On the mend
Dinamo Riga captain Sandis Ozolins is back in training, having missed most of the preseason preparations with a back injury. It was feared the defenseman would not return to the ice until mid-fall but he has recovered much faster than expected, and now Ozolins has traveled with the team to Donetsk, where the Latvians are taking part in the Donbass Open Cup tournament.
Avtomobilist enjoyed their first win of the preseason, narrowly overcoming Metallurg Novokuznetsk in the day’s only game in the Stone Flower tournament. Ilya Byakin’s team won 4-3 in overtime, with Nikolai Bushuev, Denis Kazionov, Vasily Streltsov and Alexander Streltsov on target for the hosts, and Denis Tyurin, Alexei Medvedev and Mikhail Fisenko replying for Metallurg. The goalies were Sergei Mylnikov for Yekaterinburg and Alexander Lazushin for Novokuznetsk.
There was a second game planned for today, between Amur and Barys, but the Khabarovsk men pulled out of it, citing problems from the heavy workload, and so the Astana team was awarded a victory. Tomorrow there will be three games, and these will decide who plays in the final and the play-offs.
The line-up of Atlant’s colony of foreign imports has been completed with the addition to the roster of Daniel Fernholm. Last season the Swede had spells with Neftekhimik and Dinamo Minsk, playing in 46 games, scoring 3 goals, and assisting on 7 more.
In a good cause
A big charity game took place in Moscow today, between teams led by Ilya Kovalchuk and Alexander Ovechkin of the NHL. Taking part were KHL president Alexander Medvedev, legendary defenseman Vyacheslav Fetisov, plus KHL stars Alexander Radulov Nikolai Zherdev, Jozef Stumpel, Alexei Morozov, and Danis Zaripov.
The game finished 11-11, but the main result was the 13 million rubles the event raised for the Sergiev Posad home for deaf-blind children.
Ak Bars players set off for Finland today for a training trip lasting until next Sunday. In that time the Kazan club will play two friendlies against Finnish opposition: on the 1st of September Vladimir Krikunov’s men face Jyväskylä, and on the 3rd they meet Lukko.
A choice of tournaments
Two tournaments featuring KHL teams begin on September the 1st. In Moscow there is the Mayor’s Cup, to be contested by Atlant, Spartak, CSKA and Dynamo, while Ufa hosts the Bashkortostan President's Cup, which this year is between Salavat Yulaev, Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Yugra and Neftekhimik.
The Magnitogorsk men have already won two tournaments this preseason, while Neftekhimik have played in two finals.
Traktor goaltender Ilya Proskuryakov today showed off his new helmet, decorated with a picture of ancient Russian folk hero Ilya Muromets, on whose shoulder is the Robber Nightingale from the same legend. “The artist is Vyacheslav Kabanov, a paint-sprayer from Magnitogorsk. We thought of the idea of the picture together,” – Ilya explained.
Quote of the day
“In Brno, I was the tallest, but there were bigger guys at other teams. For instance, at Salavat Yulaev I’m the same height as our captain. I can’t say height plays a decisive role. Yes, physical attributes are important, but you must use them the right way,” – Salavat Yulaev defenseman Rihard Steglik.
Alexei Shevchenko, special to khl.ru