelling and demolition of a school near the Kyiv metro station, when the invaders entered the city and seized the educational institution already in Kharkov itself. There were hot days, and I live from that place a few hundred meters … Sheer horror, gloomy days and a difficult time that continues to this day. So last summer the most difficult thing for me was to abstract and mentally switch to hockey and work in it. Focus on the game and not be distracted. In this, by the way, our team helped me a lot, as well as mom and dad – my best helpers in life!
– Before the start of the playoffs, Kremenchuk took part in a mass event on the Iceberg, where the whole team held a charity skating with children and adults from Bakhmut. What do you remember about this event?
It turned out to be a great exchange of emotions! The children had fun on the ice, and hockey players as instructors helped beginners to skate or increased adrenaline for everyone who wanted to speed up. In general, everything went great, and the sparkling laughter, smiles and childlike state of satisfaction brought real pleasure to everyone who participated in this skating. We all need positive emotions, so it is important to find them. Both children and athletes!
Do you remember your first time on the ice? When it was?
– In Kharkov at the age of six. The older guys held me under the armpits in the same way, as I insured the children these days (smiles).
– Since then, hockey has dragged on with your head?
Not right away. At that time I was studying at the Lyceum of Arts (grades 1-4) and doing a lot of things besides the standard school subjects. This includes choreography, folk dancing, drawing solfeggio, played the flute, studied English, German, French … There was a lot of things, so because of the busy schedule, I went to hockey 1-2 times a week. And only in the fifth grade, when my coach Oleg Vasilievich Ignatiev began to talk more and more insistently about the inclinations and asked me to decide on the future, I decided to dedicate myself to hockey. Subsequently, he went all the way with Ignatiev before getting into the junior team of Ukraine, which triumphantly won first place at the 2018 World Cup in division 1B.
– Could you play the flute for your partners in Kremenchug now?
– Don’t think. I played it as a child, I really liked it and it turned out well, but now I don’t even remember where which note is and how best to “put my fingers” for a more subtle or rough sound. A lot of water has flowed under the bridge since then… But I have no plans to remember and learn to play the flute again after the Ukrainian Championship. I hope my season will continue with the Ukrainian national team, where I will have to keep up the pace to help bring our team to a new level at the World Cup!
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