It was set to be the day that Sergei Mozyakin reached Boris Mikhailov’s All-Time Russian goalscoring record – but Avtomobilist clearly hadn’t read the script.
Three goals in three games for the Metallurg captain this season brought him to within a single strike of Mikhailov’s 428 markers in the Soviet top league. But on Monday, Mozyakin was thwarted by Vladimir Sokhatsky in the Avtomobilist net. His 28 saves included five from his most illustrious opponent; the wait for a place in history continues at least until Thursday’s game at Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk.
The game wasn’t all about Mozyakin. At the other end Rok Ticar broke the deadlock after two goalless periods, racing onto Evgeny Chesalin’s pass and going one-on-one with Vasily Koshechkin before beating the goalie with a backhand.
Soon after Anatoly Golyshev made it 2-0 with a power play marker and that was enough to settle the outcome. No record-breaking goal and – perhaps more worryingly for Magnitka – a third straight defeat. For Avtomobilist, a third win of the season gives it a share of the Eastern Conference lead alongside Avangard.
Dynamo maintained its impressive start to the season with a victory at Lokomotiv. After going through pre-season with a perfect record, the Blue-and-Whites got two wins on the road in the Far East before heading back to Europe to win in Yaroslavl.
The visitor took an early lead thanks to Artyom Fyodorov. The young forward fired a shot from the bottom of the circle and beat Alexei Murygin as #25 screened the home goalie. Fyodorov, now 23, broke into Dynamo’s team last season and managed six goals; a marker in his third appearance this time round adds to his hopes of a breakout campaign this time around.
One of the key link-ups for Loko this season is likely to be the pairing of Brandon Kozun and Max Talbot. They showed promising signs of getting their games to gel, capped by Kozun’s 20th-minute equalizer off a Talbot assist. But that encouraging sign for Loko could not inspire a change in the direction of this game.
Instead Dynamo scored two unanswered goals in the middle stanza to take control of the game. Semyon Kokuyov got his second of the season, firing through a crowd of players with Murygin screened once again. Then Kokuyov’s former Traktor team-mate Alexander Rybakov got involved with a superb rush from center ice, slicing past two D-men before feeding Daniil Tarasov for a one-timer between the hashmarks. 3-1 at the second intermission.
Loko, like Dynamo, was unbeaten going into this one and worked hard in the third to pull the game around. But despite outshooting the visitor 11-5 the only goal came too late: Talbot got his first since crossing the Atlantic with just 49 seconds left and the clock ran down as Dynamo held on to the win.
Slovan got its first win of the season after a powerful third-period display turned this game upside down.
Trailing 1-3 at the second intermission, and with head coach Milos Riha ejected from the bench, the Slovaks were up against it – especially after Torpedo had won its opening two games of the season.
But Slovan responded in style with six goals in the final session. Vaclav Nederost and Jiga Zeglic hauled the home team level after six minutes before Jeff Taffe’s power play marker put Slovan in front for the first time on 51:09. Torpedo’s troubles were compounded: in the build-up to the goal a penalty was called on Maxim Osipov and that power play saw Nick Plastino make it 5-3. Eighteen seconds later, Jakub Valsky added a sixth.
The drama was not yet done: Torpedo got one back through Evgeny Grachyov with five minutes to play, and a power play for the visitor ensured a tense conclusion. But Slovan’s Andrej Meszaros had the final word, adding an empty-net goal to two earlier assists to put a seal on the highest scoring game so far this season.
That was a big contrast to the opening two periods, where Torpedo seemed set to continue the impressive form that brought victories over Dinamo Riga and Jokerit in the opening games. Kirill Rasskazov opened the scoring in the first period but Ivan Svarny tied the game early in the second.
Torpedo’s response brought in-form Kaspars Daugavins into play once again. The Latvian picked up 2+2 in his first two outings, and snaffled his third goal of the season when he fired home Vladimir Galuzin’s lovely dangled pass. Swedish forward Fredrik Pettersson made it 3-1 with his first goal of the season, but found it was nowhere near enough in the face of Slovan’s third-period onslaught.
Medvescak and HC Sochi both missed a chance to go to the top of the Western Conference table after tying 2-2 in regulation in Zagreb. Both teams had won their opening two games and would have claimed first place outright with a win inside 60 minutes, but instead Medvescak had to settle for a share of the lead with Dynamo Moscow after securing an overtime win thanks to Shaone Morrisonn. Ilya Krikunov gave Sochi a first-period lead but Medvescak turned it around on strikes from Mark Katic and Colby Genoway in the middle session. Ben Maxwell tied it up in the third.
Vityaz picked up its first win of the season with a 3-1 win at Amur. The home side started well with Jan Kolar giving it a 12th-minute lead, but it didn’t take long for Maxim Afinogenov to tie it up on the power play. Miro Aaltonen got the game-winner – his first in the KHL – on 26 minutes before Alexei Kopeikin wrapped it up in the third. Amur is still winless after three home games.