Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Anatoly Golyshev’s assist on Avtomobilist’s first goal of the day made him the club’s all-time record scorer. The team celebrated by beating Neftekhimik 4-3. There were even more goals in Helsinki, where Jokerit tied Lokomotiv 4-4 before losing in a shoot-out. The biggest win of the day went to Dynamo Moscow, 8-1 victors over Severstal. The Green Derby was a tight affair, with Ak Bars edging a 2-1 verdict, while the Siberian battle between Avangard and Sibir went to the host. Amur ended its losing run at Traktor but Dinamo Riga could not find a way past Ilya Ezhov in a 0-1 loss at Vityaz.

Golyshev sets scoring record for Avtomobilist

Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 4 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 3 (2-1, 2-2, 0-0)

Anatoly Golyshev needed just 10 seconds to cement his position as Avtomobilist’s record scorer. The 24-year-old claimed an assist on his team’s opening goal to move to 179 (90+89) points in his KHL career. That’s one better than Alexei Simakov, whose spell with Avto yielded 178 (45+133) points.

That wasn’t the only significant stat as Brooks Macek opened the scoring. The German international found the net after 10 seconds to claim the fastest goal of the season so far. Spartak’s Mikhail Yunkov needed 11 seconds in Tuesday’s game against Vityaz.

Midway through the first period, the home team extended its lead when Pavel Datsyuk set up Georgy Belousov for number two. But Neftekhimik responded by adopting a more aggressive style and got a reward in the 15th minute when Jacob Berglund reduced the deficit. Early in the second period, the visitor tied the scores and Avtomobilist had to do it all over again.

Geoff Platt quickly restored the home lead, but Neftekhimik hung around and tied the scores again through Jonas Enlund. The Finn’s goal wasn’t enough, though; Macek got his second of the game late in the middle session and that turned out to be the gamewinner.

Amur snaps losing skid

Traktor Chelyabinsk 2 Amur Khabarovsk 3 SO (0-1, 1-0, 1-1 0-0, 0-1)

Amur got its first win in five attempts in this battle of the Eastern Conference strugglers. For Traktor, struggling with an injury crisis and no longer able to call on Vitaly Kravtsov, the problems continue. Chelyabinsk remains at the foot of the Eastern Conference.

Amur made the better start to the game and got its reward in the 16th minute when Vyacheslav Ushenin reacted first to put away a loose puck in front of Ivan Fedotov’s net. However, the home team turned it around with goals either side of the second intermission. The second period ended with Nick Bailen tying the scores – Andrew Calof marked his 100th KHL appearance with an assist – and the third began with Lukas Sedlak putting Traktor ahead.

The visitor missed a great chance to tie the game when it enjoyed a five-minute power play after Alexander Sharov was ejected from the game for boarding. However, once back at equal strength, Amur found a way to score in the 50th minute thanks to Michal Jordan. That took us all the way to a shoot-out, where Artyom Zhelezkov got the decisive marker.

Green derby goes to Ak Bars

Ak Bars Kazan 2 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 1 (0-0, 2-1, 0-0)

Ak Bars edged past its Green Derby rival to maintain its position on top of the KHL standings. Victory in Kazan moves Dmitry Kvartalnov’s team to 58 points, three ahead of Western Conference top dog CSKA.

Photo: 19.12.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Ak Bars (Kazan) - Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)

The first period did not produce a goal, although the home team had slightly the better of the play and even put the puck in the net in the seventh minute. That one was ruled out – after a challenge from Ufa bench – for offside.

But there was no doubt about Viktor Tikhonov’s power play goal early in the second period. The former SKA man produced an emphatic finish off Justin Azevedo’s feed. However, home celebrations were cut short when Teemu Hartikainen tied the game seconds later. Roman Rukavishnikov gave up the puck on the blue line and the Finn pounced to skate to the net and wipe out Kazan’s lead.

Ak Bars continued to press and enjoyed the momentum in the second period. The reward came late in the frame when Azevedo raced away with an Albert Yarullin pass to beat Juha Metsola and restore the home lead.

In the third period, Salavat Yulaev looked to force its way back into the game but ran into a well-disciplined home defense. Despite plenty of possession and frequent shots towards the target, the visitor rarely got inside to create dangerous chances and Adam Reideborn had just eight saves to make to preserve his team’s lead. Meanwhile, no Green Derby is complete without a bout of fisticuffs and this was no exception: youngster Nikita Dynyak squared off with Artyom Sergeyev early in the third period.

These teams meet again next week in unfamiliar surroundings: the Dec. 23 game will be played in Davos, Switzerland, as part of the KHL World Games project.

Avangard puts the brakes on Sibir

Avangard Omsk 3 Sibir Novosibirsk 1 (1-1, 1-0, 1-0)

Avangard picked up a handy win over its fellow Siberian rival, but Bob Hartley’s team had to work for this victory. Sibir came here in good form, with only a 3-4 loss against Jokerit to blemish its record in the last six games, while Avangard had stuttered somewhat, alternating wins and losses in recent weeks.

Photo: 19.12.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Avangard (Omsk) - Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)

The visitor struck first, with Mikael Ruohomaa redirecting an Alexander Sharov effort to open the scoring in the eighth minute. However, Avangard was level a couple of minutes later when Rob Klinkhammer burst down the right and fired home.

There had been little to choose between the two in that opening frame and Sibir thought it could take the game to the opposition at the start of the second stanza. However, Avangard withstood that pressure and gradually imposed itself on the game. A power play late in the second saw Sergei Shirokov give the home team the lead after a Klinkhammer shot.

In the third period Sibir had more possession but Avangard created more opportunities. The game remained on a knife edge until the last minute when Kirill Semyonov’s empty-net goal ended any chance of Sibir fightback.

Tarasov treble leads Dynamo to big win

Dynamo Moscow 8 Severstal Cherepovets 1 (1-1, 4-0, 3-0)

Dynamo powered to its biggest win of the season as Daniil Tarasov led the way with a hat-trick at home to Severstal. There were two goals for Dmitrij Jaskin as the Blue-and-Whites ran riot.

However, there was little sign of the carnage to come in a steady first period. It wasn’t until the 18th minute that Jaskin opened the scoring, finding the net moments after the home team had a goal whistled off for goalie interference. Severstal replied eight seconds before then intermission with a power play goal from Vladislav Kodola and there was every reason to expect the tight game to continue.

However, the second period saw Dynamo score four without reply to take the game away from Severstal. Jaskin got his second on the power play before Tarasov potted his first of the evening. Andre Petersson added a fourth soon afterwards, prompting Severstal to give Konstantin Shostak more time between the piping. However, the Belarusian youngster was beaten after just 10 seconds when Ivan Igumnov made it 5-1.

With the game already gone, Dynamo extended its lead in the third. Tarasov and Andrei Mironov scored on the power play before Tarasov completed his treble with 12 minutes to play.

Goalies on top in Podolsk

Vityaz Moscow Region 1 Dinamo Riga 0 (0-0, 0-0, 1-0)

Vityaz remains a team that’s hard to predict. Today’s win over Dinamo means that the Podolsk club has alternated wins and losses in its last 10 games and Thursday’s success represented a quick recovery after losing 0-6 at Spartak on Tuesday.

For Riga, meanwhile, this was a sixth successive loss and the Latvians remain at the foot of the Western Conference table behind Dinamo Minsk.

It took some time for the game to get going: the teams shared just 10 shots on target in the first period but both goalies were considerably busier in the second. Indeed, Ilya Ezhov and Andrei Makarov would be named the top players in the game as the scoreline remained blank until deep into the third period. However, it was Ezhov who won the goaltending duel. Makarov was beaten by Pekka Jormakka in the 51st minute and that was enough to settle the outcome.

Loko edges a thriller in Helsinki

Jokerit Helsinki 4 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 5 SO (2-1, 1-2, 1-1, 0-0, 0-1)

Jokerit’s five-game winning run came to an end in an entertaining game in Helsinki. The lead changed hands repeatedly in regulation before the teams went into a shoot-out locked at 4-4. Denis Alexeyev gave the Railwaymen the win, lifting the visitor to sixth in the West and securing a third win of the season against the Finns.

It all started well for Loko with Pavel Kudryavtsev opening the scoring in the fourth minute. However, Jokerit was in front at the first intermission thanks to goals from Marko Anttila and Brian O’Neill. The latter struck five seconds before the hooter.

Nothing daunted, Lokomotiv went back in front with a couple of quick goals midway through the second session. Kudryavtsev got his second of the game on the power play and Maxim Afanasyev made it 3-2. The lead didn’t last long; Mikko Lehtonen sent the teams into the third tied at 3-3.

Peter Regin began the third frame by restoring Jokerit’s lead, but Magnus Paajarvi Svensson sent us to overtime with a tying goal in the 50th minute. There was no further scoring until the extended shoot-out, which concluded with Alexeyev putting Loko in front and Anttila missing the chance to save the game.

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