Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Almaty, Kazakhstan, became the 46th city to host a KHL game when Barys took on Spartak in the country’s former capital. A capacity crowd of over 12,000 saw a 3-0 win for the home team. In Ufa, Teemu Hartikainen celebrated his 400th game for Salavat Yulaev with a goal in a 3-2 win over Kunlun. SKA went second in the West with a narrow win at Sochi, Dmitrij Jaskin got his first KHL goal for Dynamo in a 4-2 success against Admiral. Peter Holland’s overtime winner makes it seven wins from seven for league leader Avtomobilist.

Barys triumphs on Almaty trip

Barys Nur-Sultan 3 Spartak Moscow 0 (0-0, 2-0, 1-0)

Goals: 1-0 Boyd (Blacker, Pakarinen 34:15); 2-0 Knight (Metalnikov, Starchenko 37:15); 3-0 Boyd (Tangradi, Pakarinen 41:39 PP)

Goalies: Karlsson – Khomchenko

Barys took the KHL on tour to Almaty and was rewarded with a big crowd and an impressive victory over Spartak. The Kazakh team is playing two games in the country’s second city to mark the 165th anniversary of its founding and bring top-level hockey to the arena constructed for the 2017 Winter Universiade.

Photo: 17.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Barys (Nur-Sultan) - Spartak (Moscow)

And the initiative has certainly won favor in Kazakhstan’s historic capital: a capacity crowd just over 12,000 filled the arena and got behind Barys from the moment the puck was dropped. The home team had little difficulty acclimatizing to new surroundings and only a brave display from Spartak goalie Pavel Khomchenko kept the game goalless in the first period.

Spartak came to Kazakhstan without head coach Oleg Znarok, who remained in Moscow due to illness. Harijs Vitolins took charge of the team but could not find a way to change the course of the game. Barys continued to dominate but had to wait until its first power play of the night to open the scoring in the 35th minute. Dustin Boyd was the scorer, redirecting a Jesse Blacker shot to earn himself a small niche in history as the first KHL goalscorer here. Corban Knight extended the lead three minutes later and the outcome seemed more or less clear.

Any possible doubts were ended at the start of the third period when Boyd potted a second power play goal. The crowd responded with jubilation, sending waves sweeping around the arena as the team closed out a convincing win.

Penalty trouble sinks Red Star

Salavat Yulaev Ufa 3 Kunlun Red Star 2 (0-0, 1-2, 2-0)

Goals: 0-1 Wong (Cracknell, Miller 20:08); 1-1 Hartikainen (Omark 20:46); 1-2 Cracknell (Hrubec 39:43); 2-2 Soshnikov (Baranov 45:10); 3-2 Larsen (Omark 57:21 PP)

Goalies: Kareyev (Metsola 40:00) - Hrubec

A late power play goal from Philip Larsen settled an entertaining game between two opponents meeting for the third time. But Kunlun will be frustrated at losing a game after two soft penalties in quick succession handed Ufa the chance to get in front for the first time with less than three minutes to play.

After the home team had the better of a scoreless first period, Red Star produced the perfect start to the second. Straight from the face-off, Tyler Wong broke down the right and floated a shot from the boards that deceived Andrei Kareyev and found the top corner. However, the lead was shortlived: within a minute Teemu Hartikainen scored on a delayed penalty to mark his 400th KHL appearance with a goal. Red Star regained the lead in the last minute of the frame when Simon Hrubec’s clearance released Adam Cracknell and the forward rushed away to beat Kareyev with another shot from out wide.

That prompted a goaltending change and the incoming Juha Metsola made 10 saves in the third period to deny Kunlun any further goals. At the other end, Nikita Soshnikov kept up his strong start to the season when he spun and shot past Hrubec to tie the game. But the key moment was late in the game. Two penalties in quick succession gave Ufa a 5-on-3 advantage for 90 seconds; Larsen fired home a Linus Omark feed to convert that chance and win the game.

Avtomobilist maintains winning streak

Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 3 Avangard Omsk 2 OT (1-1, 1-0, 0-1, 1-0)

Goals: 1-0 Macek (7:22 SH); 1-1 Koshelev (Martynov, Pivtsakin 11:19); 2-1 Sexton (Kovar 38:10 PP); 2-2 Voynov (Semyonov 42:36); 3-2 Holland (Bodrov 62:16 PP)

Goalies: Kovar – Sudnitsin

Avtomobilist recorded its seventh successive victory to continue its winning start to the season – but it needed an overtime goal from summer signing Peter Holland to get the verdict over Avangard.

Photo: 17.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Avtomobilist (Yekaterinburg) - Avangard (Omsk)

Holland’s second goal of the season – the first also came in a 3-2 overtime win – struck in the 63rd minute with his team on the power play. Denis Bodrov’s shot was beaten away but Holland collected the puck on the goal line, cruised around to the top of the circle and fired inside Alexander Sudnitsin’s near post to settle the outcome.

In regulation, Avtomobilist led twice. Brooks Macek’s short-handed effort opened the scoring early on, but Semyon Koshelev quickly found an equalizer. Late in the second period, Dan Sexton scored a terrific coast-to-coast effort on the power play to restore the home lead but once again Avangard found a quick reply. This time it was Slava Voynov who fired over Kovar’s shoulder to record his first goal since April 2018. That took the game to overtime, but Avangard was unable to escape defeat.

Tikhomirov frustrates Neftekhimik

Torpedo Nizhny Novogorod 3 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 0 (2-0, 0-0, 1-0)

Goals: 1-0 Genoway (Schroeder, Zhafyarov 4:18 PP); 2-0 Misharin (Belevich 12:09); 3-0 Szczechura (Alyayev, Varfolomeyev 41:56 PP)

Goalies: Tikhomirov – Sharychenkov

Torpedo eased to a fourth successive victory with a solid performance at home to Neftekhimik. The visitor fired in 35 shots but found no way past Andrei Tikhomirov in the Torpedo net, even in a second period where it dominated long stretches. For the 24-year-old goalie, this was a second career shut-out in just his 22nd appearance in the KHL.

The game was won and lost early on. Chay Genoway’s power play goal in the fifth minute set the tone and when Georgy Misharin doubled the lead on 12:09 it was clear that Neftekhimik was going to find things tough.

To its credit, the visitor made a battle of it in the second period, outshooting Torpedo 14-6 and keeping Tikhomirov busy. However, when debutant Kerby Rychel took a tripping minor at the start of the final frame, Paul Szczechura added a third goal for the host and effectively ended the contest.

Jaskin’s first goal crowns Dynamo victory

Dynamo Moscow 4 Admiral Vladivostok 2 (0-1, 1-1, 3-0)

Goals: 0-1 Glazachev (Vikharev, Dyakov 2:09); 0-2 Vikharev (Voronin 34:31); 1-2 Kulyomin (Yefrimov, Moiseyev 37:10); 2-2 Indrasis (Jaskin 47:48 PP); 3-2 Mironov (Shipachyov 58:09); 4-2 Jaskin (Cajkovsky, Hietanen 58:25)

Goalies: Bocharov – Olkinuora

Dmitrij Jaskin got his first KHL goal to wrap up this win for Dynamo – but the home team left it late to see off Admiral. The Sailors opened a 2-0 lead in this game, with former Dynamo man Konstantin Glazachev opening the scoring in the third minute, but were sunk by two goals in the 59th minute.

Photo: 17.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Dynamo (Moscow) - Admiral (Vladivostok)

Andrei Mironov got the go-ahead goal on 58:09, smashing home a Vadim Shipachyov pass that displayed a fine understanding of geometry. Jaskin scored on the shell-shocked Juho Olkinuora 16 seconds later to put the game beyond doubt. The Czech international powered past two defensemen before squeezing a low shot through the goalie’s pads.

Earlier things were very different. Glazachev’s opener was followed by a Denis Vikharev effort in the middle frame to leave the home team in danger. Vyacheslav Kulyomin got one back before the second intermission and Jaskin had an assist as Miks Indrasis tied the scores with a power play effort midway through the third. But the game was in the balance until the late double blast.

Melnichuk’s first shut-out denies Sochi

HC Sochi 0 SKA St. Petersburg (0-1, 0-0, 0-0)

Goal: 0-1 Lehtera (Plotnikov, Tkachyov 9:12)

Goalies: Shikin – Melnichuk

Alexei Melnichuk’s first KHL shut-out secured a tight win for SKA and lifted Alexei Kudashov’s team to second place in the Western Conference. The 21-year-old started for the second time this season and stopped 16 shots to stifle the home offense. He was preferred to former Sochi man Pyotr Kochetkov, who watched this game from the bench.

The only goal came from SKA’s first line: Sergei Plotnikov stopped Sochi from clearing its lines, Vladimir Tkachyov took the puck into dangerous territory and fed Jori Lehtera on the slot for the game-winner.

That was in the 10th minute of a first period dominated by SKA. Subsequently, Sochi managed to be more competitive but rarely threatened to find a way back into the game. The southern team slipped to a fourth loss in five games.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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