Andy Potts,
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At the top of the table, SKA remains unstoppable. Oleg Znarok’s team won 3-0 at Sibir to make it 16 unbeaten since the start of the season. At the foot of the table, though, Dinamo Riga continues to find it tough. A 2-5 loss at home to Admiral means its 12 straight defeats for the Latvians. Dynamo Moscow kept up its notable streak of three road wins on its current Siberian tour, edging Ugra 3-2, but Lokomotiv is having a hard time on the road and went down 1-6 at Barys to suffer a third successive loss.

Shirokov inspires SKA’s latest win

Sibir Novosibirsk 0 SKA St. Petersburg 3 (0-1, 0-1, 0-1)

A goal in each period, plus a shut-out from Igor Shestyorkin, kept SKA’s winning start rolling. Wednesday’s 3-0 success at Sibir makes it 16 without defeat since the start of the season.

There was rarely much doubt about the outcome of this game. SKA dominated from the start, outshooting Sibir 13-3 in the first period and taking the lead through Sergei Shirokov’s power play goal in the 15th minute. That was the start of a profitable night for the forward, who would go on to have a hand in the other two goals.

Early in the second period, Shirokov was on hand to exchange passes with Maxim Karpov as SKA broke at speed. Karpov finished the move, scoring on former SKA goalie Alexander Salak to put a formidable obstacle in front of the host.

Salak wasn’t the only player facing his former club: SKA’s defenseman Patrik Hersley began his KHL career in Novosibirsk and enjoyed his return to Siberia. He collected an assist on Shirokov’s opener, then took a feed from his team-mate to smash home the third from the top of the circle early in the third period. Sibir rarely posed much of a threat, putting just 19 shots on Shestyorkin’s net.

Photo: 27.09.17. KHL Championship 2017/18. Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) - SKA (St.Petersburg)

Fast start sets Avangard on victory trail

Avangard Omsk 4 Dinamo Minsk 1 (2-0, 1-1, 1-0)

Avangard climbed to the top of the Chernyshev Division with a comfortable win at home to Dinamo Minsk

Avangard, blanked in Monday’s 0-1 loss at home to Dynamo Moscow, wasted little time in getting that frustration out of its system. Yegor Martynov and Maxim Berezin both found the net in the eighth minute, putting the home team in control and bringing an early end to Jhonas Enroth’s evening in the visitor’s net.

The change had little impact: Dmitry Kugryshev added a third before Yegor Sharangovich got Dinamo in the scoreboard midway through the second period.

The visitor’s hopes of a fightback evaporated in the final stanza. Limited to just three shots on Dominik Furch’s net, Dinamo posed little threat and gave up a fourth goal to Andre Petersson.

Loko suffers a drubbing in Astana

Barys Astana 6 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 1 (1-0, 2-1, 3-0)

Two goals from youngster Nikita Mikhailis led the way for Barys as it handed Lokomotiv a thumping defeat.

The Kazakhs started quickly and Mikhailis opened the scoring on 65 seconds after Martin St. Pierre intercepted the puck in center ice and sent the 22-year-old into the visitor’s zone. Despite the fast start, the floodgates did not open the first period. Both sides struggled to create chances and it remained 1-0 at the intermission.

Barys extended its lead early in the second thanks to Matthew Frattin’s power play effort, but the game was still very much alive when Denis Alexeyev got one back for Loko as the midway mark came into view. Then the home team took control: Roman Savchenko made it 3-1 late in the second, with Mikhailis among the assists, and the third period brought three unanswered goals.

Mikhailis got the first of them, Linden Vey made it 5-1 and, with starting goalie Alexei Murygin replaced by Alexander Sudnitsin, Nigel Dawes wrapped up the scoring in the 53rd minute. Barys bounced back well after losing to SKA; Loko slipped to three defeats in a row.

Photo: 27.09.17. KHL Championship 2017/18. Barys (Astana) - Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)

Bryukvin double defeats Ugra

Ugra Khanty-Mansiysk 2 Dynamo Moscow 3 (1-1, 1-2, 0-0)

Vladimir Bryukvin scored twice as Dynamo made it three wins out of three on its Siberian tour and strengthened its position on top of the Bobrov Division.

The 22-year-old forward, now starting to emerge as a major player for the Muscovites, took his tally to five for the season with a pair of second-period strikes to send Ugra spinning to its eighth successive loss. His first, in the 25th minute, was short-handed; Bryukvin reacted fastest to the loose puck after Ivan Igumnov stole the puck in the neutral zone and headed for the net. Five minutes later, Bryukvin had his second, shooting over Vladislav Fokin’s glove after exchanging passes with Evgeny Artyukhin.

Earlier, Ugra had taken the lead thanks to Anton Korolyov, but Ilya Nikulin cancelled out that effort with a power play goal soon after. Pavel Varfolomeyev scored late in the second to give the home team hope, but visiting goalie Alexander Yeryomenko stopped 11 shots in the final stanza to bring his team victory.

Four in a row for Severstal

Severstal Cherepovets 2 Amur Khabarovsk 1 (1-1, 1-0, 0-0)

Severstal maintained a top-eight position in the Western Conference as the Steelmen made it four successive victories.

Matej Stransky got the decisive goal late in the second period, firing home a one-timer from between the hash marks after Yury Trubachyov and Daniil Vovchenko exchanged passes behind the Amur net. That converted a power play chance within 13 seconds of Pavel Dedunov going to the box.

Earlier, Severstal took the lead through a Dmitry Kagarlitsky power play goal in the 11th minute, but Amur levelled when Denis Kuzmin converted a numerical advantage for the visitor.

Dinamo’s search for a win continues

Dinamo Riga 2 Admiral Vladivostok 5 (0-2, 0-1, 2-2)

It was a case of ‘too little, too late’ as Dinamo slipped to its 12th consecutive defeat. This loss against an Admiral team struggling at the wrong end of the Eastern Conference table was confirmed in the first two periods, even though a late rally added a little respectability to the scoreline.

First-period tallies from Vadim Krasnoslobodtsev and Robert Sabolic set Admiral on the way to its fourth win of the season. The early part of the middle session was disrupted by a flurry of penalties before Vladimir Butuzov added a third for the visitor in the 38th minute.

Vladimir Tkachyov made it four as the game moved into its closing phase, but Dinamo belatedly began to pose an attacking threat. Karl Stollery and Miks Indrasis scored two goals in 30 seconds, raising the prospect of an unlikely comeback. But Damir Zhafyarov found the empty net to extinguish any lingering hopes.

Vityaz leads three times, Slovan take three points

Slovan Bratislava 4 Vityaz Podolsk 3 (1-1, 2-2, 1-0)

Two goals from Tomas Hrnka helped Slovan to a narrow win over Vityaz in an absorbing game in Bratislava.

The former Plzen forward twice brought his team level in the second period to bring his tally to three in two games after a slow start to his KHL career. In the 29th minute he cancelled out Alexei Makeyev’s goal for the visitor, then he scored on the power play in the 37th to tie it at 3-3 after Maxim Afinogenov gave Vityaz the lead for the third time in the game.

The winner came in the 54th minute as Slovan exploited a 5-on-3 situation. Michal Repik got the all-important goal; his one-timer from the edge of the circle bounced into the net via goalie Igor Saprykin’s arm and the inside of the post.

Andy Potts,
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