Andy Potts Andy Potts
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There was no shortage of entertainment in Wednesday’s KHL program: nine games produced 56 goals! SKA was the top scorer, putting eight past Severstal; Amur won 6-5 at Barys in the highest-scoring game of the day. Spartak and Traktor had 4-3 overtime wins. Amid the carnage, three goalies managed shut-outs: Jokerit Janis Kalnins, Dynamo Moscow’s Alexander Yeryomenko and Metallurg’s Vasily Koshechkin all denied their opponents.

Strong finish lifts Red Star

Sibir Novosibirsk 2 Kunlun Red Star 4 (1-1, 1-0, 0-3)

Red Star scored three goals in the last 10 minutes to climb back into the top eight in the Eastern Conference. Jussi Tapola handed debuts to newly-recruited defensemen Tobias Viklund and Oskars Bartulis and was rewarded with an assist from the Swede and a goal from the Latvian.

Sibir made a bright start, opening the scoring after just 65 seconds through Maxim Kazakov. Kunlun tied it up on its first power play of the game with Viklund’s shot eventually dropping for Michael Latta to score. In the second period, Gilbert Brule restored the home lead with a goal against his former club, but that was as good as it got for Sibir.

The final frame saw some clinical finishing from Red Star. Bartulis scored midway through the session to level the scores; Justin Fontain fired home a Tomas Mertl feed to put Kunlun up a minute later. Johan Sundstrom’s empty net goal wrapped it up. Sibir slipped to a sixth successive loss.

Wild night for Karlsson

Barys Astana 5 Amur Khabarovsk 6 (3-4, 1-2, 1-0)

This wild game was one of mixed fortunes for Barys goalie Henrik Karlsson. The Swedish-born stopper started on the bench, replaced Dominik Hrachovina after 14 minutes and contributed two assists. But he also allowed three goals in 15 minutes of game time and was summoned back to the bench to allow his Czech colleague to finish the game.

There was no time wasted in the first period, with the teams trading seven goals in the opening session. Andre Petersson put Barys ahead in the fourth minute, but by the time he added his second of the game after 15 minutes, Amur had responded with three goals of its own to chase Dominik Hrachovina from his net. Incoming goalie Henrik Karlsson got an assist on Petersson’s second goal but had little more luck at stopping Amur. The end of the first frame brought two more goals: Artyom Zhelezkov put Amur 4-2 up, Nikita Mikhailis pulled one back for the host with another Karlsson helper.

Early in the second period, Kirill Rasskazov restored Amur’s two-goal advantage, and midway through the game the teams again traded quick goals with Roman Starchenko’s strike drawing a swift response from Anton Lazarev. After that, Hrachovina returned – and kept Amur at bay for the rest of the game. However, Barys could only muster one more goal from Patrice Cormier; Alexei Murygin collected his first victory since returning to Amur last week.

SKA sinks Admiral

SKA St. Petersburg 8 Admiral Vladivostok 2 (0-1, 3-0, 5-1)

SKA maintained its free-scoring form, Nikolai Prokhorkin hit a hat-trick and Maxim Karpov added three points to his treble on Monday as the Sailors found themselves swamped in St. Petersburg.

The visitor took a surprise lead early on, launching a rare raid into enemy territory for Konstantin Glazachev to score. Admiral spent less than a minute on the attack in the first period; not surprisingly this play began with goalie Nikita Serebryakov setting up a quick counter-attack.

SKA, meanwhile, struggled to turn territorial supremacy into goals until a power play in the second period saw David Rundblad tie it up. Prokhorkin gave the host a 2-1 lead just before the half hour, and a shorthanded effort from Jarno Koskiranta ended the session on a high note. Ilya Kablukov made it 4-1 seconds after the intermission and Admiral was in danger of being washed away. Glazachev’s second threatened to check SKA’s progress, but the floodgates opened late in the game. Karpov scored then assisted on Prokhorkin’s second of the night. The same pair combined as Prokhorkin added a seventh and the last minute saw Andrei Kuzmenko complete a crushing home victory.

D-men delight in Jokerit win

Jokerit Helsinki 4 Severstal Cherepovets 0 (1-0, 2-0, 1-0)

Three goals from blue liners secured a comfortable home win for Jokerit, but Severstal’s struggles in front of goal continue.

Jesper Jensen was the leader for the Finns. The Danish defenseman scored twice, opening the scoring in the first period and doubling the lead midway through the second. A few minutes after that, Tommi Kivisto added a third with a point shot that deceived Dominik Furch as it came through a crowd of players. Late in the game Steve Moses showed that the home forwards could also find the net with the 4-0 goal.

Severstal, which needed 57 minutes to find a goal in Monday’s win over Admiral, came closest in the 10th minute when Ruslan Karlin dinged an effort off Janis Kalnins’ crossbar. However, the Steelmen are struggling to score – today was the third shut-out suffered in five games – and has lost four out of five.

Second straight loss for Avtomobilist

Spartak Moscow 4 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 3 OT (0-1, 1-2, 2-0, 1-0)

Avtomobilist suffered back-to-back losses for the first time this season after giving up 2-0 and 3-1 leads in Moscow.

Photo: 14.11.18. KHL Championship 2018-2019. Spartak (Moscow) - Avtomobilist (Yekaterinburg)

Two Dan Sexton goals sandwiched an Artyom Gareyev effort for the visitor, while Nikita Tryamkin collected two assists on his return to fitness. But Spartak rallied in the third period and two goals from Alexander Khokhlachyov tied the game.

Overtime was also full of incident. Spartak’s Martins Karsums had a chance to win it with a penalty shot after Vladimir Sokhatsky pushed his net off its moorings; the goalie redeemed himself by denying the Latvian forward. Then, with a shoot-out looming, Khokhlachyov turned provider as Vyacheslav Leshchenko grabbed a dramatic winner. For Avtomobilist, the absence of first-choice goalie Jakub Kovar is looking costly: two defeats in two games without him has tarnished the aura of invincibility surrounding the league leader.

Dynamo rips up the form book

Avangard Omsk 0 Dynamo Moscow 4 (0-1, 0-2, 0-1)

Dynamo, struggling to get into the playoff places in the Western Conference, made the short trip to Avangard’s temporary home in Balashikha and pulled off a surprise win against the high flyer from the East.

Photo: 14.11.18. KHL Championship 2018-2019. Avangard (Omsk) - Dynamo (Moscow)

The game marked the debut of Maxim Pestushko, brought into the Blue-and-White roster to add some experience. Pestushko, a familiar face for Dynamo fans and a frequent colleague of head coach Vladimir Krikunov, had almost seven minutes on the ice in his first action since March 1 and enjoyed a victory against one of his former clubs.

But Dmitry Kagarlitsky was the game-breaker. He opened the scoring late in the first period and doubled the lead in the 26th minute. Moments later, Vladimir Bryukvin added a power play goal and Avangard faced a long road back into the game. It wasn’t to be. Alexander Yeryomenko made 35 saves to deny the home offense, Ivan Igumnov added a fourth late in the game.

Metallurg wears down Dinamo, Kulemin scores again

Dinamo Minsk 0 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 2 (0-0, 0-0, 0-2)

Dinamo Minsk, victorious against Traktor in Andrei Sidorenko’s first game in charge, battled hard in a bid for back-to-back wins against South Ural opposition. However, Magnitka had too much for the host and edged a victory in a game of few chances.

The first two periods were goalless and neither goalie was overworked. Vasily Koshechkin faced 10 shots for Metallurg, Jhonas Enroth was a little busier as Magnitka had 14 attempts. Dinamo’s game plan was to frustrate the visitor – and those efforts were paying off.

However, the visitor’s firepower told in the end. Nikolai Kulemin, he of the quickfire hat-trick at Spartak on Monday, broke the deadlock early in the third period. Dinamo threatened to tie it up on the power play, but Koshechkin kept the host at bay. Then, in the last minute, an empty-net goal from Dennis Rasmussen put the result beyond doubt.

Stoa settles a lively battle

Vityaz Moscow Region 3 Traktor Chelyabinsk 4 OT (0-1, 1-1, 2-1, 0-1)

Traktor left it late to save this game – but wasted no time in the extras to grab the victory.

Photo: 14.11.18. KHL Championship 2018-2019 Vityaz (Moscow Region) - Traktor (Chelyabinsk)

Nick Bailen got the tying goal at 58:29, saving his team from defeat in a game that it had led for much of the way. Then Ryan Stoa potted the decider 18 seconds into overtime, getting his second of the night and atoning for the foul that presented Vityaz with its only lead.

Stoa gave away the penalty shot that saw Alexander Semin make it 3-2 to the host with less than five minutes to play, seemingly completing a recovery from 0-2 down at the midway stage. Denis Kokarev and Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi brought the host level, but Vityaz could not hold on for the win.

Bocharov defeats Lokomotiv

HC Sochi 3 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 2 OT (0-1, 1-1, 1-0, 1-0)

Stanislav Bocharov was Sochi’s hero, while Alexander Polunin scored against his former club. Lokomotiv slipped up beside the Black Sea.

The visitor took an early lead through Czech defenseman Jakub Nakladal. That lasted until the second period, when Polunin made his point to his previous employers with the first tying goal. Loko hit back through Daniil Apalkov and that looked like it might be enough to win it – until Bocharov got busy.

The forward tied the game with 55 seconds left as Sochi enjoyed a spell of 6-on-3 pressure. Grigory Denisenko’s match penalty was followed by a minor for Andrei Loktionov, and goalie Konstantin Barulin headed to the bench in favor of an extra attacker. Another penalty in overtime saw Bocharov strike grab the winner; Robert Rosen and Jyrki Jokipakka assisted on both goals.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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