August 6, 2008, 8:32 AM
Alexei Cherepanov could not contain his joy while speaking with a Sport-Express correspondent after netting his hat trick against HK-36 Skalica:
— To be honest, I never thought I would get a hat trick today. Without my linemates, I never would have achieved this. –
– Viewers were hoping to see Jagr be the one scoring, but you were the hero today.
— Jaromir set up several goals. –
– Your line was the best in the game. What may explain this understanding you have?
— This is the third year Sasha Popov, Anton Kuryanov, and I are playing together. Over this time, everyone has to explore each other’s style of game, and hence we develop such an understanding. As for other lines, they are new and kids need more time.
— You will not be surprised that you play on the first line, and Jagr – on the second?
— The coach determines the lines. Maybe, this is a tactical idea? In general, during pre-season it may well be one thing, and in the regular season – another. However, to be honest, I do not care what line I play on. My main goal is to play hard and give everything I can to the team.
— Last season, you repeatedly said that Jagr was your idol, and dreamed of playing with him one day. Today, your dream come true… –
– You can not even imagine what emotions I feel. A dream is a dream, but at the same time, I even could not imagine that we would play together for the Omsk club!
— Maybe now you’re waiting for the moment to play with him at one point? — I believe that is possible! I hope to score on some dream passes from Jagr.
— Have you been able to get his autograph? — Not yet, but the entire season is yet to come. — Do you talk to him often?
— Yeah, sometimes I ask about the NHL. Jaromir knows that I had an invitation from the NHL, and once said: “You want to play in the NHL – train more.” After these words I began to work even harder. By the way, after each workout Jaromir stays with me: we look at video and he tells me what still needs work. So he is really one of my coaches.
— They say that your departure for NHL has been postponed largely because of the fact that Jagr came to Avangard…
— My contract with Avangard operates for another year, so that meant I was staying anyway. But when found out that my idol will be joining me in Omsk, I basically stopped thinking about that.
— Do you think Avangard will be able to win a championship?
— We have an excellent team, and we all will try to make sure that the team has achieved the highest result possible. Jagr’s arrival should also give us youngsters even more confidence. Watch Jaromir and learn.