Andy Potts Andy Potts
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SKA slipped to a fourth straight loss as Neftekhimik won a shoot-out in Petersburg and returned to the top eight in the Eastern Conference. Another shoot-out settled a tight encounter between Salavat Yulaev and Avangard, with the visitor edging it after a 1-1 tie. The rare sight of a goalie taking a major penalty was the big talking point in Novosibirsk, where Ilya Ezhov’s dismissal helped Sibir defeat Vityaz 4-1. Barys won a shoot-out in Minsk, Spartak won at Jokerit.

Vityaz punished after Ezhov’s indiscretion

Sibir Novosibirsk 4 Vityaz Moscow Region 1 (0-0, 3-1, 1-0)

Vityaz goalie Ilya Ezhov was ejected from the game midway through the action as Vityaz slipped to a 1-4 loss. Sibir moves into the top four in the East after recording its third successive victory but the game will be remembered for Ezhov’s rush of blood to the head.

Photo: 22.10.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) - Vityaz (Moscow Region)

Play had stopped when the goalie thrust his stick at Alexander Sharov and took a 5+20 from the officials. The players – team-mates at Lada in the past – had clashed moments earlier; the Sibir forward later told journalists he had merely asked Ezhov about that incident and got an angry response.

At the time of the incident, Sibir led 2-0 thanks to goals early in the second period from Dmitry Sayustov and Jukka Peltola. Vityaz killed that major penalty, with reserve goalie Pyotr Kochetkov taking over between the piping, but fell further behind to a Mikael Ruohomaa power play goal late in the frame. Alexei Makeyev reduced the arrears but a third-period goal from Viktor Komarov ensured that Sibir would take the verdict with something to spare.

Returning stars help Avangard to shoot-out win

Salavat Yulaev Ufa 1 Avangard Omsk 2 SO (0-1, 0-0, 1-0, 0-0, 0-1)

Avangard edged a shoot-out verdict to move to within a point of the top of the Eastern Conference, but only after a long wait between goals in a hard-fought battle in Ufa.

Photo: 22.10.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Salavat Yulaev (Ufa) - Avangard (Omsk)

The visitor, buoyed by the return from injury of several key players, took the lead after 30 seconds through Sven Andrighetto but then had to hold on as Ufa steadily ramped up the pressure. Alexander Sudnitsin performed strongly in the Avangard net, particularly in the third period as the home team dominated the play. However, with four seconds left on the clock he was undone: Linus Omark’s point shot – a last throw of the dice – was redirected into the net by Sakari Manninen and the video review confirmed that the Finn’s stick was not raised and the goal was good.

That sent the game to overtime and then a shoot-out, with Sudnitsin again in good form to frustrate Salavat Yulaev. Fit-again forward Sergei Shirokov, Taylor Beck and Rob Klinkhammer all scored their attempts to give Avangard the edge.

Spartak leapfrogs Jokerit with victory in Finland

Jokerit Helsinki 2 Spartak Moscow 3 (1-0, 0-1, 1-2)

Spartak claimed its first victory in Finland since February 2016 and moved to sixth in the Western Conference ahead of today’s opponent. Jokerit, meanwhile, slipped to a third straight loss. The departure of forward Matias Myttynen, whose contract was cancelled after a defeat against Torpedo, may not be the last of the changes in Helsinki.

The first period was even, but a penalty on Spartak’s Patrik Hersley enabled the home team to take the lead through Peter Regin. In the middle frame the pace of the game picked up and Spartak’s recent signing Ansel Galimov celebrated his first goal for the club after a deflected shot beat Janis Kalnins. That tied the game and in the third period Artyom Fyodorov put Spartak in front for the first time.

The final moments saw the teams trade goals. Anatoly Nikontsev scored an empty-net goal, but the Finns kept taking risks and got a reward when Regin scored his second of the night with 57 seconds left to play. Julius Hudacek marshalled his defense effectively for that final minute to see Spartak to victory.

Dinamo suffers sixth straight loss

Dinamo Minsk 1 Barys Nur-Sultan 2 SO (0-0, 1-1, 0-0, 0-0, 0-1)

Dinamo gained its first point since Oct. 3 but could not escape a sixth successive defeat after going down in a shoot-out against Barys. Darren Dietz got the decisive marker after a hard-fought 1-1 tie in Belarus.

The home team had the better of the first period and eventually broke the deadlock in the 34th minute through Francis Pare. Then there was a curious incident which saw the Barys team doctor banished from the bench for unsportsmanlike conduct, but the visitor was unaffected on the ice and tied the scored second before the hooter with a Yegor Petukhov power play goal.

Dinamo continued to have the better of the play in the third period but could not find a way past Eddie Pasquale and the visiting goalie also had the edge in the shoot-out as Barys took the win.

Sharychenkov on top in goaltending duel

SKA St. Petersburg 2 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 3 SO (0-1, 1-0, 1-1, 0-0, 0-1)

SKA handed a debut to new goalie Alexander Samonov following his recent move from Vityaz. However, it was his opposite number Alexander Sharychenkov who claimed the honors as the Petersburg team slipped to a fourth successive loss. Neftekhimik returned to the playoff places in the Eastern Conference.

Photo: 22.10.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. SKA (St.Petersburg) - Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk)

It all started when Zack Mitchell put the visitor in front in the third minute. That heralded two periods of tight, low-scoring hockey which yielded just 26 shots between the two teams. After several seasons of witnessing SKA’s offense overpower teams, especially on home ice, this newly cautious Petersburg side is something of a surprise. However, a Maxim Karpov power play goal was enough to tie the scores midway through the game.

Nail Yakupov put the host ahead early in the third after a video review but Neftekhimik responded with a power play goal from Ziyat Paigin. The rest of the frame was dominated by SKA – Sharychenkov faced 15 shots to Samonov’s four – but there was no further scoring. Then in the shoot-out Mitchell was the only player to score, with Sharychenkov winning all five of his duels to give Neftekhimik the verdict.

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Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk) Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk)
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