Artem Sapa: I’m still replaying those goals in my head

21 April 2014, 21:44 (msc)

The author of four goals against the SKA Moscow CSKA forward Artem Sapa told about the things hockey players his age dream of, why personal statistics aren’t that important, and who young ‘army’ players want to be like.

“Four goals in a game is probably my record,” said the forward. “Of course it was nice to hit so many in one game. To be honest, I’m still replaying those moments in my head. I liked the first one the best — everything looked very pretty in motion.”

“Do you consider yourself to be the hero of the game?”

“No, I don’t. I don’t want to seem shy but I’ll give a boring answer — in every game it’s the whole team that wins or loses.”

“Do you like what you do?”

“My parents took me onto the ice for the first time, when I was four. I’ve been playing hockey ever since. Then I couldn’t decide anything for myself. But I never regretted it once. I really like hockey, and I want to link my life with sport. I also like football, but that’s just for fun. Every hockey player should also kick a ball with his feet.”

“Do you follow grown up team games?”

“I try not to miss home games for CSKA in KHL. I really like the level of the league and the organisation. Who’s the best player in CSKA? Alexander Radulov, of course. There’s probably no one better than Alexander in the KHL. It’s a shame that my club lost to SKA in the play offs for the Gagarin Cup — they could have played better. But at least we got a good revenge for the older team today.”

“You probably have someone you want to be like, in the world of hockey?”

“My favourite player is Pavel Datsyuk. He has amazing technique, and I want to be like him. I’m trying to repeat his feints with the stick, but I don’t always get it right. But I don’t get upset. I’m going to work even harder in training.”

“What do you dream of?”

“I really want to get on to CSKA and play in the Continental Hockey League. If I get really lucky, maybe the NHL. But it’s too soon to think about that, first I have to solve more local goals. I want to play for Detroit, like Datsyuk, that would be great. I don’t look too far to the future. You asked about dreams, and you have to dream big. Our next goal is to win the Gazprom Neft Cup.”

“Your teammate Igor Tyutyunnikov made four assistant passes today. Does he always play so well for his teammates?”

“Igor plays hockey really well. And he passes well. I can too, by the way — if it’s better to pass to a teammate, I’m never greedy. Remember, the most important thing is victory, not personal statistics.”

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