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Czechs on the attack

22.01.2010

Result of the day
Dynamo Moscow - Dinamo Riga 4-5. What on earth is happening to Dynamo? And where on earth are these unforeseen problems coming from? They have no injuries, Andrei Khomutov long since settled in with the team, even producing an impressive run of results. No problems with the finances either. On the whole, everything is in order, but the last three matches have been the stuff of Dynamo fans’ worst nightmares: first they lose to Avtomobilist, then need a shoot-out to overcome Dinamo Minsk, and now this total collapse on their own ice.

The feeling is the team, having gained the advantage, simply stops playing. That is how it was when Avtomobilist conceded two quick goals and then hit back with five, and now the Riga men fight back to win from three goals down. Maybe Dynamo know their own strength and are trying not to overdo it. It does not bode well for the play-offs. If it is simply fatigue, there are no obvious signs, and besides, they will soon have a short break and time to recuperate. It seems even the club leadership are reduced to guesswork, trying to explain the inexplicable.

As for Dinamo Riga, in a word - heroic. They deserve a special award for such performances, or at very least a long ovation. It would be worth taking part in the current championship just for games like these.

Dynamo’s nightmare
It is the first time in all Russian championship history that Dynamo Moscow have suffered defeat after scoring the first three goals. Only once before have they even lost points after taking a 3-0 lead, back in 1997-98, although then the game ended in a draw. It is also the first time in history that Dinamo Riga have turned a 0-3 deficit into victory.

First goal in the KHL
Dynamo Moscow’s 18-year-old attacker Nikita Dvurechensky has scored his first KHL goal in only his second appearance at this level. It is worth noting that the forward spent a whole season in the Youth Hockey League, where in 38 matches he scored 25 goals and made 12 assists.

Fastest goal
Dynamo Moscow attacker Jiri Hudler (pictured, right) scored the fastest goal of the current championship. Jiri struck 12 seconds into the match, two seconds faster than the previous record set by Anatoly Nikontsev of Avtomobilist.

Five for Jagr…
Avangard forward Jaromir Jagr (pictured, left) has now scored in five consecutive games, equaling the record for the season, set by Dynamo Moscow’s Konstantin Panov. The record scoring run in the KHL is six matches, achieved last season by both Alexei Cherepanov and Jan Marek.

… and five for Avangard
Avangard have posted their best run of the season, and equaled the club record in the KHL for consecutive regulation time victories. In the last five games, Igor Nikitin’s team have collected 15 points, scoring 18 goals and conceding only 9. In last season’s winning run they struck 22 goals against 12 in reply.

Ugarov joins the top 20
HC MVD forward Alexei Ugarov’s fourth winning goal of the season makes him one of the 20 best players for producing game-winners. Leading the list is Sergei Mozyakin, whose goals have brought victory to Atlant on 8 occasions.

Up to seventh
Dinamo Minsk earned themselves 74 minutes of penalties in the game against Spartak, lifting them to seventh place in the League for total penalty time, almost catching up with their opponents: the Minsk men now have 781 minutes, only five less than the Muscovites. The KHL leader is known to all - Vityaz have amassed 1595 minutes.

Figures of the day
43 shots at the Dinamo Minsk goal from the Spartak players.

6 shots at goal by Lokomotiv attacker Richard Zednik and HC MVD defenseman Martin Strbak.

88.3% of 18 face-offs won by Avangard attacker Alexander Svitov.

25 minutes 30 seconds spent in play by Dinamo Riga defenseman Sandis Ozolins.

Key players
Michael Garnett (HC MVD). Saved 21 shots in the game against Lokomotiv.

Pavel Trakhanov (HC MVD). Made an assist, finished the game with an efficiency rating of +1, and spent more than 20 minutes in play.

Ivan Baranka (Spartak). Supplied the decisive pass for two of his team’s goals.

Jaromir Jagr (Avangard). Scored for the fifth straight game, this time claiming a double and adding an assist.

Mikelis Redlihs (Dinamo Riga). Made one assist, then scored the game-winner.

Stefan Ruzicka (Spartak). Added a winning goal and an assist to his account.

Quotes
“At the end of the game our opponents started trying to provoke us,” - Spartak head coach Milos Riha.

“The guys were so pumped up at the start of the game, they probably still had some lingering bad feeling toward the referees,” - Dinamo Minsk head coach Alexander Andrievsky.

“In the break we worked things out, discussed what we needed to do, and then tried playing a different way,” - Dinamo Riga head coach Julius Supler.

“When the score was 3-0 every player wanted to score the fourth,” - Dynamo Moscow head coach Andrei Khomutov.

Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru