It’s not over till it’s over

1 February 2012, 20:11

Home fans could have been forgiven for slinking home early as Metallurg Magnitogorsk trailed 0-3 to a seemingly unstoppable SKA St. Petersburg. But anyone who left at the second interval missed a rousing fightback as the hosts underlined their own credentials in a spectacular third period. Three goals in seven minutes, with Oleg Tverdovsky, Denis Khlystov and Dmitry Kazionov on the mark, tied the game as SKA’s serene progress was shattered. And there was more to come – Juhamatti Aaltonen snatched a dramatic late winner for Metallurg on 57:54.

Change of goalie, change of fortune
After Sunday’s defeat to Metallurg Magnitogorsk, Avangard coach Raimo Summanen said he needed a winner between the piping. The result was Alexei Kuznetsov padding up, and an improved defensive performance which allowed Atlant Moscow Region just 17 shots on target. Perhaps worryingly for Summanen, two of them went in – but Roman Cervenka’s goal on 58:56 completed a 3-2 for the men from Omsk.

More than one man
It’s tempting to assume that Traktor Chelyabinsk’s progress this season has been down to inspirational youngster Evgeny Kuznetsov – but Neftekhimik found out there is more to the Eastern Conference leaders than one man. Kuznetsov, unusually, didn’t manage a single point in the game – but still celebrated a 5-3 success with his team-mates. Konstantin Panov got two, including the game-winner, with Vladimir Antipov chipping in two valuable assists.

Six of the best
Salavat Yulaev made it six wins in a row with a 4-3 win at Barys Astana. Throughout the season Alexander Radulov (57 points) and Igor Grigorenko (27 points) have been tormenting defensemen, and Wednesday’s game was no expection as the front-line pair each finished with 1+1. But the winner came from another long-standing nuisance for his opponents, Danis Zaripov.

Straka at the double
Josef Straka’s two goals in the first period proved good enough for Ak Bars to win 2-1 at Avtomobilist. Having established a cushion early on, the Kazan side played out time efficiently, with only in form Nikolai Bushuyev’s goal just after halfway to trouble their nerves.

A family affair
It was a good day for the Redlihs family – and Mikelis in particular – as Dinamo Riga put a dent in Yugra’s impressive run with a 3-1 win in Khanty-Mansiysk. Mikelis scored two, and got the assist on brother Krisjanis’s goal. A third brother, Jekabs, played his part in a solid defensive display which enhanced the Latvians’ hopes of avoiding eighth place and a tough play-off draw against SKA.

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