After a record-breaking run of 12 straight losses at the start of the season, Sibir finally got its first win of the campaign. Teenage forward Nikita Shashkov was the unexpected star of a 4-3 success at Vityaz. Torpedo defeated Amur by the same scoreline while two goals from Rob Klinkhammer helped Ak Bars to a 4-2 win over Admiral. Avangard edged Dinamo Minsk 2-1 in Belarus.
Two goals from Nikita Shashkov either side of the second intermission ended Sibir’s long wait for a win. The 19-year-old forward had not managed a single point in his six previous appearances this season but he came up trumps with his first career goals to end his team’s 12-game losing streak.
Shashkov does have some previous: last season he was the leading scorer for Sibir’s youth team. And that can of clinical finishing was on display in the 39th minute when he pounced on the loose puck after Danil Romantsev harried Vojtech Mozik into coughing up the puck in his own end. Shashkov pounced and found the top shelf as Joni Ortio grasped at thin air. Then, after Pavel Tkachenko led a counter-attack, Shashkov was in the right place at the back door to tap home his team’s fourth and establish a two-goal lead for the first time in the game.
There was still a nervous finish, however. Mozik, who had opened the scoring in the 13th minute, grabbed a power play marker to make it a one-goal game. Then a ‘too many men’ penalty tested the visitor’s PK again – this time, Sibir held firm and ended that long losing streak.
Earlier in the game, Tkachenko cancelled out Mozik’s power play opener. In the second period Dmitry Sayustov put Sibir in front, only for Evgeny Mons to make it 2-2. But then came Shashkov, and victory at last.
For the second time in three days, Ak Bars had to come from behind to see off an opponent from Russia’s Far East. Admiral sailed into town looking to improve on Amur’s battling defeat here on Friday, but, like its neighbor, was undone in the third period.
Alexander Ugolnikov’s seventh-minute goal gave Admiral the lead and the Sailors more than held their own in the game. Even after Anton Lander tied the game in the second period, the visitor provided a real test for Ak Bars.
Home nerves were further frayed when Vojtech Polak restored Admiral’s lead early in the third period but, once again, a late rally saved Ak Bars. Rob Klinkhammer’s power play goal quickly brought the scores level again and in the 50th minute Artyom Mikheyev got the game-winner. Albert Yarullin’s point shot took a deflection on its way to the slot and Mikheyev reacted fastest to apply the re-direct beyond Nikita Serebryakov. Klinkhammer slotted a fourth into the empty net.
After ending SKA’s winning run on Friday, Avangard ground out a tight win in Minsk to keep up the pressure on table-topping Avtomobilist.
In form Kirill Semyonov opened the scoring in the 14th minute, getting his sixth goal of the season and his fourth in as many games. Cody Franson doubled the lead early in the second period with the 31-year-old former Predators, Leafs and Sabres forward getting his second since arriving at Avangard earlier this month.
Dinamo has shown signs of progress after a slow start to the season and battled back thanks to a Teemu Pulkkinen goal early in the third period. The Finn followed up a three-point performance against Sibir with his sixth goal of the season here, but the Belarusians could not find a way to tie the game.
Torpedo and come-from-behind wins are becoming synonymous this season, and today’s game was another example of a third-period recovery.
This time, it was a three-goal blast in the space of two minutes that turned the game around. Andy Miele got things moving with his second of the evening on 45:52. Just 38 seconds later the scores were level: Dmitry Rodionychev claimed his first KHL goal, tucking away Nikita Setdikov’s feed to the far post. Vladimir Galuzin got the winner barely a minute after that.
It was a hammer blow for Amur, which had recovered from Miele’s 12th-minute opener to take control of the game. Tomas Filippi quickly cancelled out Miele’s strike and Vladislav Ushenin gave the visitor a first-period lead. Pavel Dedunov made it 3-1 early in the second period but Torpedo came roaring back in the third.