Saturday brought two exhibition games involving KHL teams. In Vladivostok, the second instalment of the Far East derby saw Amur get rapid revenge with a 6-0 win over Admiral. Later in the day, Oleg Znarok took charge of his first game behind the bench with Spartak and oversaw a 2-1 victory at Czech team Verva Litvinov.

Znarok’s winning start

Spartak’s first pre-season opponent has plenty of KHL connections. Familiar names on the Litvinov roster included Jakub Petruzalek and Lukas Kaspar, while Spartak forward Robin Hanzl was up against his brother Martin.

But that was just the undercard: the headline act, without question, was the return of Oleg Znarok to a coaching role. The Olympic champion and multiple Gagarin Cup winner did not appear with any club last season but signed up with Spartak in the summer. He wasn’t able to use all of his new signings here: Patrik Hersley, Denis Kokarev and Yakov Rylov were all unavailable. Instead, he saw his new team’s first goal go to young forward Zakhar Shabolovsky, who grabbed a short-handed marker towards the end of the first period.

However, it wasn’t until the third period that the Red-and-Whites secured the win, with Gleb Shashkov snapping a 1-1 tie in the 52ndminute after a nice combination. Spartak’s next game is also in the Czech Republic. On Aug. 4 it goes to Hradec-Kralove to play HC Mountfield.


Verva Litvinov 1 Spartak Moscow 2 (0-1, 1-0, 0-1)

Goals: 0-1 Shabolovsky (SH, 14:36); 1-1 Doudera (Musak 28:10); 1-2 Shashkov (Tsyplakov, Leshchenko, 51:24)

Goalies: Janus - Hudacek

Amur bounces back

These teams met on Thursday and the outcome was decided by a solitary goal from Admiral’s Vasily Streltsov. Two days later, it was a very different story as Amur won emphatically. The visitor was still without scoring leader Tomas Zohorna and his brother Hynek and made one significant change as goalie Evgeny Alikin took over from Marek Langhamer. Admiral, meanwhile, opted to rest forwards Martin Bakos and Denis Vikharev after their bright start in pre-season.

Despite the final scoreline, surely none of the 2,450 spectators at the Fetisov Arena would dispute the claim that the first 30 minutes of the game were evenly matched. Amur got the opening goal on the power play late in the first period, but the action was competitive at both ends of the ice. But as the game entered its second half, everything changed. Amur scored twice in 80 seconds to take a firm grip on proceedings, then piled on the goals in the third with a flurry of three markers in 135 seconds to complete a comprehensive win. Igor Rudenkov was the star of the game, scoring one goal, converting a penalty shot for a second and collecting an assist.

Oddly enough, despite the one-sided scoreline, Admiral outshot Amur; at least in terms of attempts at goal (63-52). However, the Khabarovsk team was better at working goalie Juho Olkinuora and had the edge in efforts on target (35-27). And, of course, in terms of converting chances, there was only one team in it as Alikin secured a shut-out.


Admiral Vladivostok 0 Amur Khabarovsk 6 (0-1, 0-2, 0-3)

Goals: 0-1 Vasiliev (Golubov, Gorshkov PP, 16:39); 0-2 Lazarev (Vl. Ushenin, 30:29); 0-3 Rudenkov (Rasskazov SH, 31:49); 0-4 Rudenkov (43:30, penalty shot); 0-5 Zhelezkov (Kuznetsov, Koryagin, 44:46); 0-6 Rasskazov (Gorshkov, Rudenkov 45:45).

Goalies: Olkinuora – Alikin.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
Nikolay Chegorsky Nikolay Chegorsky
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