Yugra’s 100% record
The Bashkortostan President's Cup in Ufa reached its finale today. It was already clear on the eve of today’s games that no-one could catch Yugra, but the Khanty-Mansiysk men nonetheless produced another brilliant performance, winning their final game 5-3 against Neftekhimik. In the later game hosts Salavat Yulaev suffered a 2-5 defeat at the hands of Metallurg Magnitogorsk.
At the end of the tournament mementos were awarded to the best players: Yugra goaltender Mikhail Biryukov, Salavat Yulaev defenseman Vitaly Atyushov, Metallurg forward Alexei Kaygorodov, and the tournament’s top scorer, Ufa’s Alexander Radulov.
Lokomotiv hosted a friendly game with Torpedo, and it was a convincing 5-2 victory for the Railwaymen. The goal-scorers were Vasyunov (2), Demitra, Churilov and Galimov for Lokomotiv, Malenkikh and Rozin for Torpedo. It was the Yaroslavl team’s final test before the regular season gets under way, while the Nizhny Novgorod men have a game planned against their own farm club, HC Sarov.
Battle of the Dinamos
The Donbass Open Cup in Donetsk also finished today, and in the early game Dinamo Minsk faced their namesakes from Riga. The result was a 3-2 win for the Belarus men, which secured second place on the ladder.
The second game of the day was between SKA and hosts Donbass, and a 2-1 win means the Petersburg men win the tournament with 8 points.
Ak Bars finished their short training tour of Finland with a second friendly. Saturday’s opponent was local side Lukko and Vladimir Krikunov’s team won 5-1, thanks to three goals from Danis Zaripov plus one each from Miettinen and Nikulin.
Forward Andrei Kuzmin has signed a full contract with Metallurg Novokuznetsk. The 30-year-old was on a try-out contract but managed to convince the coaches of his ability. Andrei was a Gagarin Cup winner in 2009 with Ak Bars and spent last season with Torpedo.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk forward Enver Lisin will miss two games of the regular championship as a punishment for his foul on Evgeny Skachkov during the Romazan Memorial tournament. Due to the blow to Skachkov’s knee the Ak Bars forward will miss the start of the season. Lisin was handed a game penalty but the KHL Disciplinary Committee decided to increase the punishment.
Attacker Vladimir Markelov, who played last season in the colors of Belarusian club Gomel, has signed a contract with Sibir. Markelov learned his trade in Novosibirk and played his hockey at Sibir from 2008 to 2010.
Quote of the day
“I think you could rate us as unsatisfactory. The season’s not far away. The games we’ve played have shown up many problems, both in the way the team performs on the ice, and in our preparations. The main problem is we’re allowing a lot of goals. What’s more, we’re making mistakes in our zone, giving away the puck near our goal. To lose by such a score is just unacceptable. In a word, we still have plenty of work to do,” – Salavat Yulaev head coach Sergei Mikhalev.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru