SKA on the march

25 October 2011, 23:59

SKA St. Petersburg overhauled Dynamo Moscow at the top of the Bobrov division with a 4-1 win at Luzhniki. The hosts suffered a nightmare start when Patrick Thoresen put SKA in front after just 32 seconds and despite creating good chances in the opening periods Dynamo fell further behind on 9:57 thanks to Tony Martensson. Grigory Shafigulin pulled one back in the second period, but hopes of a recovery were crushed in the final stages by Gleb Klimenko and ex-Luzhniki favorite Mattias Weinhandl. The Moscow side have suffered two successive home defeats, giving coach Oleg Znarok plenty to think about before Thursday's derby with CSKA; SKA have eight wins out of nine since losing to Dynamo on Oct. 5.

Best in the west
Dinamo Minsk share the lead in the Western Conference with SKA after overcoming Lev Poprad on penalties following a 2-2 tie. But the Belarusians will feel they should be outright leaders after Charles Linglet and Geoff Platt put them 2-0 up in Minsk before Andrei Mikhalyov missed a penalty shot on 45:09. Lev, though, is playing with great character in its debut season and battled back in the final period with goals from Karel Pilar (46:40) and Stanislav Balan (54:47) to take the game into extra time. In the shoot-out Zbynek Irgl and Dmitry Meleshko scored for Minsk to give the Bison the extra point.

New coach, same problems
Barys Astana fired head coach Andrei Khomutov on the eve of Tuesday's return match against table-topping Amur Khabarovsk - but the Kazakh side went down 6-2 two days after a 4-0 loss. At Brandon Bochenski had the consolation of ending Amur's run of clean sheets, scoring on the Far Eastern team for the first time in almost 200 minutes of game time to give Barys the lead on 25:16. That goal also ended a two-game blank sequence for the hosts, but the celebrations were abruptly halted by a swift triple response from Amur's Andrei Stepanov, Jakub Petruzalek and Ilshat Bilalov in the second period. Mikko Maenpaa and Sergei Plotnikov extended the advantage before Bochenski struck again, and Igor Ignatushkin got the sixth for Amur on 55:26.

Reversal of fortunes
Roman Cervenka scored twice as Avangard Omsk beat Metallurg Magnitogorsk 4-0. He got the second and fourth goals, with Alexander Perezhogin and Alexander Popov also on the mark. Goaltender Karri Ramo made 20 saves as the Siberians eased some of the pressure on head coach Rostislav Cada. Avangard's win ended a run of three defeats for them, and snapped Magnitka's four-match winning streak.

Kuznetsov's winner
Rising star Evgeny Kuznetsov took the honors as his Traktor Chelyabinsk side won 3-2 against his Under-20 World Championship winning team-mate Vladimir Tarasenko's Sibir Novosibirsk. Kuznetsov scored the winner with a penalty shot on 57:47, just 13 seconds after Alexander Kutuzov had equalized for Sibir. Kuznetsov also claimed an assist on Deron Quint's go-ahead goal on 52:23 after Konstantin Panov had earlier cancelled out Jori Lehtera's first-period opener for Sibir.

Goalies on top
Mikhail Biryukov and Teemu Lassila gave a goaltending masterclass in Khanty Mansiysk before Yugra finally won on penalties. The match stayed tied at 0-0, but Biryukov made two further saves in the shoot-out while Lassila was beaten by Ivan Khlyntsev to gave Yugra the verdict.

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