Lev stay unbeaten
KHL new boys Lev of Poprad have played their third preseason game, and claimed their third victory. Their opponents, fellow Slovaks Třinec, proved tougher than the previous two, but the KHL team ground out a 4-3 win. On target for the Poprad team were Spirko, da Silva, Fabricius and Novotny, while goalkeeper Laco guarded the net for the entire game. As for the assists, Hunkes provided two and da Silva one.
Lokomotiv rolls over the Swiss
Canadian specialist Brad McCrimmon has made a winning start to his new job at Yaroslavl: Lokomotiv hammered Swiss club Visp 7-2. The result was already beyond doubt in the first period, when the Railwaymen hit five goals, but this was after the Swiss had made a lightning start, opening the scoring in the 37th second. Visp’s lead, however, was to last a little over six minutes before they crumpled under Lokomotiv’s onslaught. The Yaroslavl goals came from Trakhanov, Kalyanin, Kalimulin, Sobchenko, Galimov, Churilov and Klyukin
Traktor’s overtime triumph
Traktor of Chelyabinsk won the second game of their trip to Switzerland. The opposition was Zürich outfit ZSC Lions. During the first period Ilya Proskuryakov, who played the whole game, allowed two goals before Traktor hit back with a strike from Sergei Payor. By the 24th minute the men from the Urals were trailing 1-3, but Jan Bulis and Andrei Popov leveled the score. There were no more goals in regulation time, and just under three minutes into overtime Anton Glinkin brought the KHL side victory.
Defenseman Karel Pilar has signed a full contract with Lev. It will be the third club in the KHL for the Czech player. For the first season he donned the colors of Metallurg Magnitogorsk, and in the last campaign he moved to CSKA. In his career in the League so far he has played 66 games, scored 4 goals and made 7 assists. For the Ural men Karel finished the season with a rating of -6, which he improved to -4 with CSKA.
No fewer than three Metallurg Novokuznetsk players have picked up serious injuries. Yury Koksharov’s damaged shoulder will keep him out of action for three months, Vadim Golubtsov is out for 14 days (cartilage) and goaltender Andrei Kareyev will not return to training for a month and a half, due to a fractured fibula. Metallurg return to Russia on Thursday and their next preseason destination is Moscow, where they will play a friendly against Vityaz. On Wednesday Anatoly Yemelin’s team were up against Swiss club Lakers, and won 2-1 via a shootout.
Darsy Verot, who in his long spell with Vityaz earned notoriety as one of the dirtiest players in the KHL, will probably be staying in Russia. The Chekhov men did not renew his contract this summer, but Darsy has expressed a desire to play on in the KHL. According to the player’s agent, Verot has received an offer from a club but it is still not known which one is interested in the forward. If Verot fails to reach an agreement, he will move to the German championship.
One more coach
Salavat Yulaev strengthened the coaching staff by enlisting the services of Finnish specialist Ilari Näckel to work with goaltenders Vitaly Kolesnik and Erik Ersberg. He will have no trouble settling in Russia, as he once spent two years working at Lokomotiv.
Severstal have turned down four players whom they had on try-out contracts. Dmitry Kvartalnov decided against signing defenders Andrei Kruchinin and Andrei Glebov, plus forwards Alexander Zhurun and Andrei Kuzmin. Of the four, the most decorated is Kuzmin, who in 2008-09 became a champion of Russia with Ak Bars. Andrei started last season at Torpedo, before moving to Penza.
Quote of the day
“Our aim is to make the play-offs. We are not the kind of team that will be competing for medals – the budget doesn’t allow it,” Yugra head coach Sergei Shepelev about the club’s mission for the season.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru