Andy Potts Andy Potts
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The final day of the Latvian Railways Cup brought a gold-medal showdown between Dinamo Riga and Ak Bars. The two teams were unbeaten in their previous three games, setting up a winner-takes-all clash in the Latvian capital. The game lived up to the billing, and the home crowd had plenty to celebrate after Dinamo edged a 3-2 verdict. Earlier, Dinamo Minsk’s power play put the pressure on Lokomotiv, but the Railwaymen secured a 5-3 victory.

Minsk gets goals, but can’t find a win

Dinamo Minsk had already suffered three losses in Riga and scored just one goal along the way. And in the early stages it seemed that the Belarusians were in for another long afternoon against Lokomotiv. The Railwaymen jumped to a 2-0 lead midway through the second period and seemed to be on course for a routine victory.

Then everything changed. Jakub Nakladal took a high-sticking minor and Stefan Elliott reduced the deficit. Next, Anton Lander got a major for roughing and was ejected from the game. Within 30 seconds, Artyom Demkov and Francis Pare turned the game around to put Dinamo 3-2 in front with one period left to play.

But that double blast drew a response in kind. Late in the third frame, Lokomotiv grabbed two goals in 26 seconds through Artyom Kayumov and Alexander Polunin did the damage before Kayumov’s empty netter wrapped it up.

Dinamo Minsk 3 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 5 (0-1, 3-1, 0-3)

Goals: Lander (Osipov, Averin 18:41); 0-2 Kudryavtsev (Kronwall, Alexeyev 28:15 PP); 1-2 Elliott (Shore, Gotovets 33:41 PP); 2-2 Demkov (Kostitsyn, Stepanov 36:06 PP); Pare (Shore, Gragnani 36:32 PP); Kayumov (Rattie 54:20); 3-4 Polunin (Kraskovsky 54:46); 3-5 Kayumov (Kronwall 59:54 empty net)

Goalies: Enroth – Konovalov

Riga takes top spot

Dinamo Riga head coach Girts Ankipans boosted his team for this decisive game, bringing back first-choice goalie Kristers Gudlevskis and restoring his leading summer scorers Carter Ashton and David Ullstrom to the team.

His opposite number, Dmitry Kvartalnov, also went with a strong team as both outfits looked to claim the silverware in this clash of the two unbeaten teams. All of his top players were involved, including Danis Zaripov and Swedish defenseman Mikael Wikstrand, the star of the previous game. Ak Bars also switched goalies midway through the game, starting with Adam Reideborn and ending with Timur Bilyalov.

That looked like a pre-planned change: when it happened the game was tied at 1-1 and the early exchange of goals was a distant memory as neither side created too many threatening moments. The play seemed to suit the host more and Dinamo moved to a two-goal lead midway through the third period. There was one final surge as Ak Bars fought to save the game in the closing stages but, despite a last-minute goal from Andrei Pedan, Dinamo held on to take the honors.

Dinamo Riga 3 Ak Bars Kazan 2 (1-1, 1-0, 1-1)

Goals: 1-0 Dzerins (Marenis, Gillies 1:29; 1-1 Abrosimov (Lukoyanov, Mikheyev 2:19); 2-1 Darzins (Marshall, Redlihs 38:10; 3-1 MacMillan (Berglund 51:39); 3-2 Pedan (Cormier, Zaripov 59:40)

Goalies: Gudlevskis – Reideborn (Bilyalov 32:48)

Andy Potts Andy Potts
exclusive for khl.ru

Related clubs

Ak Bars (Kazan) Ak Bars (Kazan)
Dinamo (Minsk) Dinamo (Minsk)
Dinamo (Riga) Dinamo (Riga)
Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)

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