Andy Potts Andy Potts
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The final day of action in Moscow’s pre-season tournament generated a three-way tie of teams on four points. That prompted some confusion about the overall winner: Dynamo’s Twitter feed initially lamented that the cup had been close before updating a few minutes later to celebrate the ‘surprising but happy’ news that the Blue-and-Whites were, in fact, kings of Moscow. Spartak, meanwhile, failed to win a single game and recorded its worst ever result at the Mayor of Moscow Cup.

Victory over Spartak gives Vityaz a chance

Going into the final day, Vityaz knew that it was in with a chance of victory in the tournament if it could beat Spartak in regulation and then get help from CSKA in the evening game against Dynamo. In a situation where the overall result was out of their hands, Mikhail Kravets men went out and did what they had to do.

Photo: 25.08.19. Moscow mayor cup. Spartak (Moscow) - Vityaz (Moscow Region)

The first period had few chances. Vityaz newcomer Ivan Larichev dinged one off the piping, while Spartak’s Patrik Hersley clipped the crossbar in response. But a match penalty for Maxim Goncharov right on the hooter presented Vityaz with the chance to snatch the initiative at the start of the second period. And so it proved: Alexander Semin looked for Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi on the slot but the puck went straight to Alexei Makeyev whose one-timer flew in at the near post. Makeyev thought he had another at the end of the second period, but the officials ruled it out for a foul by Larichev.

The start of the second period brought contrasting fortunes for the goalies. At one end, Alexander Samonov pulled off one of the saves of the summer to deny Martins Karsums; at the other, Julius Hudacek blundered when he allowed a shot to squeeze through his kit for Pavel Chernov to tap in. Late in the game, Denis Kokarev got Spartak on the scoresheet but there was nothing more for the Red-and-Whites. Spartak finished dead last, without a point and with just four goals scored.

The result meant Vityaz had to wait for the outcome of the evening game. A two-goal (or better) win for CSKA would make Vityaz champion for the first time ever; a seven-goal victory for the Army Men would give it the prize.

Spartak Moscow 1 Vityaz Moscow Region 2 (0-0, 0-1, 1-1)

Goals: Makeyev (Semin 20:39 PP); 0-2 Chernov (Stasenko, Grebenshchikov 48:05); 1-2 Kokarev (Stolyarov, Vishnevsky 59:05)

Goalies: Hudacek – Samonov

Oleg Znarok, head coach, Spartak

I usual, my team finished last in this tournament. It’s nothing to get excited about. Today we skated better than in the previous game, we just didn’t manage to get back into it. The only thing I’m worried about at the moment is our power play. We’re paying a lot of attention to this and in practice it’s looking quite good but despite that we’ve only managed one power play goal in the whole of pre-season. I think we’ll get over that soon.

We’re still working on our defense. In the last three games we allowed five, four and two goals. Our discipline isn’t quite right either. By my reckoning we took 16 penalties that cost us six goals, and that’s not counting today’s game.

Mikhail Kravets, head coach, Vityaz

We made too many mistakes today but luck was on our side. The guys battled, they gave us everything and, most important, they stood up on the PK and got us the win. I have to admit that Spartak had more of the initiative.

It’s still early to talk about which goalie will be our starter. We wanted to test Samonov in two games and he did really well, especially today. Overall, the whole tournament was a try-out, it’s given us a boost, a bit more confidence. But our next games are the most important, starting on Sep. 2.

Dynamo loses, then wins

Realistically, CSKA was never likely to produce the seven-goal victory it needed to win the cup. However, the Army Men were more than capable of denying city rival Dynamo the crown with a two-goal margin and, more importantly, needed to bounce back from yesterday’s 0-5 loss to Vityaz. The Blue-and-Whites, meanwhile, could settle everything with an overtime loss or better.

Photo: 25.08.19. Moscow mayor cup. CSKA (Moscow) - Dynamo (Moscow)

After a scoreless first period, with CSKA shading the play, Dynamo got its first big chance on the power play early in the second. Juuso Hietanen dinged one off the bar and the echoes had barely died around the arena before Ivan Igumnov made it 1-0 off a no-look pass from Dmitry Jaskin. However, it wasn’t long before Artyom Chmykhov tied the game and CSKA went ahead at the start of the third when a kind bounce in center ice wrong-footed the defense. Linden Vey’s pass set up Jiri Sekac for what proved to be the game-winner.

In the closing stages, the Army Men came close to grabbing the third goal that would have sent the cup to Vityaz, but Dynamo was able to stay within one goal of its opponent and, once all the numbers were crunched, learned that it had won the cup. The sums were more complicated than usual. Not only did three teams finish with equal points, Dynamo and Vityaz had an equal goal differential (+2) in games between those three. The tie breaker was total goals in the tournament and there, Dynamo led 9-8 and took the prize. Had it been resolved by goals scored in games between the three teams tied on four points, Vityaz would have claimed the cup; instead Vladimir Krikunov added this honor to his record for the first time in his career.

Dynamo Moscow 1 CSKA Moscow 2 (0-0, 1-1, 0-1)

Goals: 1-0 Igumnov (Hietanen, Jaskin 23:33 PP); 1-1 Chmykhov (Telegin, Kiselevich 26:43); 1-2 Sekac (Vey 44:39)

Goalies: Bocharov – Johansson

Artyom Chmykhov, defenseman, CSKA

My partners did well to create a good chance for me to get my goal. But, honestly, I can’t say that scoring is my key role on the team. Afterwards the guys were even teasing me because I didn’t celebrate, they wondered if I wasn’t happy about it! This pre-season we had a fairly hard workout. Unlike last year, the load was spread differently. I think we’re going into the season in good shape.

Ivan Igumnov, forward, Dynamo

It’s nice to win any cup, but especially this one. We weren’t looking at the permutations going into the game, we just went out to try to win.

My goal was a power play chance. Dmitry Jaskin did well in the slot and set up practically an open goal for me. Jaskin’s a huge player with a great shot and he’s great in the slot. It’s easy to play alongside him.

I think we’re ready for the season. We have a few guys with injuries but I think by September they will be better and we’ll be fully ready for the fight.


   Team  P  OTW  OTL  L  F-A  Pts
 1.  Dynamo    3  2  0  0  1  9-4  4
 2.  Vityaz  3  2  0  0  1  8-5  4
 3.  CSKA  3  2  0  0  1  7-8  4
 4.  Spartak  3  0  0  0  3  4-11    0
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Vityaz (Moscow Region) Vityaz (Moscow Region)
Spartak (Moscow) Spartak (Moscow)
HC Dynamo (Moscow) HC Dynamo (Moscow)
CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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