The KHL’s newest member, Lev from Poprad, has just played the first game in the club’s history. Radim Rulik’s team faced off against fellow Slovaks Spišská Nová Ves and won 3-0. Andre Hult opened the scoring in the first period, and then Stepan Novotny and Miroslav Jachym added a goal each in the third. Also in the Lev line up was Russian player Rafael Akhmetov. It is the first of three friendly games for Lev against clubs from Slovakia.
Sushinsky’s Salavat debut
Finland was the venue for a preseason friendly between two KHL teams. Gagarin Cup holders Salavat Yulaev proved the stronger of the two, defeating Severstal 5-3, although to be fair to the Cherepovets men we should note that they had to field an under-strength side after a number of players were taken ill. Indeed, Dmitry Kvartalnov had to call upon players from HC VMF – a lower league Petersburg team. Making his debut for Salavat was Maxim Sushinsky, lining up alongside Petr Schastlivy and Alexander Radulov. Despite their depleted line-up, the Cherepovets men raced to a 2-0 lead, but by the first break the Ufa men had already pulled level. On target for the victors were Atyushov, Trubachev, Mamin, Gimayev and Schastlivy, while Nurtdinov, Zemchenko and Smirnov replied for Severstal. No fewer than four of Salavat’s five goals were scored by new signings.
Brother against brother
Spartak have played their second game of their training trip in Slovakia and tomorrow the team returns to Moscow. Lining up against Viktor Pachkalin’s team was Skalica, whose roster boasts a certain Tomas Mikus – younger brother of Spartak forward Juraj Mikus. And it was young Tomas who opened the scoring, getting the better of Alexei Yakhin. The game drew a crowd of over three thousand spectators – obviously the locals believe that even in preseason Spartak can produce some explosive hockey. And they were not mistaken: the Red-and-Whites produced a fine display in offense, but the same cannot be said of their defensemen, and Spartak lost the game 5-6. Komaristy, Lyuduchin, Gubin, Zemchenok and Voronin scored for the Muscovites, although the list may be altered later, as the local officials seemingly had a mix up with some players’ numbers. At the end of the game Roman Lyuduchin was punished for brawling.
The Omsk men have played the first game of their training trip in Switzerland, overcoming Red Bull of Salzburg. Avangard also overcame the absence of Anton Kuryanov, who had injured his elbow in training, to win by a convincing 3-1. First to score was Alexei Kaluzhny on a 5-on-3 power play, and next was Roman Cervenka. The second period was goalless, but in the third the Austrians managed to halve the deficit with just two and a half minutes remaining. Guarding the Omsk net was Alexei Kuznetsov, and he was only really called into action in the closing stages of the game. Finally, in the dying seconds, Andrei Pervyshin hit the opposition on the counter-attack and sealed victory for the Russians.
Nikolai Zherdev has signed a contract with Atlant and will be wearing the Moscow Region club’s jersey until the end of the season. The forward is a graduate of the hockey academy in Elektrostal and began his career with his local team, then playing in the lower league. In Russian hockey Zherdev has played for CSKA, Khimik from Voskresensk, and in the KHL he played for Atlant the season before last. In all, Nikolai’s record at the top level reads: 179 games, 48 goals and 66 assists. He has also amassed 203 minutes of penalties.
Avtomobilist has signed veteran attacker Andrei Subbotin until the end of the season. Andrei returns to the Yekaterinburg after a spell with Lokomotiv: at the end of last season, after Avtomobilist’s chances of making the play-offs evaporated, the Yaroslavl club made an offer to Subbotin and he played 17 regular championship and play-off games, scoring five goals and assisting on five more. The season before, however, he only played for Avtomobilist. At 38 years of age, Subbotin is one of the most experienced players in the KHL.
Amur has suffered a severe setback while preparing to compete in the President of Kazakhstan Cup in Astana: Martin Ruzicka has an injury to his arm. While the Czech only signed a contract with the club this year, he has already made an impact with a hat-trick in the recent game between Amur’s players – in front of many Khabarovsk fans who had bought tickets to watch. Martin was injured during training and is back in the Czech Republic to consult with the medics. Early signs suggest he will be out of action for two weeks, but a more precise diagnosis should soon be available.
End of the road
Traktor forward Alexei Tertyshny (pictured) has ended his playing career, but he will carry on working at the club. Tertyshny himself cannot say exactly what kind of job is on offer but he is soon to meet with the club leadership. Alexei wore the colors of four teams in the KHL – CSKA, Sibir, HC MVD and Traktor. He played 163 games, scoring 22 goals and making 36 assists. Last season he collected nine points in 36 games for Traktor.
Change of club
Defenseman Valery Pokrovsky has left Amur and is yet to decide which club he wants to continue his career with. The 33-year-old has played 2 games in the KHL for SKA, 72 for Spartak, and 46 last season for Amur. His statistics at Khabarovsk are not the most impressive: two goals and six assists, at an efficiency rating of -15. On top of that, the club failed to make the play-offs. Valery began his professional hockey career back in season 1997-98, and played for Avangard, Mechel and CSKA. In 530 games at the top level in Russian hockey the defender has collected 487 minutes of penalties.
The fifth foreign player at Vityaz this season will be Kip Brennan, as announced by the club’s general manager Alexei Zhamkov. Brennan will join up with the team in the middle of August, along with the Chekhov club’s other foreign recruits. This summer Vityaz completely changed the personnel in its foreign legion, and has brought in some enforcers from North America.
Quote of the day
“Alexei Yashin is on our list of potential acquisitions,” Atlant general director Andrei Verevko.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru