HC Sochi took a firm grip on a playoff place with a victory in Minsk. The result lifts the Leopards to seventh place, a point ahead of Vityaz and four points clear of ninth-placed Dinamo Riga. Both rivals for a top-eight finish have three games to play.
However, the game was less comfortable than the scoreline might suggest. Dinamo had the better of a goalless opening session before Sochi went ahead early in the second through Jyrki Jokipakka. However, Sochi would manage just three shots on goal in the middle frame while Konstantin Barulin made 11 saves at the other end. One of those three attempts proved successful, though, as Eric O’Dell scored a short-handed goal on 27 minutes to double the lead.
The third period saw Dinamo get a goal back with five minutes to play through Andrei Kostitsyn. However, the home team could not find a way to win the game and Stanislav Bocharov scored late on to seal Sochi’s victory. Bocharov finished with two points in the game and moves to 4 (2+2) points in his team’s last three victorious outings.