The season’s leading goalscorer, Nigel Dawes, was at it again with a hat-trick in Barys’ 5-2 win at home to Slovan. That result, coupled with Avangard’s third successive loss, moves the Kazakh team to second in the Eastern Conference. Sibir, which commemorates its 55th anniversary this week, won a tight encounter with Jokerit while CSKA beat Ugra 5-0 for the second time this season.
It’s a celebratory week in Novosibirsk, where Sibir is marking its 55th anniversary. And the team played its part in the festivities with a 2-1 victory over Jokerit in Wednesday’s ‘retro-game’.
For Jokerit, goalie Karri Ramo made only his second appearance of the season, Ryan Zapolski given a breather after a 0-4 loss in Astana on Monday. And, to the accompaniment of a playlist of Soviet pop classics, the teams served up an even game, settled by Andrei Yermakov’s strike just after the 30-minute mark. He found Ramo’s net with a long-range effort for Sibir’s second power play goal of the night; Alexander Bergstrom gave the home team the lead in the first period on a 5-on-3 session.
Jokerit hit back shortly after Yermakov’s goal, halving the deficit thanks to Brian O’Neill. But Sibir held on to take the win and move to within two points of the playoff places.
Avangard lost out at home to Vityaz, and suffered three straight defeats for the first time this season. The visitor, by contrast, celebrated only its second victory in 11 games.
The home team cited injury problems for its loss of form and was seconds away from defeat in regulation. Pyotr Khokhryakov tied the game at 2-2 with 14 seconds left on the clock, leaving Vityaz to fear that it had blown its chance.
Earlier, Vojtech Mozik gave Vityaz a first-period lead. Dennis Everberg cancelled it out in the 27th minute, but Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi quickly reinstated the advantage until Khokhryakov’s late intervention.
Nigel Dawes is still marching along the goal trail, and today’s treble took him to 28 markers for the season – and two hat-tricks.
At first, though, he was in danger of being overshadowed: his third-minute goal equalized an early opener from Nick Ebert and was cancelled out by Andrej Stastny’s 10th-minute effort to make it 2-1 to the visitor.
But Slovan’s form this season has been unconvincing, and Barys turned the game around in the middle frame. Linden Vey tied it up on the power play before Roman Starchenko made it 3-2 seconds before the intermission.
Then Dawes came back to prominence, blasting two goals in a 17-second salvo as Slovan tumbled into penalty trouble and Barys took the game out of reach. The win moves the Kazakh team ahead of Avangard at the top of the Chernyshev Division.
For the second time this season, CSKA inflicted a 5-0 defeat on Ugra.
Sergei Shumakov scored twice, but unlike September’s meeting in Moscow, it took time for the Army Men to assert themselves. Shumakov’s second of the night came in the 32nd minute to make it 2-0: by that stage of the previous game it was already 4-0 and the result was beyond doubt.
However, it didn’t take much longer for CSKA to achieve a similar measure of control here. Shumakov’s strike triggered a flurry of goals as Greg Scott and Geoff Platt pushed the lead out to 4-0 with two markers in five minutes. Maxim Shalunov added a fifth to give an element of symmetry to the meetings between the teams this season, Lars Johansson dealt with Ugra’s 16 attempts on his net.