Andy Potts Andy Potts
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It was all change in Helsinki, where Jokerit got its first win of the season and sent Dinamo Riga spinning to its first loss. Traktor also tasted success for the first time in the current campaign after an overtime success at Amur, while Nikita Soshnikov’s scoring form helped Salavat Yulaev to victory at previously unbeaten Sibir. HC Sochi also lost its unbeaten record, going down at home to Ak Bars. Saturday’s results mean that only two teams remain unbeaten this season: Dynamo Moscow and Avtomobilist lead the way in West and East alike with three wins from three games. All four games on the program included tributes to the 44 players and staff of Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, killed in a plane crash on this date eight years ago as the team travelled to its opening game of the 2011/12 season.

Kruchinin makes the difference for Traktor

Amur Khabarovsk 1 Traktor Chelyabinsk 2 OT (0-0, 0-1, 1-0, 0-1)

Goals: 0-1 Glinkin (Kalinin, Karpukhin 38:01 PP); 1-1 Faizullin (H Zohorna, T Zohorna 46:01); 1-2 Kruchinin (Popov, Karpukhin 61:34)

Goalies: Langhamer – Fedotov

Alexei Kruchinin got his first goal following his return to Traktor – and handed his team its first win of the season. The forward, who learned the game in Chelyabinsk, spent last season with SKA St. Petersburg but struggled to cement a place in Ilya Vorobyov’s roster. After a frustrating season, which included time playing VHL hockey, he chose to return home to Traktor.

Photo: 07.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Amur (Khabarovsk) - Traktor (Chelyabinsk)

He then saw his team suffer a sluggish start to the season with back-to-back home losses dispersing much of the momentum of an impressive summer that brought two trophies. Finally, though, it came together in Khabarovsk. Traktor had the better of a 1-1 tie in regulation and won it in overtime thanks to Kruchinin. The forward produced a defense-splitting pass from his own zone to release Andrei Popov. The breakaway saw Amur reprieved by the post but, by the time the puck was back under control Kruchinin had skated up to join the attack and fire home the winning goal.

Earlier, Anton Glinkin’s power play marker had put the visitor in front late in the second period, only for Danil Faizullin to tie the game in the third.

Soshnikov leads Salavat to victory

Sibir Novosibirsk 1 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 3 (0-1, 1-2, 0-0)

Goals: 0-1 Soshnikov (Kugryshev 11:39); 0-2 Soshnikov (Larsen, Omark 31:22); Puustinen (37:19 PP); 1-3 Hartikainen (Larsen, Omark 39:14 PP)

Goalies: Sateri – Metsola

Nikita Soshnikov scored twice to take a share of the lead in this year’s scoring race. The 25-year-old forward, back in the KHL after four seasons in North America, moves to 5 (3+2) points for the season after leading his team to a 3-1 win at Sibir.

Photo: 07.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) - Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)

This clash between two Chernyshev Division rivals saw Sibir’s winning start to the season come to an end after Soshnikov beat Harri Sateri midway through the first and second periods to give his team a 2-0 lead. Late in the middle frame, the teams traded power play goals from their Finnish forwards. Juuso Puustinen reduced the deficit before Teemu Hartikainen restored Ufa’s two-goal cushion.

The third period was goalless and Juha Metsola finished with 32 saves in the game to get the win against his compatriot Sateri.

Jokerit impresses in big win over Riga

Jokerit Helsinki 7 Dinamo Riga 2 (2-0, 4-2, 1-0)

Goals: 1-0 Moses (Eronen 7:01); 2-0 Regin (Moses, Lehtonen 16:50 PP); 3-0 Kontiola (Lepisto, Haapala 20:20); 4-0 Jensen (Lepisto, Kontiola 26:30); 5-0 Lehtinen (Regin 32:18 PP); 5-1 J Berglund (Ullstrom, Tretyak 35:38 PP); 6-1 Jensen (Lepisto, Kontiola 37:50 PP); 6-2 J Berglund (Ullstrom, Ashton 38:06); 7-2 Oksanen (Haapala, Moses 48:22 PP)

Goalies: Kalnins – Gudlevskis (Tretyak 26:30)

If the Finns on display in Siberia had a good time, it was even better in Helsinki. Jokerit shrugged off a losing start to the season and produced a rampant display to demolish Dinamo Riga 7-2. The result was even more eye-catching because the Latvians had won their first two games of the season but Girts Ankipans’ men had no answers for Jokerit tonight.

The home team jumped to a 5-0 lead by the midway point in the game, prompting Dinamo to withdraw starting goalie Kristers Gudlevskis and give Maxim Tretyak his first action of the season. The grandson of goaltending legend Vladislav Tretyak was unable to do much about the final outcome of the game, but he did get his first ever point in the KHL with an assist on Jacob Berglund’s power play goal. Berglund, a summer signing from the DEL, got both the Riga markers in this game.

However, it was all about the Jokerit offense. Niklas Jensen led the way with two goals, Steve Moses and Petri Kontiola both contributed a goal and two assists, while Sami Lepisto had a hat-trick of helpers. Henrik Haapala got two assists to register his first points in the KHL while Janis Kalnins, starting ahead of Antti Niemi, collected his first win of the campaign against his former club.

Fast start sinks Sochi

HC Sochi 3 Ak Bars Kazan 6 (0-3, 2-2, 1-1)

Goals: 0-1 Voronkov (Petrov 1:42); 0-2 Petrov (Galimov 3:06); 0-3 Frattin (Wikstrand, Ozhiganov 3:58 PP); 0-4 Tkachyov (Galiyev 21:00); 1-4 Tochitsky (Altybarmakyan 21:44); 1-5 Wikstrand (Zhuravlyov, Osnovin 23:53); 2-5 Altybarmakyan (28:04); 3-5 Stromvall (Collins, Krikunov 49:04); 3-6 Osnovin (Galiyev 59:51 empty net)

Goalies: Proskuryakov (Shikin 3:58) – Reideborn

Three goals in four minutes blew away HC Sochi’s unbeaten start to the season as Ak Bars began this game like a whirlwind.

Photo: 07.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. HC Sochi (Sochi) - Ak Bars (Kazan)

Dmitry Voronkov started the rout after 102 seconds and it wasn’t long before Kirill Petrov added to his assist on that play by potting the second. On 3:58, Matt Frattin’s power play goal gave Ak Bars a 3-0 lead and brought an abrupt end to goalie Ilya Proskuryakov’s first KHL appearance for the Leopards.

The stats from the opening frame were decisive: 13-3 on the shot count for Ak Bars, 22-9 for attempts on goal. Sochi might have felt relieved to get to the intermission without further damage. But the start of the second period brought another blow as Vladimir Tkachyov added a fourth one minute into the frame. Finally, Sochi managed to recover something: Nikita Tochitsky pulled a goal back within a minute and the teams traded further goals in that middle session. Mikael Wikstrand got his first goal in the KHL for Ak Bars; the 2018 World Champion from Sweden fired in a wrister from the point and beat Dmitry Shikin through heavy traffic to make it 5-1 before Andrei Altybarmakyan gave Sochi something to shout about at the other end.

In the third period Malte Stromvall got his first goal for Sochi, tapping in the loose puck after Sean Collins’ feed was deflected on to the post by Ilya Krikunov and bounced around behind goalie Adam Reideborn. That gave the home team hope of salvaging something from the game, but Ak Bars effectively managed the closing stages to secure the win.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Ak Bars (Kazan) Ak Bars (Kazan)
Amur (Khabarovsk) Amur (Khabarovsk)
Dinamo (Riga) Dinamo (Riga)
Jokerit (Helsinki) Jokerit (Helsinki)
Salavat Yulaev (Ufa) Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)
Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)
HC Sochi (Sochi) HC Sochi (Sochi)
Traktor (Chelyabinsk) Traktor (Chelyabinsk)
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