Andy Potts,
exclusive for

Metallurg Magnitogorsk won the big clash of the day, snapping CSKA’s 12-game winning streak with a 4-1 success in Moscow. Andrei Loktionov’s goal saw Lokomotiv edge past Dinamo Minsk, and Avtomobilist came from behind to win in a shoot-out at Jokerit.

Late double downs Dinamo

Amur Khabarovsk 3 Dinamo Riga 1 (1-0, 0-1, 2-0)

Dinamo battled hard in its second game in 24 hours, but two goals in the last four minutes gave Amur the verdict.

The visitor arrived on the back of a victory in Vladivostok yesterday, but Amur made the brighter start and took a sixth-minute lead thanks to Tomas Zohorna. In the second period, though, Dinamo recovered. The Latvians enjoyed more of the play, and tied the game when Aleksandrs Jerofejevs found the net shortly after the midway mark.

It wasn’t until the closing stages that Amur finally got back in front. Alexander Gorshkov’s power play goal turned out to be the game winner, Alexander Frolov’s empty-netter wrapped it up. Amur’s 23-year-old goalie Evgeny Alikin claimed his first career win in the KHL while his team climbs to within a point of eighth-placed Salavat Yulaev.

Photo: 21.12.17. KHL Championship 2017/18. Amur (Khabarovsk) - Dinamo (Riga)

Loktionov gives Loko the win

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 3 Dinamo Minsk 2 (2-1, 0-1, 1-0)

Dinamo Minsk’s hopes of getting into the playoff picture took a knock when the team failed to build on an early lead at Lokomotiv. Andrei Loktionov’s goal with 10 minutes to play eventually settled this one, and left the Belarusians six points adrift of eighth-placed Spartak.

The early stages looked good for Dinamo, with Marc-Andre Gragnani putting the visitor in front inside four minutes. But Loko is in good form, with just one loss in eight going into Thursday’s game, and moved ahead even before the end of the first period. Yegor Averin tied the scores in the eighth minute, then Daniil Apalkov’s wrister from a Staffan Kronwall feed made it 2-1 to the host.

Dinamo got back on level terms midway through the game when Evgeny Lisovets’ long-range effort was blocked an Evgeny Kovyrshin produced a fantastic no-look pass to give Andrei Stepanov a simple finish at the far post. It wasn’t enough, though, and Loktionov fired home Alexander Polunin’s dish to win it for the host.

Magnitka ends CSKA’s winning streak

CSKA Moscow 1 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 4 (1-0, 0-2, 0-2)

Metallurg gained ample revenge for CSKA’s 7-2 win in Magnitogorsk back in October, snapping the Army Men’s 12-game winning streak. The visitor even added two goals in the last minute to underline an emphatic scoreline.

Magnitka had to come from behind – Kirill Petrov opened the scoring here just as he did earlier in the season – but that was an end to the similarities between the games. Wojtek Wolski tied the scores in the second period, potting his first goal since returning to Metallurg from Kunlun. Sergei Mozyakin was the creator, advancing down the left and feeding the puck across the front of Ilya Sorokin’s net for the unmarked Wolski to shoot home. Then Matt Ellison gave the visitor the lead before the second intermission, converting the rebound from his own shot after a powerful surge from the Metallurg zone.

The Army Men could not find a way to tie the game in the final frame, despite dominating the play. CSKA fired in 16 shots, while allowing just four at the other end, but was undone late on when Sorokin returned to the bench. Magnitka twice took advantage to score into an empty net, with Oskar Osala and Evgeny Timkin doing the honors and putting some gloss on the final scoreline.

Photo: 21.12.17. KHL Championship 2017/18. CSKA (Moscow) - Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)

Gynge goal is good enough for Traktor

Vityaz Moscow Region 1 Traktor Chelyabinsk 2 (0-1, 0-0, 1-1)

Traktor moved up to sixth in the Eastern Conference thanks to Richard Gynge’s game-winner in Podolsk.

The visitor opened the scoring in the 13th minute through Alexander Rybakov, and held that lead until midway through the third period. Then, Maxim Afinogenov tied the scores when he looked to play the puck out from behind the net and got a kind deflection to send it past Pavel Francouz.

Gynge got the winner in the 53rd minute, getting away from his defenseman all too easily before sliding a shot through Igor Saprykin’s five-hole. Traktor now has a five-point cushion over the chasing pack in the East, Vityaz must make up 10 points to reach the top eight in the West.

Photo: 21.12.17. KHL Championship 2017/18. Vityaz (Moscow Region) - Traktor (Chelyabinsk)

Avtomobilist takes the shoot-out verdict

Jokerit Helsinki 2 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 3 SO (1-0, 1-1, 0-1, 0-0, 0-1)

For the second game running, Jokerit went to a shoot-out, but this time the Finns came up short. Ilya Krikunov got the winner for Avtomobilist after the Motormen twice came from behind. To make matters worse for the Finns, Jesse Joensuu and Oliver Lauridsen both left the action early after suffering injuries.

Jokerit’s first goal was awarded twice. The puck hit the net after Sami Lepisto’s shot was scrambled over the line by Tommi Huhtala, but the officials wanted to check the video. That confirmed the goal, only for the Avtomobilist bench to protest about the scrummage in front of Jakub Kovar’s crease. That prompted a second review, but no change in the outcome. 1-0 Jokerit.

The middle frame saw the teams trade goals, with Evgeny Chesalin tying the scores a couple of minutes before Marko Anttila restored the Finns’ lead. The visitor finally secured a tie in the third thanks to Yegor Milovzorov, and then had a goal disallowed for a high stick before the game went to overtime.

Andy Potts,
exclusive for

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Dinamo (Minsk) Dinamo (Minsk)
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CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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