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This is hockey?

09.01.2010

Result of the day
Vityaz - Avangard 0-0, abandoned. For only the second time in KHL history a game has been finished ahead of time. Last year the officials abandoned the Dynamo Moscow - Ak Bars game after the supporters threw smoke bombs and made the minor arena at Luzhniki unsuitable for the continuation of play. This time was different: less than four minutes into the game there were no players left on the ice. According to the rules, play can continue if on the playing area there is a minimum of four players, including one goaltender, but neither club had enough players left to participate.

The fighting started well before the match, during the warm-up, and it was no surprise when it all continued after the game had started. The referees gave out over 600 minutes of penalty time, although that is hardly likely to be the final total. After such events the video footage of the brawl needs to be carefully analyzed before they can hand out the appropriate sanctions. The fate of the guilty parties will be made known on Sunday.

Great work from Fomichev
Never before has Torpedo goaltender Alexander Fomichev had such a heavy workload as in the game against Salavat Yulaev, who fired 51 shots at his goal. In a season and a half of the Kontinental Hockey League, Fomichev has twice faced 44 strikes from the opposition. In February 2009, while he was with Avangard, it was Metallurg Magnitogorsk who kept him busy, and Fomichev conceded two goals. And this season, after his move to Torpedo, it was Severstal who gave him a hard time. On that day the keeper was beaten four times.

First double
Atlant defenseman Leonid Kanareykin has struck his first double in the KHL. Up until now, in 84 games for Spartak and Atlant in the regular season he had only scored two goals, and both of these were for Spartak.

Panov equals the record
Dynamo Moscow’s new weapon Konstantin Panov, having moved to Moscow from Togliatti, has now scored in four straight games. The others in the Dynamo squad who have enjoyed such a run are Linus Omark and Mattias Weinhandl. The club record for the KHL belongs to Maxim Pestushko, with five. The four-match scoring run is a record for the current season, but is shared by several players, whereas last season Alexei Cherepanov and Jan Marek both scored in six successive games.

Unlucky period
For only the third time this season, CSKA have won a game in which they trailed after the first period. In all, they have been behind after 20 minutes in 12 matches and failed to recover in nine of them. It is rare for Dinamo Minsk to surrender a first period lead. The Belarusians usually go on to crush the opposition, and their defeat by CSKA was only the fourth time in 17 such games that they let their advantage slip.

Irgl takes the lead
For the fourth time, Lokomotiv attacker Zbynek Irgl has successfully converted a penalty shot awarded in the course of the game, and on this score has now overtaken Spartak’s forward Branko Radivojevic to become the undisputed leader.

Memorial
The Moscow derby between Spartak and Dynamo began with a minute’s silence in memory of the Red-and-Whites’ legendary defenseman Yevgeny Paladiev, who has passed away at the age of 61. During his career he won the USSR Championship in 1969, the USSR Cup in 1970 and 1971, and also three World Championships (1969, 1970, and 1973), and starred in the famous USSR - Canada Summit Series of 1972.

Figures of the day
51 shots on the Torpedo goal by the Salavat Yulaev players.

7 of these were from Vladimir Antipov.

25 minutes 31 seconds spent in play by HC MVD defenseman Martin Strbak.

82.8% of 29 face-offs won by Atlant attacker Jiri Novotny.

Key players
Alexander Fomichev (Torpedo). Saved 50 shots on his goal and brought his team victory over Salavat Yulaev.

Alexander Guskov (Lokomotiv). Collected no points, but earned an efficiency rating of +2 and spent 16 minutes 42 seconds out on the ice.

Leonid Kanareykin (Atlant). Scored two goals, and finished the match with a rating of +1.

Alexander Suglobov (CSKA). Scored two goals, including the winner.

Stefan Ruzicka (Spartak). Clinched victory in the Moscow derby with the decisive shot in the shoot-out, and supplied the assist for another goal.

Richard Zednik (Lokomotiv). Added two points to his account, a goal and an assist.

Quotes
“Dynamo have got better compared with our previous derbies,” - Spartak head coach Milos Riha.

“But the third Spartak goal - that was the kind of gift Santa Claus leaves under the Christmas tree,” - Dynamo Moscow head coach Andrei Khomutov.

“I am a former referee myself, but I have never seen anything like that in my life,” - Anatoly Bardin, Advisor to the Governor, Development of Hockey, Omsk Region.

Alexei Shevchenko, khl.ru