Medvescak hands shock defeat to Ak Bars

Ak Bars Kazan 1 Medvescak Zagreb 3

Medvescak picked up its second win of the season with an impressive result in Kazan. Facing one of the traditional powerhouses of the Eastern Conference, the Croatian team produced a solid display to frustrate the host and leave Ak Bars with just one victory in its opening three games.

Ak Bars had played the previous night, losing in a shoot-out to Neftekhimik after conceding the tying goal with just 11 seconds to play. But there was little sign of lethargy at the start, with home captain Alexander Svitov getting into a fight with Alexandre Bolduc in just the third minute. Both players were handed major penalties.

Medvescak’s opening win at Lada was inspired by a trio of power play goals – and the opener here also came with Ak Bars sitting out a penalty. Derek Smith, who got the game-winner in Togliatti, continued his scoring start to life in the KHL by converting a PP in the 19th minute. Seconds after the restart Brandon McMillan doubled the visitor’s advantage with the team’s first even strength marker of the campaign.

Ak Bars needed to raise its game in the middle stanza and was given a great chance to do so almost immediately when presented a power play. But the visiting defense held out and even as Ak Bars ramped up the pressure – the second period would end with the home team 18-7 up on the shot count – Medvescak got the next goal thanks to Bobby Butler in the 31st minute.

It wasn’t until midway through the third period that Ak Bars finally got on the board, reducing the deficit thanks to a short-handed goal from Justin Azevedo off an assist from former Lev Prague team-mate Jiri Sekac. But that wasn’t enough to spark a revival as Medvescak skated off with its perfect start to the season intact while Svitov finished the evening in the penalty box after a late clash with Goran Bezina.

Chistov too good for Admiral

Admiral Vladivostok 3 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 4 (SO)

Stanislav Chistov was Lokomotiv’s hero after he added a shoot-out winner to a pair of goals in regulation. He gave his team a seventh-minute lead, forcing home the rebound from Andrei Loktionov’s shot, and when Denis Mosalyov made it 2-0 late in the first period it seemed that Loko was on track for a comfortable win.

Admiral had other ideas, though. Three goals in five minutes either way of the midway mark turned the game upside down. Kirill Voronov got the home team on the board, Vladimir Tkachyov tied it up and a power play goal from Robert Sabolic, his first in the KHL, put the Sailors ahead.

The lead was short-lived; Chistov was alert to another rebound, tucking away the puck after Yegor Averin’s shot was saved and the game was level going into the third.

For the second time in two days, Admiral ended up in a shoot-out after a 3-3 tie and, for the second time, the visitor prevailed. Chistov wrapped up a good day at the office by scoring the only goal of the extras and handing Loko the victory.

Dynamo downs Amur yet again

Amur Khabarovsk 2 Dynamo Moscow 3

Dynamo stretched its hoodoo over Amur to 11 games with victory in the Far East – but had to outlast a late rally to record its 11th successive win over this opponent.

It all seemed easy enough in the early stages. Vladimir Bryukin opened the scoring in the first period and Juusso Heitanen doubled the advantage just past halfway. Alexei Sopin made it 3-0 in the 49th minute and the outcome seemed beyond doubt.

But Amur belatedly hit its stride. Kirill Kapustin reduced the deficit with six and a half minutes to play – Amur’s first goal of the season after 113 minutes of play – and Maxim Kondratiev made it a one-goal game with 23 seconds left. The hooter robbed Amur of the chance to complete the fightback but the home team can take some confidence from the closing stages of its second defeat of the season.