Magnitka to face Ufa
The group stage of the Romazan Memorial tournament in Magnitogorsk is over, and it will be hosts Metallurg and Salavat Yulaev of Ufa who will contest the final. The Gagarin Cup holders fought back from 0-2 down to defeat Traktor 4-3 in overtime.
In the day’s other game, Ak Bars enjoyed a 3-1 win over Yugra. The Khanty-Mansiysk men will meet Vityaz to decide fifth place, while Ak Bars and Traktor will battle for the bronze spot.
No way past Lokomotiv
Lokomotiv steamed into the final of the Latvian Railway Cup in Riga with a 3-0 victory over Dinamo Minsk. Standing between the Yaroslavl men and the trophy will be Neftekhimik. The two finalists faced each other only recently in a preseason friendly, and the Nizhnekamsk men proved the stronger with a 3-2 triumph, albeit via the shootout.
In the second game of the day in Riga local boys Dinamo defeated SaiPa 6-4, and now the hosts will face off against their namesakes from Minsk to claim third place, while the Finnish team will meet Atlant.
Spartak fans had a chance to meet the players today. Supporters were treated to an open training session on the ice, and then were given the chance to fire questions at the club leadership and the players. Team general manager Andrei Yakovenko announced that the team’s target for the season is to reach the play-offs.
Torpedo entered the fray in a preseason tournament in Switzerland. The Nizhny Novgorod men’s first opponent was Croatian club Medveščak of Zagreb, and the KHL club enjoyed an easy 4-1 victory against the team currently considering joining the League. On target for Torpedo were Thornberg, Varnakov, Zainullin, and Valuisky.
Shutout for Stana
CSKA began their tournament in Slovakia with a shutout victory as Julius Supler’s team defeated Třinec 2-0. Shirokov and Badyukov scored for the Army Men, while at the other end Rastislav Stana kept the Czechs off the scoreboard.
Later in the evening the KHL’s newest club, Lev of Poprad, played against their fellow Slovaks from Košice and suffered a 1-3 defeat. Grant Lewis scored Lev’s only goal.
Ufa is the venue for another tournament, but this one is between hockey fans. On Saturday and Sunday teams from the Bashkortostan capital, Orenburg, and Chelyabinsk face off on the ice. The competition was organized by Salavat Yulaev and its supporters’ club.
Quote of the day
“Most foreign goalies, in my view, are a bit weak. The Russians are better. But for some reason it’s come about that it’s this role, the main man guarding the net, which most of all goes to foreigners. And our home-grown youngsters have to keep the bench warm and fight for a place. I know what it’s like; I’ve been through it at CSKA and at Nizhnekamsk,” – Spartak goaltender Ivan Kasutin.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru