Andy Potts Andy Potts
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The local rivalry between Metallurg and Traktor produced a hard-fought but low-scoring game in Magnitogorsk. The visitor prevailed by a single goal from Ruslan Karlin, while goalie Ivan Fedotov made 31 saves. Elsewhere, scoring was rather easier. Admiral edged Red Star in a shoot-out after a 4-4 tie in Vladivostok, Avtomobilist shaded a nine-goal game against Dinamo Riga. Barys enjoyed the most comfortable scoreline of the afternoon, winning 4-1 at Sochi.

Captain Glazachev navigates Admiral’s path to victory

Admiral Vladivostok 5 Kunlun Red Star 4 (SO) (1-0, 2-2, 1-2, 0-0, 1-0)

Admiral jumped to fifth in the Eastern Conference after a dramatic conclusion to its home game against Red Star. The home team looked to be on the way to a comfortable victory when Markus Ljungh made it 4-2 early in the third period. But the Dragons hit back with two goals in the last few minutes to tie the scores. Finally, Konstantin Glazachev gave the home team the verdict in the shoot-out.

The first period saw Red Star make a lively start against an opponent back on the ice for the second time in 24 hours. However, the visitor suffered a blow when forward David Bondra left the game with a broken arm. And things got worse on the ice when Griffin Reinhart lost the puck on his own blue line and Kirill Voronin streaked through to put Admiral in front.

The middle frame saw two flurries of goals. Brandon Yip and Yury Petrov traded markers in the space of a minute early in the session, then Tyler Wong and Martin Bakos repeated the trick late in the period.

Ljungh’s goal opened a two-goal margin for the first time in the game, but Red Star wasn’t done. Wong got his second of the game, and tenth of the season, to give the visitor hope, and Ethan Werek tied the scores with 2:45 on the clock when he followed up a Trevor Murphy shot and tucked away the rebound.

Avto withstands Riga fightback

Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 5 Dinamo Riga 4 (2-0, 1-0, 2-4)

Dinamo staged a brave fightback in the third period but came up just short against Avtomobilist in a nine-goal thriller in Yekaterinburg.

Photo: 07.12.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Avtomobilist (Yekaterinburg) - Dinamo (Riga)

The early stages of this game were ideal for the home team. Dan Sexton gave the Motormen and early lead and Peter Holland doubled the advantage in the first period. Late in the second period, Georgy Belousov added a third and, with Dinamo limited to just 12 shots in 40 minutes, the game seemed to be finished.

But the Latvians hit back in the third. Nikita Setdikov’s no-look pass set up defenseman Ben Marshall for his first goal in the KHL before Holland’s second of the day restored that three-goal lead. Then Mikelis Redlihs and Belousov traded goals in the space of just 24 seconds and, with a 5-2 lead, Avto seemed safe. But a power play goal from Lauris Darzins kept the game alive and when Gints Meija made it 5-4 in 6-on-5 play there was hope for an unlikely recovery for Dinamo. Avto was stretched, but kept the puck out for the remaining 71 seconds and took the win.

Fedotov denied Metallurg, Koshechkin suffers injury

Metallurg Magnitogorsk 0 Traktor Chelyabinsk 1 (0-0, 0-0, 0-1)

Today’s game saw the 3 millionth spectator come to a game at the Metallurg Arena. After carefully checking the record books, dating back to the opening on Jan. 12, 2007, the club identified Ilya Mareyev, a fan of 28 years standing, as the fan #3,000,000 to come through the gate. He received a game-worn jersey and a season ticket for next year from Brandon Kozun, Metallurg’s injured forward.

Photo: 07.12.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) - Traktor (Chelyabinsk)

However, the festivities were cut short. Metallurg found it impossible to get past its South Ural rival, with Ivan Fedotov stopping 31 shots on the Traktor net. At the other end, there were goaltending problems. Vasily Koshechkin, named on the team despite missing morning practice, dropped out with an injury early in the third period.

That brought Vasily Demchenko to the crease against his former club with the game still tied at 0-0 and everything to play for. In Hollywood, no doubt, this would have resulted in a game-winning performance from the goalie before Magnitka stole the verdict with a late goal. Magnitogorsk, though, is a long way from LA. Instead of the cinematic conclusion, the home crowd Ruslan Karlin get the only goal of the game to give Traktor the verdict.

Penalty woe scuppers Sochi

HC Sochi 1 Barys Nur-Sultan 4 (0-0, 1-2, 0-2)

Sochi’s mini-revival came to a juddering halt at home to Barys, with the visitor romping to a 4-1 victory. The Leopards had won three of the previous four games, but failed to compete against a Barys team that climbs to third in the Eastern Conference.

The home team made a confident start but could not find an opening goal despite having the better of the first period. And that enabled Barys to regroup and gain a foothold in the middle session. A penalty for Kirill Vorobyov early in the frame saw Darren Dietz open the scoring after just 16 seconds on the power play. Soon afterwards, Roman Starchenko doubled that lead and the game was heading away from Sochi.

There was something to cheer at last for the host when Pavel Makarenko pulled a goal back in the 28th minute, but it was not to be the start of a revival. Instead, the second period ended with Sochi in trouble. Alexei Petrov was ejected from the game for clipping and that major penalty enabled Barys to open a decisive lead. Starchenko got his second of the game and Jesse Blacker made it 4-1 to secure a convincing road win for the Kazakh team.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Barys (Nur-Sultan) Barys (Nur-Sultan)
Dinamo (Riga) Dinamo (Riga)
Kunlun Red Star (Beijing) Kunlun Red Star (Beijing)
Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)
HC Sochi (Sochi) HC Sochi (Sochi)
Traktor (Chelyabinsk) Traktor (Chelyabinsk)
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