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KHL: SKA to Crack Down on Mistakes - Riha

© RIA Novosti . Vladimir Pesnia / Go to the photo bankMilos Riha
Milos Riha - Sputnik International
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SKA St. Petersburg will iron out the mistakes that let the team down last season as it targets the 2013 Gagarin Cup, coach Milos Riha said Thursday.

SKA St. Petersburg will iron out the mistakes that let the team down last season as it targets the 2013 Gagarin Cup, coach Milos Riha said Thursday.

Big-spending SKA reached the KHL Western Conference final last season before a 4-0 series thrashing at the hands of eventual Gagarin Cup champion Dynamo Moscow.

Despite the unexpected exit, capped by a 6-1 defeat in Moscow, Riha vowed to stay and was supported by the SKA board.

"We made a number of mistakes that shouldn't have been allowed. No one ever taught [the players] that," Riha said.

"We're working to get away from that. We're not going to make any fundamental changes."

Ex-Los Angeles Kings, Boston Bruins and St. Louis Blues defenseman Kevin Dallman joined SKA from Barys Astana in the summer and could be key to any success, Riha said.

"Dallman's already distinguished himself in the KHL as a strong player," he said.

With funding from Russian state-run gas company Gazprom, SKA has assembled a team including ex-NHL players Evgeny Artyukhin, Maxim Afinogenov and Denis Grebeshkov.

Riha, 53, has won one Czech and two Slovak league titles as a coach, and joined SKA after taking Atlant Moscow Region to the 2011 Gagarin Cup final, knocking out the St. Petersburg team in the playoffs.

The new season starts September 4.

 

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