Traktor’s players, currently away training in Switzerland, have played their first exhibition game of the preseason, and Valeri Belousov’s team defeated local side Lugano in the shootout 3-2, with Petri Kontiola scoring the game-deciding shot. As for the regulation time goals, there was a double from Konstantin Panov. He opened the scoring in the 17th minute and then equalized in the 50th. Michael Garnett kept goal for the men from the Urals, and halfway through the third period Alexander Ryazantsev was involved in a fight. Traktor’s next game is scheduled for the 10th of August, after which they return home to Chelyabinsk to prepare for the forthcoming tournament on their own ice.
CSKA head off on Sunday for training in Latvia, where they will stay until the 16th of this month. Julius Supler’s team will play two games on this trip – against Dinamo Riga and Liepājas Metalurgs. It has become a preseason tradition for the Army Men in recent years to visit the Baltic state and set up camp in Liepāja, where they say the conditions are perfect for training. Last season an open training session at a stadium attracted a packed house. In addition to these two games, the players face a lot of hard work off the ice, and after returning from Latvia they will play a friendly in Moscow before heading off to a tournament in Slovakia.
Meanwhile, Severstal’s players are setting off for their second training trip to Switzerland. Dmitry Kvartalnov’s men will stay for two weeks, in which time they will play four games against local clubs. Incidentally, Kvartalnov has promised that straight after the Switzerland trip the team will part with several players, as he has practically six lines of skaters to choose from.
Avangard have returned to Omsk following their preseason training in Germany, where Rostislav Čada’s team played one friendly game – a 3-2 win over Austrian side Red Bull. The players have been allowed to rest for a few days before returning to work on the 10th of August. Avangard will be in Omsk for four days and then travel to a tournament in Chelyabinsk, where they will face Traktor, Neftekhimik and Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
Award for Pavol
Lokomotiv’s Pavol Demitra has been named Slovakia’s best forward of last season. It is recognition of his phenomenal performance in the KHL: in the regular season he took part in 54 games and amassed 60 points, with 18 goals and 42 assists to his account, and he earned a rating of +12. No less impressive was Demitra's record in the play-offs: 6 goals and 15 assists in 18 outings.
Torpedo’s new head coach attended a Russian Premier League soccer game, watching Nizhny Novgorod side Volga at home to Rostov. Kari Jalonen seemed impressed by what he saw, and promised to visit other sporting events in the city, particularly volleyball. “I liked the atmosphere in the stadium. As for the game itself, it was a shame the Volga guys lost. But it was a battling game, and while there were few dangerous moments in the first half, the team played much more entertaining football in the second,” he said.
Quote of the day
“I think this season we’ll be playing more defensive hockey, although Čada told us we’ll have total freedom in offense: improvise, create what you want,” Avangard forward Igor Volkov.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru