Andy Potts Andy Potts
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The Sochi Hockey Open came to an end with Dinamo Riga defeating Russia ‘B’ to take second place while Slava Voynov helped Avangard beat SKA and escape the foot of the table at last. In Kazakhstan, Ak Bars bounced back from a heavy loss to edge Salavat Yulaev in the Green Derby before Barys romped to another high-scoring win. Dynamo Moscow defeated its namesake from Minsk, while Torpedo suffered a surprise loss to the VHL’s Khumo Tashkent in Nizhny Novgorod.

Sochi Hockey Open

Riga takes second place

Russia ‘B’, which saw Sochi end its hopes of winning the tournament, was still in contention for second place beside the Black Sea as it went into its final game. But that game, against Dinamo Riga, would be a battle for the silver medals with the Latvians capable of overtaking the Russians with a victory on the last day of competition.

Photo: 08.08.19. Sochi Hockey Open. Olympic Russia Team - Dinamo (Riga)

Oleg Bratash continued to rotate his Russia ‘B’ roster and rested Artyom Maltsev, Maxim Rasseikin, Nikita Rtishchev and Daniil Valitov. Pyotr Kochetkov was in goal following his assured display against Avangard. Dinamo recalled Maxim Tretyak, last seen in the wild 6-5 win over SKA.

As in the Avangard game, Kochetkov allowed an early goal. This time he was the only man left to deal with David Ullstrom’s break and the Swede won his duel to open the scoring. Ten minutes later, Ullstrom got his second as Dinamo went 2-0 up at the first intermission. That was Ullstrom’s fourth goal of the tournament.

The Russians rallied to tie the game on goals from Vladislav Kodola and Damir Zhafyarov but ended up losing out to an Andris Dzerins effort 10 minutes from the end. Russia ‘B’s last game of the tournament ended not only in defeat, but with the loss of Admiral defenseman Ivan Mishchenko. He was taken to hospital for a check after a heavy collision in the first period.

Russia ‘B’ 2 Dinamo Riga 3 (0-2, 1-0, 1-1)

Goals: 0-1 Ullstrom (7:27); 0-2 Ullstrom (Ashton, Marshall PP 17:05); 1-2 Kodola (Zaitsev, Mikhailov 22:01); 2-2 Zhafyarov (Kodola 49:26); 2-3 Dzerins (Marenis, Gillies) 49:53.

Goalies: Kochetkov – Tretyak

Oleg Bratash, head coach, Russia ‘B’

Today we came onto the ice and looked a bit nervous, we weren’t right in our heads. In the first period nothing went for us, neither the scoreline, nor the game. But I enjoyed the second and third periods and the guys deserve praise for that. Many of them had not previously played at KHL level before but they showed that they are ready for it. In general, we were happy with the outcome of this tournament.

Girts Ankipans, head coach, Dinamo Riga

I agree that the first period was great for us. But then we lost a bit of confidence. The main thing is that we found a way to win in the end. It’s definitely better than the game against Lokomotiv, where we lost right at the end. Throughout the tournament we were able to experiment with our lines. I’d like to thank the organizers for inviting us here.

Avangard condemns SKA to last place

When the organizers set the schedule for the tournament, they probably anticipated this last-day showdown as a potential title decider. Instead, Avangard took on SKA with the loser knowing it would likely finish bottom of the pile. With three losses from three games, Avangard was in a poor state. Head coach Bob Hartley said at the start that he didn’t want to rush new players into the team, but Sven Andrighetto debuted yesterday and today saw Slava Voynov appear for his new club for the first time, slotting in alongside Alexei Emelin.

Photo: 08.08.19. Sochi Hockey Open. SKA (St.Petersburg) - Avangard (Omsk)

We got a fast start, with three goals in the first 10 minutes. Then Andrighetto got his first point for Avangard, assisting as Denis Zernov made it 3-1 in the 15th minute. The Swiss also drew attention to himself with a misconduct penalty. The third period, in particular, scarcely resembled a pre-season game with the teams sharing 22 penalty minutes. Alexei Kudashov pulled his goalie in a bid to save the game but Pavel Dedunov fired into the empty net to give Avangard the win and send SKA to the foot of the table.

Alexei Kudashov, head coach, SKA

We gave up three goals at the start and we made it easy for the opposition to score. We wanted to put that right in the second and third periods but it didn’t happen. We saw plenty that we’ll look at in practice, we’ll keep on working.

Bob Hartley, head coach, Avangard

That’s the end of the first stage of our preparations, we’ve seen our new guys in some different situations. Today I was proud of how we looked on the ice. I was especially happy with our special teams, in particular when we played 3-on-5. Slava Voynov impressed me in his first game, I like how he’s progressing. Don’t forget, he wasn’t training regularly with any team last season. He’s a world class defenseman, he makes smart decisions on the ice and supports the offense well. Voynov will be a great addition for us.

SKA St. Petersburg 1 Avangard Omsk 4 (1-3, 0-0, 0-1)

Goals: 0-1 Pyanov (Stas 2:09); 1-1 Byvaltsev (6:35); 1-2 Shumakov (Dedunov 9:51); 1-3 Zernov (Andrighetto, Chudinov 14:24); 1-4 Dedunov (Emelin 58:46 empty net)

Goalies: Nalimov – Sudnitsin

Final standings

   Team  P  W  OTW  OTL  L  F-A  Pts
 1.  HC Sochi      4  2  2  0  0  9-4  8
 2.  Dinamo Riga  4       2     0  1  1  12-12          5    
 3.  Russia 'B'    4  2  0  1  1           11-7  5
 4.  Lokomotiv  4  2  0  0  2  7-11  4
 5.  Avangard  4  1  0  0  3  9-11  2
 6.  SKA  4  1  0  0  3  11-12  2

President of Kazakhstan Cup

Fast start sets up Ak Bars victory

Gameday two in Nur-Sultan saw the latest edition of the Green Derby between Ak Bars and Salavat Yulaev. After a 1-6 loss against Barys in game one, the Kazan team was eager to bounce back against an Ufa rival making its first appearance in the competition.

Ufa head coach Nikolai Tsulygin sent out a strong roster, with a debut for new signing Sakari Manninen. The ex-Jokerit man centered the first line. Dmitry Kvartnalnov made a handful of changes to his Ak Bars team.

Kvartalnov saw his men make a flying start. In the first minute, Vladimir Tkachyov celebrated his return to the first line with the opening goal of the game. Soon afterwards, Salavat Yulaev faced a five-minute penalty kill after Vladislav Kartayev’s stick went into Patrice Cormier’s face and Justin Azevedo took advantage to make it 2-0.

In the middle frame, Salavat was dominant but could not score until Nikita Soshnikov beat Timur Bilyalov in the 45th minute to bring the game back to life. Ak Bars held on, though, and recorded its first win at this tournament.

Ak Bars Kazan 2 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 1 (2-0, 0-0, 0-1)

Goals: 1-0 Tkachyov (0:45); 2-0 Azevedo (Frattin, Wikstrand 4:17 PP); 2-1 Soshnikov (Gareyev 44:17)

Goalies: Bilyalov – Metsola

Dmitry Kvartalnov, head coach, Ak Bars

We started well, we forced them to take penalties and we moved well. The first period was definitely a plus but after that the game changed. Luckily we held on to win a tough game. Right now we’re a long way from our best condition, from the right systems of play. But everything is going forward, it’s a work in progress and the guys are working hard.

Nikolai Tsulygin, head coach, Salavat Yulaev

If you forget about the first 10 minutes of the game, the team played well. Unfortunately, we couldn’t score and change the final outcome. But it’s only the start of the tournament: at home we’re used to bigger ice, here it’s a bit smaller. We were also seriously let down by our discipline. We spent almost half the period on the penalty kill.

High-scoring Barys wins again

Barys made it two wins from win in its home tournament, despite resting its top line after Wednesday’s emphatic victory over Ak Bars. Neftekhimik, which lost to Avtomobilist yesterday, also made extensive adjustments to its roster and, initially, looked to be on the way to an improved result.

Within seconds, Zack Mitchell pounced on a defensive error to give the visitor the lead and early in the third period Neftekhimik led 3-1. However, Barys rallied to score four unanswered goals – two of them from Dustin Boyd – and record another win.

Andrei Skabelka, head coach, Barys

That was a tough game. We couldn’t use many of the players who were involved against Ak Bars last night because they put so much effort and emotion into that game. We were behind for a long time but we improved with each period and in the end we managed to turn the outcome to our favor. The guys really hunted the puck in the offensive zone, worked hard, created good chances and managed to put them away.

Barys Nur-Sultan 5 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 3 (1-2, 2-1, 2-0)

Goals: 0-1 Mitchell (White 0:24); 0-2 Poryadin (Churkin, White 9:16 PP); 1-2 Mikhailis (Svedberg, Sagadeyev 13:47); 1-3 Avtsin (Khafizov, Shafigullin 24:33); 2-3 Yevdokimov (Gurkov 35:15 SH); 3-3 Boyd (Metalnikov 38:17 PP); 4-3 Boyd (Svedberg 47:29 PP); 5-3 Kleshchenko (59:46 empty net).

Goalies: Karlsson - Sharychenkov

    Team  P   W   OTW   OTL   L   F-A  Pts
 1.  Barys  2  2  0  0  0  11-4  6
 2.  Avtomobilist  1  1  0  0  0  5-1  3
 3.  Ak Bars  2  1  0  0  1  3-7  3
 4.  Salavat Yulaev    1  0  0  0  1  1-2  0
 5.  Neftekhimik  2  0  0  0  2  4-10  0

Nizhny Novgorod Governor’s Cup

Day two of the tournament began with a clash between Wednesday’s two winners – Dynamo Moscow and Dinamo Minsk. Both teams made extensive changes, and it was the Russians who came out on top.

Those new-look line-ups might explain why scoring chances were at a premium in the first period. Happily, the game warmed up in the second. Moscow converted its first power play midway through the game thanks to Daniil Tarasov, Minsk responded with a PP goal of its own from Igor Martynov. Subsequently, though, it was all Moscow. Juuso Hietanen restored the lead late in the middle frame and Tarasov got his second power play goal of the day to extend the advantage in the third.

Dynamo Moscow 4 Dinamo Minsk 1 (0-0, 2-1, 2-0)

Goals: 1-0 Tarasov (Petersson, Shipachyov 33:01 PP); 1-1 Martynov (Stepanov, Denisov 37:33 PP); 2-1 Hietanen (Tarasov, Petersson 38:57); 3-1 Tarasov (Shipachyov, Hietanen 42:34 PP), 4-1 Popov (58:56 empty net).

Goalies: Kuznetsov – Kulbakov

Khumo surprises Torpedo

VHL newcomer Khumo Tashkent got its first ever victory with a 3-0 success against tournament host Torpedo. David Nemirovsky made sweeping changes from the Torpedo team that lost to Dynamo Moscow last night and was able to welcome back crowd favorite Mikhail Varnakov after injury.

Photo: 08.08.19. Nizhny Novgorod Region Governor`s Cup. Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod) - Humo (Tashkent)

However, it was the Uzbek team that seized the early initiative and led 2-0 inside 15 minutes. The rest of the game saw Torpedo pouring forward in search of a way back but there was not so much as a consolation goal to celebrate.

Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 0 Khumo Tashkent 3 (0-2, 0-0, 0-1)

Goals: Mosharov (Belyakov 4:53); 0-2 Voronin (Sorokin 13:15 PP); 0-3 Valuisky (58:20 empty net)

Goalies: Molkov – Nechistovsky.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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