Magnitka's winning beginning; Admiral blockades Barys. August 12 preseason round-up14 August 2017, 15:00
CSKA recovered from Wednesday’s surprise defeat to see off league newcomer Donbass Donetsk – but only after the Ukrainian side gave the Army Men a battle in Moscow. Star summer capture Alexander Radulov finally opened his account for the club to grab the game-winner on 49:30, grabbing a trademark unassisted goal on the counter as he surged up the left, outpacing one opponent before wrongfooting another and beating Erik Ersberg. That prompted Radulov’s familiar stick-twirling celebration – and exuberant show of relief as his team finally edged away from the resilient opposition.
Radulov thought he’d scored in the first period, but the video referee ruled otherwise, and soon after Donbass took the lead on 16:00 as Finnish forward Jani Tuppurainen squeezed the puck past Rastislav Stana from a tight angle at the second attempt. The equalizer came early in the second, with younger brother Igor Radulov beating his more illustrious sibling onto the score-sheet, and Sergei Shirokov’s penalty shot on 34:18 gave CSKA the lead. But Donbass struck again, with Evgeny Dadonov producing a great finish from the base of the left-hand circle to show why his services were in demand over the summer.
In the third the teams again traded quick goals: Mikka Maenpaa’s slapshot was quickly cancelled out by a Vaclav Nedorost solo effort before Radulov’s decisive intervention and a similar breakaway goal from Oleg Kvasha. But a home success is tempered with the awareness that for long spells CSKA still resembled an all-star line-up as capable of disjointed defense as it is of scintillating offense.
Loko wins again
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl continued its successful start to the season with a 2-1 win at Amur Khabarovsk. The visitors took the lead right at the end of the first period thanks to Maxim Trunyov. Dmitry Tarasov tied the game when he led a one-on-one breakaway after completing a penalty, but Yegor Averin restored Loko’s lead at the end of the second period. Amur had two powerplays in the last, but could not find a way past Vitaly Kolesnik in the Lokomotiv goal and went down to its first defeat of the season.
Mezei sinks Magnitka
Branislav Mezei had a debut to remember for Avtomobilist as the Yekaterinburg side began its campaign with a 3-1 win over Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Mezei, a Slovak defenseman who spent last season at Lev Poprad, opened the scoring on 21:19 with a powerplay effort from the blue line and returned to repeat the dose on 51:26 after Justin Hodgman had made it a one-goal game with Magnitka’s first of the season. In between, Fyodor Malykhin got what proved to be the game-winner as Avto made a promising start and left Magnitka winless in two.
Late rally rouses Minsk
Dinamo Minsk left it late to save itself in Kazan – and ended up with an overtime win. Trailing 2-0, and having completed 116 minutes of goalless hockey, it looked like game over for the Belarusians. But Geoff Platt and Pavel Chernook struck twice in 28 seconds to tie the game, and a powerplay goal from Tim Stapleton left the Tatneft Arena shellshocked. Earlier goals from Evgeny Medvedev and Alexei Morozov had seemed set to give Ak Bars a comfortable success.
Defenders’ day at Dynamo
Dynamo Moscow relied on its defense for goals in a 5-3 win over Yugra at Luzhniki. The defending champion found the Khanty Mansiysk side a tricky opponent, falling behind early on to Stanislav Bocharov before Denis Kokarev tied it up. Then the D-men stepped up: Ilya Gorokhov and Dmitry Vishnevsky made it 3-1, and after two goals in a minute left the game tied at three, Filip Novak got the go-ahead goal on 55:54. Yury Babenko’s empty-netter sealed a hard-fought success.
Salavat struggles again
Salavat Yulaev suffered a second successive home defeat after two goals in barely 30 seconds set up a 3-1 win for Severstal Cherepovets. Summer signing Alexander Ryazantsev (8:27) and last season’s top scorer Vadim Shipachyov (9:04) put the Ufa side in trouble early on, as Severstal restricted the home side to just three shots in the opening sesseion.Niclas Bergfors extended the lead early in the second before Oleg Saprykin pulled one back for Salavat Yulaev. A stronger showing in the final period saw the Bashkir side outshoot the opposition 12-4, but goalie Vasily Koshechkin stood firm for the win.
First point for Slovan
Slovan Bratislova, formed in 1921, is the oldest club in the KHL as well as being one of its newest members. And after a false start against Donbass on Thursday, the Slovak side picked up its first point in the competition after a 2-2 tie at home to Dinamo Riga. But home fans might have feared the worst when Miks Indrasis gave the Latvians the lead after just 10 seconds. The teams traded further goals before Michel Miklik’s equalizer on 54:26 forced overtime and got Slovan on the scoreboard. But it wasn’t enough to get the team a first-ever KHL win: Dinamo prevailed in the shoot-out thanks to Rob Schremp.
Spartak’s second win
Two days after downing CSKA, Spartak Moscow picked up another road win at newcomer Lev Prague. Nikolai Bushuyev was the star man – his two goals early in the third period set Spartak on the way to a 4-1 success. Earlier Jakub Klepis had given Lev a first period lead, but while his last KHL goal gave Dynamo the Gagarin Cup, this one proved less triumphant when Alexander Khokhlachyov equalized in the second period.
There was no let-up for Barys Astana as a 7-3 defeat at SKA St. Petersburg followed Thursday’s 5-1 defeat at Dynamo Moscow. Young forward Sergei Monakhov did much of the damage, scoring two and claiming an assist for Tony Martensson. Gleb Klimenko also scored twice, while a third-period fight between SKA’s Andrei Pervyshin and Barys pair Dmitry Upper and Konstantin Rudenko saw 34 penalty minutes handed out.
Around the league
Atlant Moscow Region tasted victory for the first time this season after a shoot-out success in Novokuznetsk. Mikhail Glukhov got the winner following a 3-3 tie with Metallurg. Goalie Stanislav Galimov made three saves in the shoot-out.
Two goals from Mikhail Varnakov weren’t enough to save Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod from defeat at Sibir Novosibirsk. The home side went on a scoring spree after Varnakov’s opener, firing in five of their own before the visitors reduced the arrears to 5-3.
There were plenty of goals as Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk hosted Vityaz Chekhov, with the teams playing out a topsy-turvy 4-4 tie before Alexander Korolyuk won it on penalties for Vityaz – a second shoot-out success in three days.