Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Avtomobilist made it five wins from five at the start of the season as Jakub Kovar blanked Salavat Yulaev in Ufa. There were two other five-star shows, with Lokomotiv and Spartak scoring five apiece against Dynamo Moscow and Dinamo Riga respectively. Sibir completed a miserable day for the Dinamo teams with a 3-2 win in Minsk before a shoot-out saw Vityaz beat Sochi in Podolsk.

Avtomobilist crashes Ufa’s party

Salavat Yulaev Ufa 0 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 2 (0-1, 0-0, 0-1)

Goals: 0-1 Dawes (Obidin, Vasilevsky 12:04); 0-2 Sexton (Platt, Holland 57:44)

Goalies: Metsola – Kovar

The first home game of the season for Salavat Yulaev was set up as a festive occasion for Ufa’s hockey fans. It was a first chance for many to get a look at the refurbished Ufa Arena, redecorated in green and bearing the images of club legends past and present. An acrobatic show before the game added to the atmosphere, while home fans unfurled a specially designed banner reminding Avtomobilist how its playoff hopes ended here last season.

Photo: 12.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Salavat Yulaev (Ufa) - Avtomobilist (Yekaterinburg)

Nikolai Tsulygin’s team was inspired by that reception and made the brighter start to the game but failed to find a way past Jakub Kovar in the visitor’s net. And when Avtomobilist got a power play chance, Salavat Yulaev was punished. Nigel Dawes reacted first as the puck bounced off the boards, Juha Metsola could not deny the experienced forward. Dawes might have had a second later in the frame, but this time the Finn pulled off a fine save.

In the middle session the teams continued to trade chances. Avto gradually took control of the game, looking better equipped to build offense around Metsola’s net, although Kovar was unable to relax too much at the other end.

Kovar had more work to do in the third period as Ufa did all it could to tie the game. But the visitor defended stoutly and the goalie was equal to all that the men in green could throw at him. The Czech international made 36 stops for his shut-out, Dan Sexton added a late goal to kill off Salavat’s hopes of recovery.

Loko’s youngsters impress

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 5 Dynamo Moscow 2 (1-1, 2-0, 2-1)

Goals: 1-0 Misyul (Kraskovsky 15:33); 1-1 Shipachyov (Lyamin, Petersson 19:23); 2-1 Alexeyev (Sannikov, Rafikov 28:21); 3-1 Lander (Rattie 28:51); 4-1 Rafikov (Averin, Apalkov 42:02 PP); 5-1 Kudryavtsev (Kraskovsky 54:33); 5-2 Igor Polygalov (Hietanen, Moiseyev 57:01)

Goalies: Lazushin – Yeryomenko

Two goals in a minute midway through the second period lifted Lokomotiv to a comfortable victory over Dynamo Moscow. After beginning the season with back-to-back losses, Craig MacTavish and his team have now recorded two successive victories. For Dynamo, the reverse is the case: three straight wins from the start and now two defeats on the spin.

Photo: 12.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) - Dynamo (Moscow)

The home team took time to settle into the game but moved ahead towards the end of an evenly matched first period. Daniil Misyul, yet another talented prospect to emerge through the Lokomotiv system, got his first goal of the season to put the host in front, but Vadim Shipachyov tied the game seconds before the intermission.

It wasn’t until the middle of the second session that we saw the game-breaking play. First, Loko regained the lead thanks to a wrister from another youngster, Denis Alexeyev. Half a minute later, Anton Lander got his first for Lokomotiv to make it 3-1. The Swede’s goal was somewhat unusual, though. After collecting the puck in the corner he fired it to the slot, only for Alexander Yeryomenko to misread the flight and steer it into his own net with his stick.

Rushan Rafikov, a relative veteran at the tender age of 24, added a power play goal at the start of the third to make it 4-1 before the teams traded late goals to make the final scoreline 5-2 to Loko.

Shoot-out success keeps Vityaz flying high

Vityaz Moscow Region 3 HC Sochi 2 SO (1-0, 0-0, 1-2, 0-0, 1-0)

Goals: 1-0 Petrakov (Makeyev, Voronkov 3:20 PP); 1-1 Rosen (Stromvall, Ellis 43:25); 2-1 Grebenshchikov (Aaltonen 47:36 PP); 2-2 Gordeyev (Alexandrov 53:46); 3-2 Mons (65:00 penalty shot)

Goalies: Ezhov – Shikin (Proskuryakov 65:00)

Vityaz made it four wins from five games this season, but needed a shoot-out to take down Sochi.

The home team came into the game in encouraging form and took an early lead through Ivan Petrakov. The 25-year-old has spent most of his career in the VHL and this was his first goal in the KHL since October 2017.

However, it wasn’t the start of a dominant home performance. Sochi was willing to match Vityaz chance for chance as the game remained poised on that single fourth-minute marker. Fully 40 minutes later we saw another goal as Robert Rosen tied the scores. However, ex-Sochi man Svyatoslav Grebenshchikov quickly restored the home advantage with a power play tally to take him to four for the season.

Time was beginning to run out for Sochi, but rookie defenseman Mikhail Gordeyev came to the rescue with a tying goal. The 19-year-old made his KHL debut at the start of the season after a solid JHL campaign with Kapitan Stupino last season, and he came up with his first senior goal at the perfect time to force overtime.

There was no further scoring and Sochi introduced shoot-out specialist Ilya Proskuryakov to guard the net. He was beaten twice, however, as Evgeny Mons gave the home team the verdict.

Revenge for Spartak, redemption for Khomchenko

Spartak Moscow 5 Dinamo Riga 1 (0-0, 3-1, 2-0)

Goals: 0-1 Alisauskas (J. Berglund, McMillan 24:09); 1-1 Kuteikin (Stolyarov, Rylov 28:48 PP); 2-1 Talaluyev (Goncharov, Kulik 29:27); 3-1 Daugavins (Rylov 32:40); 4-1 Karsums (Rylov 40:44); 5-1 Hanzl (Nikontsev 54:34)

Goalies: Khomchenko – Gudlevskis

Spartak got revenge for its opening game loss in Latvia by inflicting a big loss on Dinamo when the teams met again in Moscow.

Photo: 12.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Spartak (Moscow) - Dinamo (Riga)

Young goalie Pavel Khomchenko was given the start – a big vote of confidence after his error in overtime cost Spartak the game against Avangard last time out – and he proved his worth in a goalless first period that saw the visitor have more of the chances. Dinamo finally found a way past Khomchenko early in the second through Nerijus Alisauskas, but that was the highlight of the game for the Latvians.

Two goals in a minute midway through the middle period turned the tide decisively in Spartak’s favor. Andrei Kuteikin tied it up on the power play before Ilya Talaluyev put the home team in front. After that, the Red-and-Whites never looked back. Rubbing salt into Latvian wounds, two former Dinamo players added to the scoring. Kaspars Daugavins made it 3-1 midway through the second and Martins Karsums added a fourth at the start of the final frame. Karsums now has two goals in two games against Riga.

Ruohomaa outshines debut goal from Prince

Dinamo Minsk 2 Sibir Novosibirsk 3 (1-1, 0-1, 1-1)

Goals: 1-0 Prince (Pare, Kostitsyn 4:34); 1-1 Ruohomaa (Jokipakka 16:31 PP); 1-2 Ruohomaa (Puustinen, Morozov 30:56); 1-3 Milovzorov (Kazakov, Loginov 48:48 PP); 2-3 Gragnani (Shore 59:16)

Goalies: Osipkov – Sateri

Shane Prince scored on his debut for Dinamo Minsk, but it was the forward’s former club that left Belarus with the win thanks to two goals from Mikael Ruohomaa.

Prince opened the scoring here in the fifth minute, claiming a debut goal just as he did on joining Sibir in November. On that occasion, he helped his new club to victory but today he found himself on the losing side. Finnish forward Ruohomaa turned the game in Sibir’s favor, tying the scores on the power play then putting the visitor in front midway through the game.

Another power play goal, this time from Yegor Milovzorov, increased Sibir’s advantage before Marc-Andre Gragnani, back Dinamo after a season in China, pulled one back late on. That set up a frantic final minute, but Sibir held on to take the win.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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