Andy Potts Andy Potts
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The top two on the KHL leaderboard had mixed fortunes. Avtomobilist maintained its winning start to the season with a strong third-period display to beat Kunlun Red Star. Avangard, meanwhile, slipped up in the closing stages to lose at home to CSKA. The Army Men return to the Western summit. Sibir won only its second game of the season as Danil Romantsev’s hat-trick defeated Dinamo Riga, and Paul Szczechura also got a treble for Traktor in a big win at Admiral.

Szczechura hat-trick gives Traktor a lift

Admiral Vladivostok 2 Traktor Chelyabinsk 7 (1-1, 1-3, 0-3)

Traktor’s recent form has been somewhat mixed but after some heavy losses in the past couple of weeks, this was a welcome return to the team’s best game. Paul Szczechura led the way to an emphatic victory in the Far East.

A first-minute goal for Igor Polygalov got Traktor started, but Alexander Chernikov tied it up with a power play effort before the intermission. Szczechura’s first of the game was quickly cancelled out by Konstantin Glazachev to keep the game tied at the midway mark, but after that it was all Traktor.

Five unanswered goals in the last 28 minutes left Admiral reeling. Vitaly Kravtsov made it 3-2, Jonas Enlund, back in the team after missing Friday’s game in Shanghai, scored his first for the club to make it four. Artyom Penkovsky got the 5-2 goal in the 48th minute, Szczechura added two more before the end. Enlund finished with two assists as well as his goal; Admiral’s day was not enhanced by the ejection of Vasily Streltsov after 52 minutes.

Wolski’s double defeats Amur

Amur Khabarovsk 3 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 4 (2-1, 0-1, 1-2)

For the second game in a row, Magnitka prevailed by the odd goal in seven – and once again, Josef Jandac’s team had to come from behind to get the win.

Photo: 07.10.18. KHL Championship 2018-2019. Amur (Khabarovsk) - Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)

This time it was two goals from Wojtek Wolski in the third period that lifted the visitor to victory, both assisted by Sergei Mozyakin. Wolski put Metallurg up 3-2 early in the frame then delivered the game-winner in the 54th minute after Tomas Zohorna had tied it up for Amur.

Earlier, the game got off to a flying start with three goals inside seven minutes. Alexander Gorshkov scored twice, once on the power play and once from a penalty shot, with Iiro Pakarinen responding for Metallurg. But penalty trouble for the host saw Alexei Bereglazov convert a 5-on-3 power play to tie the game in the second period and Metallurg went on to seal the win.

Third-period power lifts Avto to 15th successive win

Kunlun Red Star 2 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 5 (1-0, 1-2, 0-3)

Kunlun led twice against the KHL’s pacesetter – but after naming just four recognized defensemen on its roster, the home team fell to a 2-5 loss as Avtomobilist hit its stride late in the game.

For the first half of today’s proceedings, though, Red Star showed that it was no respecter of the formidable reputation Avto has garnered this season. Impressive in the first period, the home team went in front thanks to a Cory Kane goal in the 12th minute. In the middle frame, Nikita Tryamkin tied it up, only for Michael Latta to respond within seconds to restore the host’s lead and claim his first ever KHL marker.

But Avto is a powerful proposition and, as the minutes caught up with the home defense, the visitor began to profit. Nigel Dawes tied it up again just after the halfway mark – the forward has now got among the points in his last eight games – and the final stanza saw the league leader take control. Alexei Vasilevsky and Denis Bodrov both got their first goals of the season to take the lead out to 4-2, then Francis Pare wrapped it up with an empty-net effort.

Barys breezes past Slovan

Barys Astana 3 Slovan Bratislava (1-0, 2-0, 0-0)

Goalie Henrik Karlsson made 22 saves to backstop Barys to a comfortable win at home to struggling Slovan.

Karlsson was the busier goalie in the opening frame, but the only goal went to the home team in the 18th minute when Dmitry Shevchenko beat Jakub Stepanek at the other end. That was the 23-year-old’s second goal of the season.

The second period brought a Nikita Mikhailis goal at the start and a Curtis Valk effort at the end to put Barys in complete control. Slovan remains bottom of the Western Conference after its fifth successive loss.

Romantsev hits a hat-trick as Sibir sinks Dinamo

Sibir Novosibirsk 6 Dinamo Riga 3 (1-0, 4-0, 1-3)

A second-period surge brought Sibir only its second win of the season as Dinamo Riga’s slump continues with a fifth loss in six games

An opening session short on scoring chances saw the home team go in front through a Vladimir Peshekhonov goal, but the middle frame took the game away from Dinamo. Danil Romantsev scored twice in 24 seconds then incoming goalie Maxim Tretyak was beaten by Nikita Mikhailov, allowing a goal from the first shot he faced. Yegor Dugin struck on the power play to make it 5-0 and complete a miserable 20 minutes for the visitor.

The Latvians tried to rally in the final third. Kevin Clark scored two, Mathew Maione added a third when a major penalty for Evgeny Bodrov enabled Dinamo to play a long spell of 6-on-4 hockey. But the fightback ended there and Romantsev had the final say when he completed his hat-trick into an empty net. Sibir remains rooted to the bottom of the KHL table but now has two wins from three.

Grigorenko at the double

Avangard Omsk 2 CSKA Moscow 4 (1-0, 1-1, 0-3)

CSKA replaced SKA at the top of the Western Conference, while Avangard lost ground on Avtomobilist after only its second loss of the season.

Photo: 07.10.18. KHL Championship 2018-2019. Avangard (Omsk region) - CSKA (Moscow)

Mikhail Grigorenko was the difference-maker in this one, scoring twice in the third period to get CSKA ahead for the first time. The forward was an active figure in the visitor’s revival after falling behind for a second time, and finally got the tying goal after 45 minutes. Five minutes later, with CSKA on the power play, he scored again to put the Army Men up for the first time in the game. It was a lead that would not slip; Ivan Telegin rounded it off in the last minute with an empty-net goal.

Earlier, though, Avangard looked capable of ending CSKA’s winning run. Ansel Galimov got an early short-handed goal to send the host into the first intermission ahead despite some intense CSKA pressure. Kirill Kaprizov tied the scores in the second period, but Ilya Mikheyev’s power play effort restored Avangard’s lead. Along came Grigorenko, though, and the game was decisively changed.

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