Viktor Sharpanov: «I will work hard»


Reaktor goaltender Viktor Sharpanov talks about his decision to be goaltender, play–in and Nizhnekamsk.

– How would you evaluate the past season at Reaktor for yourself?
– Overall, it was a good season. I got a lot of on–ice time, played a little with the first team (Neftekhimik), saw how everything there is. Of course, I wanted to go further with Reaktor and play some more games, but it turned out the way it turned out. It is a shame that we did not make playoffs, but we need to keep working, it will be a good lesson for the future. I felt trust from the coach at the play–in stage, and I am extremely grateful to him for this.

– After the end of the regular season, you published a farewell post on your account, as if you were mentally saying goodbye to the season and the team.
– No, this is more of a summary of the regular season. Then it was the last game, the parents and relatives of our players came out on the ice, we took pictures. I did not say goodbye. We believed to the last, the whole team sat and watched the games on which our play–in depended – whether Loko–76 would overtake us on points.

– When Reaktor finished the regular season games, the play–in depended on how Loko–76, your former team, played. At that moment, did you have some kind of contradictions – did you want the Yaroslavl team to lose or did you cheer for Reaktor's success?
– I only supported Reaktor with all my heart. My former team left good memories, but I am here and now, solving the problems of today.

– How did the team worry about not making playoffs?
– After an excellent of the play–in at home, we went to Magnitogorsk to win again, but, unfortunately, we could not do it. When it was all over, we were emotionally devastated and burned out. We realized what happened. We understood that we could do it, we won first game of the series, there was one step left that we, alas, did not take.

– You have been in Nizhnekamsk for a year. Have you managed to get used to the new place?
– At first it was hard to readjust when I moved to Nizhnekamsk. Because I have never left Yaroslavl for such a long time before. Fortunately, after some time, I feel like it is my home. I really like it here – it is a small, cozy city. We arrived together with Semyon Lyubalin, we are both students of the Yaroslavl hockey school, he is 2 years younger than me. Here I even got myself a pet – one morning I decided to run to the bakery, and I saw a little cat sitting in the entrance. I went back and was still there. I gave to this kitten milk. The kitten decided not to leave me, so I took it for myself.

– Is it difficult being away from family and friends?
– Mom came in the fall, saw how I live here, visited a game, she really liked everything. Often my girlfriend comes from Yaroslavl. I was lucky that there were games in Yaroslavl – I was at home with both Reaktor and Neftekhimik twice a season. Everyone watches the games, wishes them good luck before the games, and congratulates us on the victories. Everything here is very comfortable, because Reaktor has a great team, there are no problems in communication at all. We really are like one family.

– Are there any differences in the goaltending training process between Yaroslav and here with Anton Kislitsyn?
– There are differences in the style of play. Anton Kislitsyn completely trusted me, did not try to rebuild me, retrain me, rather we worked out the nuances. After training with Neftekhimik goaltenders, I realized that I still had a lot to learn. For instance, during practices with KHL players, there is a different decision–making time; they make different plays on the ice, in compare with th JHL. I already had an understanding of what direction I needed to develop in, I noticed my weaknesses, which is also good. Alexei Mitroshin also suggests how best to play in order to minimize conceded goals.

– Now Neftekhimik is playing exhibition games. You had the opportunity to be on the ice in Neftekhimik jersey. It is clear that the level of responsibility is not the same as in the regular season games. Nevertheless, what did you feel?
– It was a good, decent game against the VHL team from Chelny. The level of responsibility was higher, I was interested in trying to do my best. I do not know what will happen tomorrow or in six months. But I think it will be very good to get this experience in the major leagues. Filipp Dolganov made his way through the VHL, and played great at the KHL level. I will work hard.

– Why did you become a goaltender?
– It is an interesting story. In Yaroslavl we live next to the hockey arena. Since I was four years old, I constantly asked my mother to bring me to hockey school. But they said you can join hockey school only from 6 years old. Therefore, I visited figure skating lessons in order to learn how to skate. As a result, I spent two years there, and when I told the coach that I was visiting figure skating lessons in order to play hockey, I was politely asked not to come again. At the age of 6, I finally came to our Arena. A year later, my coach Vladislav Chesnov offered me to be a goaltender. At first it seemed uninteresting, I wanted to skate. Some time later, I got inspired and it I still interested.

– Goaltenders are slightly different persons in compare with other players. Do you know why?
– Probably because goaltenders have a higher sense of responsibility. If a forward makes a mistake, a defenseman will get his back, if a defenseman makes a mistake, a goaltender help him. If a goaltender makes a mistake, no one will help, only luck can help him. The price of a mistake is high. We need to save emotions and energy before games. We need to stay focused for 60 minutes of the game.

– Is it important to get a shutout or the team win is more important?
– Shutout is just a bonus. Yes, this means that you did a great job, but you have to win, even if you conceded a few goals. It was sad in the game against Sputnik to concede a goal a minute and a half before the final siren. The overall victory is more important – adding two points in the piggy bank.

– How do you feel about publicity when people recognize you or ask you to take a photo?
– I do not refuse to take a picture, of course this does not happen often, but I prefer to be in the shadows.

– How do you plan to organize your training process on vacation?
– I will go to the gym, and on the ice if possible.

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