Seven KHL teams featured in four friendly games in four different nations on Monday, giving fans in Russia, Latvia, Finland and the Czech Republic a taste of what to expect in the forthcoming season.
Amur played its third game in a series of friendlies at home to the Japanese national side, and recorded their third victory. Two goals from Ruslan Bashkirov and one from Mikhail Zheleznov gave the Khabarovsk men a 3-1 win.
Dinamo Riga hosted a friendly with Vityaz Moscow Region in the Latvian capital. The Riga men won 2-0, thanks to a goal apiece from Felix Schutz and US forward Tim Sestito.
SKA Saint Petersburg and Severstal Cherepovets played out a closely-fought affair in Pajulahti, Finland. The Gagarin Cup holder twice took the lead, first through Evgeny Dadonov and then Dinar Khafizullin, but the Steel City men hit back with strikes from Pavel Buchnevich and Vadim Berdnikov. It needed a shootout to determine the winner, and Anton Burdasov’s clinical finish clinched a 3-2 victory for the Petersburg side.
Fans in Liberec, Czech Republic, were also treated to an all-KHL clash, Metallurg Novokuznetsk versus Ugra, and as in Finland, this encounter had to be settled by a shootout. At one stage, the Khanty-Mansiysk men were 2-0 ahead, thanks to Igor Volkov and Artyom Bulyansky, but then a double strike from Robert Kousal and a goal by Victor Postnikov seemed to have given Metallurg a stunning comeback victory. A further twist to the plot came in the final minute, when Konstantin Panov leveled to take the game to a shootout. In the post-game duel, however, fortune favored the “blacksmiths,” and Kirill Kaprizov put away the decisive shot to seal a thrilling 4-3 win.