Andy Potts Andy Potts
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The big news of the day came from Yaroslavl, where Lokomotiv confirmed that Mike Pelino would step up from his role as assistant coach to take charge of the Railwaymen following Craig MacTavish’s departure. The Canadian’s tenure began at home to Traktor, but there was no ‘new boss bounce’ as the visitor won 2-1. Ak Bars hit Avtomobilist for six in Yekaterinburg, Dynamo scored five on the road at Amur and CSKA also notched a quintet at home to Torpedo. Kunlun Red Star moved off the foot of the Eastern Conference after condemning Sochi to a seventh straight defeat.

Four-goal Tarasov lifts Dynamo

Amur Khabarovsk 1 Dynamo Moscow 5 (0-1, 0-3, 1-1)

Daniil Tarasov, promoted to Dynamo’s first line during the injury-enforced absence of Andre Petersson, smashed his goalscoring drought in fine style as the Muscovites overpowered Amur. The 28-year-old forward was without a goal all season, and only registered his first point of the campaign with an assist in Saturday’s win at Red Star. But today he fired home four goals to lead a crushing victory on the road.

Tarasov opened the scoring in the seventh minute to claim his first goal since March 7. He potted two more in the middle frame, sandwiching Maxim Afinogenov’s opening goal of the current campaign. In the third period Tarasov completed the scoring to make it 5-1 after Hynek Zohorna got a consolation effort for the host. All four of his goals were assisted by line-mates Vadim Shipachyov and Dmitrij Jaskin.

Dynamo’s win lifts it to second in the Western Conference. Amur, which saw a three-game losing streak come to a juddering halt, drops to the foot of the Eastern Conference table.

Red Star moves up the table

Kunlun Red Star 3 HC Sochi 2 (2-1, 1-0, 0-1)

Red Star moved off the foot of the Eastern Conference as Sochi slipped to a seventh successive loss. The home team, which has struggled with discipline throughout the season, produced possibly its most controlled display so far, taking just one minor penalty throughout the game.

With a full complement on the ice, Curt Fraser’s team had enough to bounce back from an early Artyom Tomilin goal for the visitor. The host dominated the first period and got its reward late in the frame with goals from David Bondra and Trevor Murphy putting the Dragons in front.

Gilbert Brule extended that lead in the middle frame, but Sochi was showing signs of getting back into contention. The visitor pulled one back with 10 to play but could not save the game and remains winless since the departure of head coach Sergei Zubov.

Li scores on debut, Kazan crushes Avtomobilist

Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 1 Ak Bars Kazan 6 (0-2, 1-1, 0-3)

Ak Bars enjoyed a convincing win at Avtomobilist, but the pressure is building on the Motormen as the wheels have come off following a bright start to the season. This loss was a fifth in a row for Andrei Martemyanov’s team.

The visitor is proceeding serenely at the top of the Eastern Conference and Monday’s game began with an early goal for new signing Oleg Li. He completed his move from SKA over the weekend and wasted no time in making an impact when he stuffed the puck home from close range after an interception in the home zone. Vladislav Gross was making his first KHL start between the piping for Avto and things quickly got worse when Danis Zaripov doubled the Kazan lead.

With the game under control, Ak Bars allowed its attacking intensity to drop. The home team threatened to take advantage with a goal early in the second period – defenseman Nikita Tryamkin marked his 300th KHL game with the tally – but was unable to engineer a proper fightback. Justin Azevedo quickly restored a two-goal lead and there were three unanswered goals in the third period to seal the win.

No winning start for Pelino

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 1 Traktor Chelyabinsk 2 (0-0, 1-2, 0-0)

Mike Pelino took charge of Lokomotiv for the first time since his promotion from the assistant coach’s role was confirmed earlier this afternoon. The Canadian, who helped Metallurg win two Gagarin Cups before moving to Avangard last season, joined the Yaroslavl club in the summer as an assistant to Craig MacTavish. Following MacTavish’s departure, Loko gave Alexander Ardashev the role of interim head coach but today announced that he will return to his position as Sporting Director as Pelino takes charge of first-team affairs.

Photo: 21.10.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) - Traktor (Chelyabinsk)

That added spice to Monday’s home game against Traktor, a clash between two teams seeking to get into the playoff places in their respective divisions. The visitor arrived on the back of a four-game losing streak but came out and took the game to the Railwaymen in the first period without turning its possession into goals.

The middle frame saw all the scoring – and most of it came from Dmitry Kalinin. Twice he struck on the power play early in the session to move to three goals for the season and put his team in charge of the game. The two goals were similar, with the veteran defenseman twice firing home from the right-hand circle.

Lokomotiv responded with a goal from Grigory Denisenko midway through the game and the home team got a great chance to tie it up in the third when it had a long spell of 5-on-3 play. However, the Traktor PK did its job and the visitor closed out a win that returns it to eighth place ahead of Neftekhimik.

CSKA eases to victory despite Torpedo’s fightback

CSKA Moscow 5 Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 2 (2-0, 1-0, 2-2)

The leader continued its progress with another convincing win, this time over Torpedo. However, there was a moment of anxiety in the third period as the visitor made it a one-goal game after trailing 0-3 at the second intermission.

Photo: 21.10.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. CSKA (Moscow) - Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod)

The early stages were all about CSKA. Over two periods, the Army Men outshot the opposition 29-6 and opened a 3-0 lead. It might have been even more had Ivan Telegin not fluffed a penalty shot, but after an early power play goal from Nikita Nesterov set the home team on its way there was little resistance from the visitor. Linden Vey doubled the lead in the first period and Jiri Sekac got a third midway through the game.

But the third period tore up the script. Paul Szczechura scored an early power play goal and Georgy Misharin got a second in the 46th minute. Suddenly, the momentum had shifted, and Torpedo looked capable of mounting an unlikely fightback. Nesterov eased home nerves by making it 4-2 in the 53rd minute and Konstantin Okulov sealed the result with an empty net goal.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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