Avangard boss Milos Riha spoke at a recent meeting with the Omsk club’s fans to outline his hopes for the team’s recovery from its current alarming slump – but those plans were on the rocks within three minutes of Tuesday’s visit from Dynamo Moscow.
That was all the time it took for rookie goalie Eduard Reizvikh to be beaten by a routine shot from the point by Alexander Boikov, giving Dynamo a lead it would never relinquish. Indeed as Riha shook his head in dismay at seeing another tame goal given up by his team, matters would get steadily worse as young Maxim Karpov had his best game to date in a blue-and-white sweater. The summer capture from Traktor got the assist on Boikov’s opener and went on to score a hat-trick of his own as Dynamo ultimately eased to a 6-0 win. Alexander Yeryomenko, back in the side after missing Saturday’s game, made 36 saves for his second shut-out of the season; struggling Avangard have now lost nine in a row with Riha’s time in charge yielding just one point so far.
Eastern leaders shoot for the top
Ak Bars and Barys are locked together at the top of the Eastern Conference, and both sides maintained their bright start to the season with hard-fought wins Tuesday.
Ak Bars had perhaps the more daunting task, traveling to a Ugra side which has alternated between impressive and alarming this season. And it took until overtime for the Kazan team to secure victory, with Alexander Svitov finally breaking a 3-3 tie as he reacted first to the rebound from a Evgeny Medvedev shot. Earlier Ak Bars had led twice but still needed a Mikhail Varnakov goal on 53 minutes to cancel out Jonas Andersson’s powerplay effort for Ugra and force the tie.
But if Barys hoped for a straightforward time against Vityaz the Kazakh side was in for a rude awakening. The game was deadlocked until after midway, and even after Evgeny Blokhin put his team in front the men from Moscow Region served up plenty of reminders of why they’ve proved awkward opponents for many teams this season. Vityaz turned the game around to lead 2-1 through Yakov Seleznyov and Sergei Topol but could not hold on. Roman Savchenko tied it up in a 5v3 powerplay on 55:02 and Roman Starchenko eventually settled the issue in the shoot-out. That proved sufficient to keep Barys on top by a single point – having played two games less than Ak Bars.
Around the league
Spartak snapped a three-game losing streak with a 2-1 home win over Donbass. Goals from Matt Anderson and Alexei Krutov either side of the second interval decided the outcome; Donbass failed to improve its run of six wins from seven despite a late goal from Ruslan Fedotenko.
Torpedo won 4-2 on the road at Avtomobilist, thanks to a three-goal burst in the first eight minutes. Jarkko Immonen’s strike on 7:36 proved to be the game-winner.