Historically Dinamo Riga has been something of a bogey team for Dynamo - ironically considering how well the Muscovites’ head coach Oleg Znarok knows the Latvian players from his long spell as coach of the Baltic State’s national team. And after dumping the Blue-and-Whites out of last season’s play-offs, Dinamo returned to Moscow to inflict more misery with a 5-2 win. All the goals came in the final period, and there was little evidence of the Baltic storm about to be unleashed when Jakub Klepis marked his first appearance since moving from Salavat Yulaev via Metallurg Novokuznetsk by putting Dynamo 1-0 up on a powerplay on 45:55. But that lead lasted just 21 seconds before Kristaps Sotnieks leveled matters, and by 46:42 Jakub Sindel was putting Riga in front. The ever dangerous Mihelis Redlihs got the third and an increasingly ragged Dynamo were caught out twice more by Martins Karsums and Jamie Lundmark before Dominik Granak pulled one back on 58:46.
The rivalry between local rivals Traktor Chelyabinsk and Metallurg Magnitogorsk is one of the most intense in Russian hockey - and Traktor’s recent 5-1 win over Magnitka proved the catalyst for the first coach of the season to be sacked. So for Metallurg’s new man in the hotseat, Fyodor Kanareikin, Sunday’s 3-1 win in Chelyabinsk was a bigger result than it might seem on paper. Traktor has impressed this season, muscling in among the early pacesetters, but could not find a way to stop a Magnitogorsk revival which now stretches to four wins on the spin. Sergei Mozyakin, Denis Khlystov and Yaroslav Kosov got the goals for Magnitka; Raymond Giroux’s first period equalizer was as good as it got for Traktor.
The joy of six
Forward Ilya Zubov finished with 2+1 as CSKA swept aside Lev Poprad 6-1 in Moscow. Tomas Surovy gave the Army Men a first period lead, but once Tomas Netik equalized against his former club Zubov took over. He scored twice, on 27:47 and 33:49, to put his team in control and after Niklas Persson made it 4-1 before the second interval Zubov chipped in an assist on Mikhail Pashnin’s goal. Alexei Badyukov completed the scoring to give the hosts just their second win in six games.
Atlant Moscow Region ran into penalty trouble at Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod - conceding four goals to the hosts’ powerplay. Matt Ellison (2), Alexei Ugarov and Dmitry Makarov all profited from Atlant’s misdemeanors while Alexander Goroshansky added a goal with both sides at full strength. Atlant had opened up a 2-0 lead through Dmitry Upper and Viktor Bobrov but allowed Torpedo back into the match and not even a second goal from Upper could save them.
Around the league
Amur Khabarovsk maintained its impressive form with a convincing 4-0 win at Barys Astana. After a goalless first period Jakub Petruzalek opened the scoring from Dmitry Tarasov’s assist on 22:21. Sergei Plotnikov and Evgeny Korotkov extended the lead before Petruzalek returned the favor for Tarasov to complete the scoring on 51:32.
In Yekaterinburg it took 22 post-match penalty shots to separate hosts Avtomobilist from Yugra Khanty-Mansiysk - with the visitors’ Vitaly Sitnikov finally getting the winner for Yugra. Earlier Stanislav Zhmakin and Rinat Ibragimov had given Yugra a 2-0 lead, only for Denis Sokolov and Vasily Streltsov to tie the game at 2-2.