‘Nothing compares to scoring Kunlun’s first goal’

Source: Club Press-Office

03.09.2016

Every new team has its landmark moments, and few are as special as the first ever goal in its history. Sean Collins, our Canadian forward, had the honor of putting Kunlun on the scoreboard for the first time in a competitive game when he opened the scoring in our 2-1 win at Amur on September 1. After the game, he told us how it felt to go down in history:

Congratulations on scoring Kunlun’s first ever goal. How much does it mean to you?
It’s really important for me. It’s the first game in the team’s history and to score that first goal feels great. It’s good to be a part of the team’s history.

How does it compare with other memorable moments in your career?
You obviously think about your first goal in pro hockey, which I scored in the American Hockey League with the Springfield Flacons. That was quite memorable. I scored a couple of big playoff goals, overtime goals last year and those are obviously memorable too. But none of that compares to getting the first goal for a franchise that could be around for a long time.

How did you feel when the officials called for a video review of your goal?
In the speed of the game you never really think about it, so when you’re was on the bench and you see the referees going over and looking at the video that always makes you a little bit uneasy or unsure about the decision they might come to. But I was pretty confident I was outside the crease. Maybe the goalie tripped, or maybe he came out of his crease, but whatever happened I was always confident they were going to keep the goal.


How difficult was it to find the team’s rhythm after a two-week break since the last preseason game?
It was a challenge. We had a lot of travel, we were trying to get used to things in Beijing and there were a few days off sprinkled in there so our legs didn’t feel great, but it was nice to get that first game out of the way. It’s a big win for the team, it gets a little confidence going as we head into our first home game. I think it will calm everyone a bit. Any season, your legs don’t feel great in the first game, but they’ll get better as we go on.

Amur was one of the teams we played in preseason. Was it very different this time?
It felt different, but we played so many preseason games that I didn’t really remember much about them. The speed was at a different level, and the physicality and competitiveness is always a little bit higher in the regular season versus the preseason.

What was it like playing in front of Kunlun’s biggest crowd so far, in one of the most passionate KHL cities?
It was great. When you play in front of a full crowd it always gives you a little extra energy. It was a great atmosphere, it felt like a really engaged crowd and that was great to be part of. We had that one-goal lead and they scored late, so it was great to end the game with that goal from Tuukka (Mantyla) in the last minute.

In Beijing we could have crowds of up to 14,000. How does it feel to be heading there for our next game?
As a group we’re pretty jacked up about playing there. It’s not only the first home game in our team’s history, but it’s a big political event. It’s going to be quite an event in a world class rink. We’re all looking forward to skating tomorrow and seeing the locker room, testing out the ice and everything. We’re just excited to get the season going.