Admiral sails into play-off. March 4 round-up

5 March 2014, 03:48

League newcomer Admiral completed its first regular season by clinching a spot in the play-offs.

Going into the final day of games, the team from Vladivostok knew that victory at home to local rival Amur would be enough to clinch eighth-place in the Eastern Conference, pipping last season’s runner-up Traktor to the post-season position.

At home to the weakest performer in the league this season Admiral was full of hope, and after a nervous start the team delivered a convincing 4-1 victory to set up a play-off clash with Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

The first period saw Amur have the better of the action, though, out-shooting the hosts 14-8 and sounding a few alarms on the bridge.

But the second session saw a fusillade sink the visitors. Justin Hodgman opened the scoring in the 28th minute, and two quickfire goals from Mikhail Naumenkov and Niclas Bergfors stretched the advantage to 3-0.

Alexander Yunkov, one of Amur’s leading scorers this season, reduced the deficit late in the second but the ever-reliable Felix Schutz set up Dmitry Vorobyov for a 58th minute goal to ignite the play-off party.

For Amur, the Nadezhda Cup awaits; for Admiral, the voyage continues into uncharted play-off waters.


Traktor beaten by Ak Bars
Traktor took to the ice against Ak Bars already knowing its play-off mission was hopeless – and ended up suffering a shoot-out defeat.

Janne Pesonen scored twice in regulation to force a 2-2 tie, then Alexander Burmistrov settled the shoot-out. Alexei Zavarukhin and Evgeny Kuznetsov got Traktor’s goals.

Donbass edges Dinamo
Donbass gained a psychological boost ahead of its play-off series against Dinamo Riga, picking up a 1-0 win in Latvia.

The result lifts Donbass ahead of its rival into fourth place with Alexander Toryanik’s only goal in Riga. Michael Leighton made 26 saves to secure a shut-out.

Around the league
Ugra sprang the surprise of the day with a 2-1 win at SKA. Veli-Matti Savinainen gave the visitor the lead on 29 seconds, and despite Kevin Dallman’s equalizer the points went to Khanty-Mansiysk thanks to a Nikita Gusev power play goal early in the second.

Matt Murley struck early in the third period to give Medvescak a 3-2 win at Slovan and confirm the Croatian team would take sixth place in its debut season. Medvescak now faces a play-off series against Lev.

Lev finished its regular season with a shoot-out defeat against Spartak. The Red-and-Whites have already opted out of this season’s Nadezhda Cup due to financial difficulties, but at least ended on a high note when Vyacheslav Kozlov settled the shoot-out after a 2-2 tie.

There were 4-2 wins for both conference leaders. In the East, Metallurg Magnitogorsk won at home to Torpedo, while Dynamo Moscow triumphed at Neftekhimik. Sergei Mozyakin led the way for Magnitka with 2+1, while Yury Babenko got Dynamo’s game-winner.

Torpedo’s loss opened the door for Salavat Yulaev to take fourth place with a narrow win over Vityaz. Tomas Zaborsky, Denis Khlystov and Ivan Vishnevsky put Salavat 3-0 up in 25 minutes, but Vityaz closed it to 3-2 before a scoreless final session.


Barys takes second place in the East, but its best-ever season has been marred by a stuttering finish. Tuesday’s 4-1 loss at Lokomotiv was the Astana team’s fourth in a row as well as a fourth straight win for the hosts. Loko’s pair of Latvian internationals, Mikelis Redlihs and Janis Sprukts, both found the net.

The day’s highest-scoring game was in Novosibirsk, where a 6-5 success for Sibir over Metallurg Novokuznetsk confirmed sixth place in the Eastern Conference and a play-off series against Ak Bars. Jori Lehtera and Jonas Enlund both scored twice as the home side opened up a 6-1 lead; Kuznya’s attempted fightback fell just short.

Igor Grigorenko scored twice to lead CSKA to a 3-0 win at home to Dinamo Minsk. Deron Quint got the other goal; Jeff Glass had 18 saves for his shut-out.


First-period goals from Anton Kuryanov and Roman Berdnikov saw Avangard edge a 2-1 verdict at Severstal.

Avtomobilist warmed up for a play-off series against Barys with a 3-2 win at Atlant. Andrei Antonov, Anton Lazarev and Sergei Demagin did the damage in the first period.


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