Five of the League’s teams were in action on Thursday in four preseason friendlies held at various locations around Europe.
There was an all-KHL clash in the Latvian capital, as Dinamo Riga played host to Sibir of Novosibirsk. The game turned out to be a fiercely contested affair with a strong North American influence. Kari Heikkila's Latvians hit the target three times, thanks to two goals from Canadian Steven Seigo and another from American Tim Sestito, but strikes from Calle Ridderwall, Maxim Shalunov, Vladimir Roth and Sergei Shumakov sealed a battling 4-3 win for Andrei Skabelka’s Siberians.
In the Czech Republic, Metallurg Novokuznetsk boss Nikolai Solovyov has plenty to ponder after a solitary goal by Pavel Makarenko turned out to be the only positive note in a 1-4 defeat at the hands of Liberec.
Dinamo Minsk has also set up camp in the Czech lands, and Lubomir Pokovic’s Belarusians celebrated a 4-2 win in Silesia against the home team, Ocelari Trinec, thanks to goals from US defenseman Nick Bailen, Sergei Drozd, Alexander Materukhin and Bailen’s fellow American, Ryan Vesce.
Dynamo Moscow’s preseason training camp is in the town of Pinsk in southern Belarus, and on Thursday the Blue-and-Whites tested their mettle against opposition from the northwest of the country, HK Neman Grodno. The Muscovites proved too strong on the night, and a goal apiece for Dmitriy Vishnevsky, Konstantin Volkov and Danil Tarasov plus a double from Maxim Karpov gave Harijs Vitolins’s men a 5-2 victory.