Nigel Dawes became the first player to score eight KHL hat-tricks as Barys downed Metallurg Magnitogorsk, while SKA froze out Neftekhimik and Avangard shrugged off a suspension for head coach Fyodor Kanareikin to beat Traktor.
Barys forward Nigel Dawes scored his eighth KHL hat-trick to lead Barys to a valuable win over the defending champion – and write his name in the league’s history books.
Dawes led a first-period blitz to help his team into a 4-0 lead and become the first player to post eight trebles in KHL action. Nikita Ivanov was the other Barys goalscorer.
Next on the list of hat-trick scorers is Sergei Mozyakin, and he kick-started Magnitka’s fight back in the second period when he converted a 5-on-3 power play. Barys’ Kevin Dallman was one of the players penalized prior to that goal, and moments after returning to the game he was dismissed once again, giving Tomas Filippi the chance to make it 2-4. The Czech then got an assist as Evgeny Timkin made it a one-goal game right at the start of the third, and Metallurg believed that a great escape was on the cards.
It wasn’t to be. Barys, urgently seeking points to propel its playoff bid, held firm for the rest of the session and wrapped up the points with a Dustin Boyd empty-net goal in the last second. The three points lifts Barys to seventh in the East.
No coach, no problem for Avangard
Avangard’s head coach Fyodor Kanareikin was suspended for this game after he was ejected for striking an official during last week’s 0-1 defeat at home to Dinamo Minsk.
In his absence, though, Vladimir Semyonov led the team to a solid victory over Traktor, maintaining Avangard’s grip on second place in the East.
After a scoreless first period, the host seized control early in the second with quickfire goals from Pyotr Khokhryakov and Maxim Pestushko. At the beginning of the third Pestushko turned provider, picking out the unmarked Mikhail Yunkov to make it 3-0; Nikolai Belov’s solitary strike in reply converted a fine pass from behind the net by Alexander Shinin but made little difference to the outcome.
After two battling defeats against SKA and CSKA, Lada hoped to earn points as well as plaudits when Western Conference outsider Severstal came to town – but a disastrous start cost the Motormen dear.
Severstal took a 3-0 lead in the first period thanks to early goals from Maxim Trunyov and Yury Trubachyov, then a majestic shorthanded goal from Pavel Chernov added a third before the intermission.
Lada still demonstrated its battling qualities to come back and tie the game. Stanislav Bocharev and Georgy Belousov scored on either side of the halfway mark and Dmitry Kostromitin made it 3-3 early in the third.
But Severstal was not to be denied. Vojtech Polak grabbed the decisive goal with 10 minutes left to play.
A reinvigorated SKA roster made short work of overcoming a Neftekhimik team in the hands of former Petersburg head coach Andrei Nazarov and recording its ninth win in a row.
The first period was competitive, with both teams having chances to open the scoring, but it ended on a high for SKA when Patrik Hersley produced a shot of imposing power and accuracy to open the scoring in the 20th minute.
The second goal, on 36 minutes, was also well executed: Evgeny Dadonov fed Vadim Shipachyov for a one-timer that beat Ivan Kasutin.
At the start of the third period Pavel Zdunov’s high hit triggered a brawl that left SKA with a power play. Vyacheslav Voynov duly converted that chance for 3-0 and another power play goal from Nikita Gusev, assisted by Ilya Kovalchuk, wrapped up a convincing win for Oleg Znarok’s league leader.