The Slovakian Extraliga Hockey Club Dukla Michalovce relies on the KHL experience of Dmitri Vorobyov.

Extraliga 2019-20: HC Slovan Bratislava vs Dukla Michalovce: #6 Dmitri Vorobyov; ©Stefan Macsadi

Last weekend, an interesting match took place in the Slovak Extraliga in Bratislava. HC Slovan Bratislava – last year in the KHL – hosted the promoted HC Dukla Michalovce. In the season so far, the climber presented very well. Decisive was certainly the squad compilation. In addition to two Finns and two Canadians, you will find in the roster also the Dutch defender, Mike Dalhuisen, and finally two Russians. First one is Igor Safaraleyev and second is Dmitri Vorobyov, after all 5th round draft of the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2004.

Vorobyov played most of the time in the highest league in his Russian homeland. After founding the KHL in 2008, he completed a total of 500 league games for eight teams, including top clubs like SKA St. Petersburg, Avangard Omsk and Admiral Vladivostok. In the last season he was under contract with Amur Khabarovsk, which was not renewed in the end. Vorobyov received an offer from the promoted to the Slovak Extraliga, HC Dukla Michalovce. For Vorobyov, “return” to the “Ondrej Nepla Arena” in Bratislava was a great thing. The game against Bratislava was lost despite a very good game as Slovan goalie Barry Brust got an extraordinary day. After the match, Dmitri Vorobyov was available for a statement.

Extraliga 2019-20: HC Slovan Bratislava vs Dukla Michalovce: #6 Dmitri Vorobyov;
©Stefan Macsadi

Balticsmedia: Dmitri, welcome back in Bratislava, you know this Arena. How was your feeling?

Dmitri Vorobyov: “It has always been a great experience to play in this arena. This stadium was certainly one of the best in the KHL. I played with some teams here and it was a unique experience every time.”

BM: From Amur in the KHL in Slovakia to Dukla Michalovce – why did you choose this club?

DV: “The people in charge have been very concerned about me. When I got the offer and learned that Igor (note: Safaraleyev) was another Russian in the team, I have agreed. It’s also easier for me to speak in my language.”

BM: Let’s take a quick look at the game against Slovan: You played a very good game and scored a great goal through Lalanchette. Why was not enough today?

DV: “Unfortunately we missed too many very good chances. Slovan Goalie Brust had an excellent day, he really made life difficult for us. His great saves secured the victory for Slovan.”

BM: In the season so far, Michalovce has presented very well, was at the beginning of the top three teams in the league. Where do you want to go, what do you want to achieve and what are your personal goals.

DV: “Yes, I think we have presented very well so far. Our mix of young and experienced players is certainly crucial. We want to reach the play-offs in the first step. That would certainly be a success for us as a climber. Then you will see what else is possible, in the play-offs much and everything can happen. For me personally, it is important to continue to be injury-free, I feel fit and I think that I can contribute with my experience certainly a share.”

BM: Dmitri, many thanks for your time and all the best for you and your team for this season.

HC Sovan Bratislava vs HC Dukla Michalovce 5-2 (1-0, 3-2, 1-0)