Kunlun Red Star 4 Lada Togliatti 2
The KHL made its first visit to Shanghai – where Kunlun will play 11 games over the course of the coming season – and delivered a festival of hockey for local fans.
After a bright start, with victory in its first two games, Kunlun’s form had dipped coming into this game – but the new surroundings provided just the inspiration needed to get the team back to winning ways and snap a three-game losing streak.
It took two goals in the last 10 minutes to settle an entertaining game. Sean Collins, scorer of Kunlun’s first ever KHL marker, got the game-winner on 51 minutes before Alexei Ponikarovsky, a Gagarin Cup winner with SKA two seasons ago, opened his account for the Chinese team to put the outcome beyond doubt.
Earlier though, Lada put up a serious challenge. Viktor Komarov claimed the honor of Shanghai’s first ever KHL goal before French international Damien Fleury tied it up with his first goal in the KHL. Chad Rau then put Kunlun in front on 25 minutes but Anton Shenfeld tied the scores in the 50th minute.
The attendance of just under 1,800 was rather less than came to the opening game in Beijing but nonetheless demonstrates an appetite for hockey throughout China that can surely only grow as Kunlun and the KHL become more established.
Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk 0 CSKA Moscow 2
The winning streak continues for CSKA thanks to an impressive performance in Khanty-Mansiysk. The Army Men outshot the home team 36-13 on the way to a decisive victory.
The scoring came early: Dmitry Kugryshev put CSKA in front in the sixth minute and Kirill Petrov doubled the advantage early in the second period.
Sunday’s game also saw Ilya Sorokin’s first shut-out of the season. The 21-year-old has had to fight for his place in the team this season under closer competition from experienced Swede Viktor Fasth, but responded with a solid performance today, making 13 saves to keep Ugra at bay.
Amur Khabarovsk 3 Ak Bars Kazan 2
Struggling Amur picked up a morale-boosting win over Ak Bars – adding to the woes of the Kazan team in the early stages of the season.
Initially everything seemed to be running to plan for the visitor with a Justin Azevedo goal giving it an ninth-minute lead.
But Amur rallied in the middle stanza, tying the game on a Kristian Kuusela goal before Vladislav Ushenin’s first of the season put the home team ahead.
Young defenseman Damir Musin brought Ak Bars level, but Ushenin’s second of the night gave Amur the win.
Around the league
Torpedo inflicted back-to-back defeats on Lokomotiv, following up Friday’s overtime squeaker with a comfortable 3-0 triumph on Sunday. Second-period goals from Maxim Osipov and Kaspars Daugavins set up the success, while Ilya Proskuraykov turned away 27 Loko shots for his shut-out. Friday’s game-winner, Fredrick Pettersson, completed the scoring with an empty-netter.
Barys got its first win in four attempts to edge Severstal 2-1 in Astana. Evgeny Rymarev opened the scoring on 13 minutes and Brandon Bochenski doubled that advantage in the second period. Severstal created chances but only a last-minute strike from Clay Wilson got the team on the scoreboard – too late to avert a ninth consecutive defeat.