Goals: 1-0 Romantsev (Ruohomaa, Puustinen 9:11 PP); 1-1 Petrov (Cormier, Azevedo 11:15); 2-1 Romantsev (Korotkov 17:23); 3-1 Romantsev (Jokipakka, Peltola 25:39); 4-1 Chesalin (Milovzorov, Yermakov 32:18 PP); 4-2 Tkachyov (Fisenko, Yarullin 52:28 PP)
Goalies: Krasikov – Reideborn (Bilyalov 25:39)
Danil Romantsev opened his account for the season in impressive style, potting a hat-trick as Sibir halted Ak Bars’ winning run. The 26-year-old finally established himself in the KHL last term, earning a place in Sibir’s team after dropping out of the league to play for Metallurg Novokuznetsk in the second tier and today he produced a game to remember against high-flying opposition.
His first goal came in the 10th minute. Sibir had a long spell of 5-on-3 play and Ak Bars had just seen one player leave the sin bin when Juuso Puustinen produced a beautiful pass to bamboozle the defense and set up Romantsev’s opener. The visitor responded quickly, with Kirill Petrov redirecting a Justin Azevedo shot for the equalizer, but Romantsev was on target again late in the frame when another great pass, this time from Nikita Korotkov, found him on the slot for his second of the night.
Early in the middle frame the forward completed his treble, finding Adam Reideborn’s top corner after a combination involving Finns Jyrki Jokipakka and Jukka Peltola. That was the end for the Swedish goalie: he allowed three goals from 10 shots as Romantsev needed barely 15 minutes to complete his hat-trick.
Incoming netminder Timur Bilyalov at least denied Romantsev any more goals but he too was beaten midway through the game when Evgeny Chesalin scored on the power play. Ak Bars rallied in the third, reducing the deficit thanks to a Vladimir Tkachyov goal and pressing Sibir during a 5-on-3 power play, but the home team closed the door and secured the win.
Goals: 0-1 White (Mitchell, Ryan 14:10 PP); 1-1 Popov (Karpukhin, Kosov 24:17 PP); 1-2 Bryntsev (Fazleyev 49:54)
Goalies: Demchenko – Sharychenkov
Neftekhimik snapped a four-game losing streak after Matt White’s first KHL goal set his team on its way in Chelyabinsk. Traktor, looking to consolidate its position at the upper end of the Eastern Conference, was without its two Czech stars, Tomas Hyka and Lukas Sedlak, but welcomed Christian Thomas back after injury.
White’s breakthrough came in the 15th minute after Neftekhimik gained a 5-on-3 advantage. The American added to his five helpers so far this season when he forced the puck past Vasily Demchenko. The host showed that it, too, could cash in on the power play when an Ilya Karpukhin shot was redirected by Andrei Popov at the start of the second period.
The decisive play came midway through the third when defenseman Alexander Bryntsev lasered a shot home from the face-off dot. Traktor redoubled its efforts around Alexander Sharychenkov’s net but could not salvage the game.
Goals: 1-0 Khokhlov (Yakimov, Markovin 9:55 PP); 2-0 Liska (Kodola, Khokhlov 20:44 PP); 3-0 Morozov (Rogov, Markovin 31:04); 4-0 Geraskin (Trubachyov, Vovchenko 51:25 PP); 5-0 Galimov (Alexeyev, Nikolishin 54:23 PP); 5-1 Darzins (K Berglund, Redlihs 56:20); 6-1 Galimov (Alexeyev 56:32)
Goalies: Podyapolsky – Gudlevskis
Severstal moved off the foot of the Western Conference with a comfortable victory at home to Dinamo Riga. The Latvians now find themselves in the basement after a third consecutive loss.
The Steelmen were rarely troubled in this one, taking control of the action in the early stages and opening the scoring on the first power play of the game through Ilya Khokhlov. Seconds after the intermission another power play goal saw Adam Liska doubled that advantage and Yegor Morozov further increased the lead midway through the game.
The Severstal power play clicked twice more in the third period as Igor Geraskin and Ansel Galimov found the net. The only disappointment for the host came late on when Lauris Darzins got a consolation goal to deny Podyapolsky his first shut-out since moving to Cherepovets from Ak Bars.
Goals: 0-1 Ikonen (Lepisto, Norman 4:07); 0-2 Moses (Haapala, Lehtonen 10:31 PP); 0-3 O’Neill (Ikonen 17:52); 1-3 Rafikov (da Costa, Rattie 39:27); 1-4 Grant (Haapala 58:03 empty net)
Goalies: Lazushin – Niemi
Some clinical finishing in the first period made the difference as Jokerit picked up an important win in a clash of two struggling teams. The Finns were 11th out of 12 in the Western Conference going into the game but the two points lift Lauri Marjamaki’s men above Lokomotiv.
It was also a big game for goalie Antti Niemi, who posted his first victory in the KHL. At the other end, there were signs of an improvement from Ilya Konovalov. The youngster has struggled in the early stages of this season but was sent into the game late in the first period and allowed no further goals. Despite ending on the losing side, the goalie’s performance should help to rebuild his confidence.
By the time he came to the crease in the 19th minute, though, his team-mate Alexander Lazushin had suffered an evening to forget. Loko had slightly the better of the play in a fairly even opening session, but Jokerit scored three goals from eight shots in the first period. Henri Ikonen got the first and a Steve Moses power play marker doubled the lead. Those both came from long shots that fell to visiting forwards for the decisive touch. Brian O’Neill added a third, firing home a one-timer after a quick counter-attack, and Loko was in trouble.
The home team dominated the middle frame, outshooting Jokerit 13-4 and getting on the scoreboard at last when Rushan Rafikov slotted home a backhand in the last minute of the session. But the Finns were confident of their ability to hold that lead and closed out the third period very effectively. A late empty-net goal from Alex Grant wrapped up a morale-boosting win; now the pressure increases on Craig MacTavish and Lokomotiv after a fifth loss this season puts the Railwaymen down to 11th in the West.
Goals: 0-1 Shalunov (Robinson, Okulov 8:24); 1-1 Tkachyov (Zub, Plotnikov 10:46); 1-2 Shalunov (Okulov, Robinson 25:31 PP); 2-2 Tkachyov (Lehtera 34:55 PP)
Goalies: Melnichuk – Sorokin
CSKA took the honors in the latest battle of the KHL’s army teams, edging a shoot-out verdict in a hard-fought affair beside the Neva.
This was already the second meeting of the Army Men in Petersburg. The first ended in a 3-0 win for Moscow 10 days ago; with SKA looking to bounce back from defeat against Vityaz 24 hours earlier, the second was much closer. The teams were locked at 2-2 after 65 minutes, but visiting goalie Ilya Sorokin stoned the host in the shoot-out to ensure that Linden Vey’s successful attempt at the start of the sequence was enough to settle the outcome.
Regulation time was a tale of two doubles. Maxim Shalunov twice gave CSKA the lead, Vladimir Tkachyov twice hauled SKA back on level terms. The opener came in the ninth minute when Shalunov put away the rebound from his own attempt to beat Alexei Melnichuk. But the lead did not last long; Tkachyov responded a couple of minutes later when he fired home from the left face-off spot.
SKA had more chances in the opening stanza but was destined to fall behind again when the Muscovites got on the power play early in the second. A Mat Robinson point shot was blocked but Shalunov was again the fastest to react and force the puck home. SKA hit back as Tkachyov matched Shalunov’s double. His second of the night came just five seconds into a power play late in the second period when he collected the puck following the face off and found few obstacles on his path to the goal line where an angled finish beat Sorokin. It was the first time CSKA had failed to kill a penalty since the opening day of the season.
CSKA had the puck in the net once more when Mikhail Grigorenko fired home as Kirill Kaprizov and David Rundblad grappled in front of Melnichuk. However, that one was ruled out when the video review found that Kaprizov had impeded the young goalie before Grigorenko shot the puck. And, with no scoring in overtime, the game went all the way to a shoot-out before Vey and Sorokin settled the outcome.