Malte Stromwall was one of several HC Sochi players who took part in all four games in St. Petersburg. The Swede celebrated his 25thbirthday here and awarded himself two gifts with goals against SKA and Severstal. Against Jokerit, Sergei Zubov put Stromwall into the first line, but a third goal was not forthcoming.
Instead, Stepan Starkov and Andrei Altybarmakyan helped Sochi get ahead in a game the team had to win to have a chance of claiming second place in the tournament. In between, Jokerit hit back with a goal from Alex Grant but as the Finns looked to force overtime they withdrew Antti Niemi from the net, despite playing on the PK, and were punished when Sean Collins stole the puck and deposited into the unguarded target.
The win lifted Sochi into second in the table, but Avangard was still in with a chance of overtaking the Black Sea team if it could defeat table-topping SKA in the concluding game of the event.
Jokerit Helsinki 1 HC Sochi 3 (0-1, 0-0, 1-2)
Goals: 0-1 Starkov (Kapustin 3:53); 1-1 Grant (Hapala 40:36); 1-2 Altybarmakyan (47:25 PP); 1-3 Collins (59:25 empty net)
Goalies: Niemi – Shikin
On Sunday SKA secured victory in the Puchkov Tournament with one game to spare, but there was no sign of anyone relaxing in Monday’s dead rubber against Avangard. Alexei Kudashov restored his strike trio of Tkachyov, Lehtera and Plotnikov to make it clear he was taking the game seriously, but the decision to start with young Pyotr Kochetkov in goal raised some eyebrows.
After a goalless first period, Vladimir Tkachyov got the crowd excited with a fine goal. Bursting into the Avangard zone at speed, he fired the puck into the top corner. Alexander Dergachyov doubled the lead before Andrei Stas potted a late consolation for Avangard.
SKA St. Petersburg 2 Avangard Omsk 1 (0-0, 2-0, 0-1)
Goals: 1-0 Tkachyov (Plotnikov, Lehtera 31:17); 2-0 Dergachyov (Koskiranta 38:47); 2-1 Stas (Chudinov 51:02)
Goalies: Kochetkov – Bobkov
While most teams head back to a final pre-season camp, Salavat Yulaev has set up three more games between now and August 29. This was the first of two meetings with Neftekhimik, another game against Avtomobilist will complete the set. Ufa’s last game was back on August 18 and ended in a 1-2 reverse against Traktor, albeit after sending out a youthful roster. Today, it was back to full strength with Juha Metsola in goal and a top line of Teemu Hartikainen, Sakari Manninen and Linus Omark. That trio combined for the opening goal on a power play midway through the first period.
Neftekhimik’s last game was on Aug. 22 and the 6-2 win over VVS was its first of the summer. There were few changes to that line-up, although Alexander Sharychenkov was preferred in goal over Konstantin Barulin. The first line was unchanged: Alexander Avtsin – Zach Mitchell – Matt White.
Manninen doubled the lead seconds into the middle frame and Mikhail Pashnin gobbled up a dish from Alexander Kadeikin to make it 3-0 at the second intermission. Alexander Avtsin got one back for Neftekhimik in the third, but Pavel Koledov added a fourth as Salavat Yulaev eased to victory.
Salavat Yulaev Ufa 4 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 1 (1-0, 2-0, 1-1)
Goals: 1-0 Hartikainen (Omark, Manninen 8:11 PP); 2-0 Manninen (Omark 20:21); 3-0 Pashnin (Kadeikin 34:54); 3-1 Avtsin (52:30); 4-1 Koledov (Hartikainen, Mayorov 56:58)
Goalies: Metsola – Sharychenkov