After a narrow win in the Green Derby, Ak Bars faced another grudge match against its local rival from Tatarstan, Neftekhimik. The Nizhnekamsk team allowed 11 goals in losing its first two games in Nur-Sultan and head coach Vyacheslav Butsayev rotated half the roster following last night’s loss to Barys. Dmitry Kvartalnov sent out his Ak Bars team with just two imports – defenseman Kristian Khenkel and goalie Adam Riedeborn.
Neftekhimik started brightly once again, taking a third-minute lead. But it wasn’t long before Vladimir Tkachyov tied the game and the middle frame saw a dominant Ak Bars take complete control of the encounter. Four unanswered goals on former Ak Bars goalie Konstantin Barulin settled the outcome; Danis Zaripov had a hand in three of them. In the third frame, Ak Bar ran into penalty trouble but Neftekhimik’s power play failed on all six opportunities as the team slumped to a third loss.
Ak Bars Kazan 5 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 1 (1-1, 4-0, 0-0)
Goals: 0-1 Bikmullin (Padakin 2:51); 1-1 Tkachyov (Yarullin 7:25); 2-1 Galiyev (Tkachyov, Zaripov 21:59); 3-1 Yarullin (Zaripov 25:11 PP); 4-1 Glukhov (Mikheyev, Abrosimov 28:13 PP); 5-1 Zaripov (Galiyev, Pedan 32:52)
Goalies: Riedeborn – Barulin
Adam Riedeborn, goalie, Ak Bars
We had a tough start, just like against Barys we lost a quick goal, so we had start over, to rediscover our rhythm. It’s good that in the end we managed to sort it out. The guys did well, they were strong on the PK and they took their chances at the other end. The second period was almost perfect, I didn’t have much work to do, we kept hold of the puck at their end of the ice. In the last few minutes we took too many penalties but, even so, we stopped them from scoring.
Vitaly Atyushov, defenseman, Neftekhimik
We started OK but in that second period it was like we were thinking this was going to be easy and, in reality, it was anything but. It was our third game in three days, but that’s nothing special: we rotated the roster, we can’t use that as an excuse. It was our own fault, we stopped battling, stopped doing the right things. In the third period we tried to do something on the power play, but it didn’t work out. Never mind, there’s still time and we can work on that.
The second game of the day saw Avtomobilist take on Salavat Yulaev. Andrei Martemyanov iced something close to a full strength line-up, with Nigel Dawes, Dan Sexton, Geoff Platt, Rafael Batyrshin and Alexander Kucheryavenko all featuring, along with goalie Jakub Kovar. Salavat Yulaev, defeated by Ak Bars the previous day, also made changes. Nikolai Tsulygin swapped eight players from yesterday’s roster.
In the ninth minute, a redirect from Geoff Platt’s stick gave the Canadian-born Belarusian international his first goal for Avtomobilist in tournament play. In the second period, a similar play saw Kucheryavenko double the lead before Salavat battled back to tie the scores in the third. Young Rodion Amirov got the 2-2 goal and it seemed that the momentum was with the Ufa team until a late intervention from Peter Holland gave Avto the win.
Salavat Yulaev Ufa 2 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 3 (0-1, 0-1, 2-1)
Goals: 0-1 Platt (Holland, Sexton 8:24); 0-2 Kucheryavenko (Belousov, Gurkin 29:43); 1-2 Mayorov (Kadeikin 42:33); 2-2 Amirov (Omark, Larsen 51:33); 2-3 Holland (Sexton 57:08).
Goalies: Metsola – Kovar
Peter Holland, forward, Avtomobilist
Both teams played well, even if there weren’t many goals. Salavat Yulaev did some great things on offense, they created so many chances, it was good to watch. I’m sure the fans here enjoyed what they saw. When it was 2-0 we eased up a little and let them back into the game. But we responded well and went in front again in the last few minutes. By the end of the game we were all tired, nobody wanted to go to overtime.
I’m pleased that I could contribute a goal and an assist to the team today but I’m still adapting to a new system and finding my way here. I owe a lot to these guys, they’re really helping with that.
Linus Omark, forward, Salavat Yulaev
Once again, we didn’t quite have enough to win it but that’s summer hockey, it’s not worth taking these results to heart. Of course, we need to play to win, that’s what we’re here for, but the way we play is just as important, even if we lose. I thought we looked better today, we created a lot of chances but we couldn’t find the way to put them in the net. I didn’t score for the second game running, but scoring in the regular season is way more important.
Sibir continues its pre-season camp in Finland by taking part in the Hameenlinna tournament. In the opening game, the KHL team defeated the host, HPK, in a shoot-out; game two was against Lahti’s Pelicans.
There were no big changes to the roster for this game. The Finnish strike trio of Puustinen, Ruohomaa and Peltola were together again, Harri Sateri continued in goal while the top line comprised Milovzorov – Khabarov – Alexeyev.
An even first period ended with Sibir allowing a goal but the intermission gave a chance to regroup. The visitor came out and turned the game around, with Jukka Peltola contributing a goal and an assist. However, for the second time in the game, Sibir allowed a short-handed goal as Pelicans tied the scores in the third. For the second game in a row we went to overtime. This time, Ruohomaa got the game-winner on the power play.
Pelicans Lahti 2 Sibir Novosibirsk 3 OT (1-0, 0-2, 1-0, 0-1)
Sibir goals: 1-1 Peltola (Loginov, Puustinen, 24:46); 2-1 Lofquist (Peltola, Ruohomaa 34:08); 2-3 Ruohomaa (63:42 PP).