Pekka Jormakka blasted a hat-trick as Jokerit sank Spartak, Amur shrugged off the absence of banned duo Jan Kolar and Tomas Zahorna to snap a nine-game losing streak with a 3-2 win at Dynamo, and Torpedo made it three shut-outs in a row to edge past Vityaz.
Pekka Jormakka’s hat-trick fired Jokerit to an impressive 5-1 victory at home to Spartak. The 27-year-old, who had just one goal to his credit prior to Friday night’s game, produced his best personal performance of the season to inspire his team to a comfortable victory.
The Finns made a flying start, scoring twice in the first eight minutes to take control of the game. Tommi Huhtala opened the scoring in the sixth minute, and moments later Jormakka got his first of the night, deking to the net off Brian O’Neill’s pass to the back door.
He added two more in the middle session, converting a power play on 26 minutes and making it 4-0 seconds before the intermission. At the other end, former Jokerit man Ville Lajunen drew some good saves from Ryan Zapolski, but Spartak was finding life tough.
Into the third period, and Jormakka turned provider when he picked up an assist on teenage wonder Eeli Tolvanen’s latest thunderbolt. The 18-year-old’s one-timer made it 5-0 on the night; Viktor Komarov’s late effort for Spartak was scant consolation for the visitor.
Right now, no offense fancies taking on Torpedo. Today’s encounter with Vityaz saw the men from Nizhny Novgorod produce a third successive shoot-out, with Ivan Lisutin stopping 36 shots to hand his team the win.
It’s now 228 minutes since Peteris Skudra’s team last conceded a goal, and swapping Stanislav Galimov for Lisutin made little difference to the meanest defense of the moment.
For the second time in three games, Torpedo won it by a single goal. This time, Vladimir Galuzin was the scorer early in the second period. Pavel Medvedev sought a diagonal pass, the puck bounced off a Vityaz knee, and Galuzin was on the spot to rifle home the chance.
This looked like the day’s home banker. Dynamo, buoyed by a winning tour of Siberia, was up to second in the Western Conference. Amur, struggling on a nine-game losing streak, was in a familiar position near the foot of the East. To make matters worse for the visitor, defenseman Jan Kolar and forward Tomas Zahorna were both suspended for this clash. Once Dynamo took the lead in the second period through Dustin Boyd, it felt like the result was already clear.
But nothing is more dangerous than a wounded tiger, and Amur demonstrated precisely why with a three-goal salvo in the closing stages to turn this game around. Admittedly, the home team’s lack of discipline did little to help close out the game. Alexei Tereshchenko took a 2+10 penalty for checking to the head and neck area, and that power play enabled Alexei Byvaltsev to tie the scores on 50:08. Another Dynamo penalty was barely killed when Bogdan Potekhin put Amur in front after a scramble in front of Alexander Yeryomenko. Then, with five minutes left, Kirill Rasskazov punished Boyd’s high-sticking misdemeanor. Amur led 3-1, and even though Ilya Nikulin converted a 5-on-3 power play for the host, there was no way back for the Blue-and-Whites.