Staying in contention

4 February 2012, 22:14

The weekend focus switched to the play-off race in the West, where Spartak Moscow remains hopeful of sneaking into the top eight but Lev Poprad’s chances are all but over following the sides’ game at Sokolniki. Spartak followed up it’s 5-2 win over Dinamo Minsk with a 4-2 success against Lev in a game which was settled in the final period. Alexander Yunkov got the game-winner on 46:40 and Alexei Zavarukhin’s empty-netter with 31 seconds to play snuffed out hopes of a fightback. Spartak stays ninth, but closed the gap on CSKA.

Nervous finish
For its part, CSKA should be strong enough to hold off the challenge of its Moscow rival, but a second successive defeat, this time 2-1 at Severstal Cherepovets, means it’s just two wins in seven for the Army Men. The game was resolved early on, with Nikolai Kazakovtsev giving the hosts the lead on 2:17 and Evgeny Ketov doubling the advantage early in the second. Young defenseman Igor Ozhiganov got his second senior goal with three seconds left, but it was too late for CSKA.

Goncharov’s double delight
Ozhiganov was the defenseman who was caught out by Evgeny Timkin’s wonder goal for Vityaz against CSKA in the week, and the Chekhov team was celebrating again on Saturday after downing Dinamo Minsk 3-2. Sergei Goncharov turned the game on its head with two goals in 67 seconds at the start of the second period, continuing Minsk’s wobble as the end of the season approaches.

Soin on song
Dynamo Moscow dominated proceedings at home to Metallurg Novokuznetsk and skated to a deserved 2-0 win. Sergei Soin got both goals in the second period to add to his 1+2 performance against Amur in the week.

Sibir shoot-out success
Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod missed the chance to tighten its grip on second place in the West after a shoot-out loss to Sibir Novosibirsk. Kim Hirschovits gave Torpedo the lead on 44 seconds, but two goals in the 29th minute - both on a powerplay - saw Viktor Alexandrov and Jonas Enlund level the tie at 2-2. With goalies on top thereafter it fell to Alexandrov to secure the win in the shoot-out, with ex-Torpedo man Bernd Bruckler pulling off five saves.

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