Traktor Chelyabinsk 1 Severstal Cherepovets 4 (1-3, 0-1, 0-0)
Severstal powered to a big win over Traktor — and surprised head coach Andrei Razin in the process. With a busy schedule ahead in this tournament, Razin rotated his roster for this game. Goalie Konstantin Shostak, 20, and young D-man Ivan Rogov got rare starts while several of the higher-profile summer signings were rested.
However, that didn’t stop the Steelmen making a fast start and in the eight minute one of the new faces, David Dumbadze, opened the scoring. Dumbadze is looking to step up from the VHL after a move from Dizel Penza and did his chances no harm with a first goal in Severstal colors. All the more impressive, it was the 24-year-old’s first appearance as a center, playing alongside Daniil Vovchenko and Vladislav Kara.
“This was the first time I ever won a game with our KHL team,” Dumbadze said after the game. “It’s a great feeling, I’m pleased I could help the team. And it was really great to score a goal, I’ve been waiting a long time for that.”
A one-goal lead soon became a three-goal advantage, with Adam Liska and a short-handed Kara effort extending the advantage. Tomas Hyka pulled one back for Traktor before the first intermission, but Maxim Kazakov added a fourth late in the middle frame and there was no way back for Traktor.
Severstal’s head coach Razin admitted he was surprised at the result after resting many of the more experienced players on his team. “We gave our 30-somethings a rest today,” he said. “This pre-season is very short so, to avoid injuries, we only named 18 players for this game. The young guys proved worthy of our faith in them, even if they were somewhat playing on emotion at times.”
His opposite number Anvar Gatiyatulin said: “We expected our opponent to be active from the start and that’s how it proved in the first two periods. They beat us for pace, they forced us into errors and two of those mistakes led to goals. But that’s pre-season. Everyone understands that it’s hard right now. Nonetheless, I can’t fault anyone for effort.”
Salavat Yulaev Ufa 8 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 3 (2-0, 2-2, 4-1)
Beaten in overtime on Monday, Salavat Yulaev hit back in style with seven goals against Neftekhimik. But Tomi Lamsa’s team had its lapses as well, relinquishing a 2-0 lead before overpowering the visitor and moving to the top of the table after two rounds of its home tournament.
The first period all went to plan for the host. Sakari Manninen and Mikhail Vorobyov got the goals as Ufa opened a 2-0 lead. But after the intermission, Neftekhimik hit back to tie the game. Maxim Groshev, impressive for Russia’s U20s in Sochi last week, halved the deficit with a penalty shot before Libor Hudacek got his first goal for his new club midway through the session.
Salavat Yulaev hit back late in the middle frame, with Vladislav Kartayev restoring the lead before Artyom Pimenov made it 4-2 seconds before the intermission. Pimenov, 24, made his KHL debut last season, playing four times without recording a point after stepping up from the VHL.
Neftekhimik was not quite done. Early in the third, Timur Khafizov dragged it back to a one-goal game. After blowing 2-0 and 3-1 leads against Traktor on Monday, Salavat Yulaev could be forgiven for getting nervous at this point. Instead, though, the home team found another gear and slotted home four unanswered goals before the final hooter. Ilya Baranov and Markus Granlund took the game away from Neftekhimik before Karatayev added his second of the game late on and Dmitry Kugryshev completed the rout in the last minute.
Amur Khabarovsk 0 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 1 SO (0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 0-0, 0-1)
Avtomobilist made it two wins from two at the Romazan Memorial Tournament — but had a hard time solving Amur goalie Marek Langhamer.
The Czech was in inspired form throughout Tuesday’s game, stopping 52 shots in 65 minutes of play, including 25 attempts in the first period alone. During that opening frame, Amur incurred five penalties and ceded the initiative to Avtomobilist.
The middle session was more even, with Avto’s goalie Vladimir Galkin called into action more often. The 20-year-old would finish the game with 18 saves. Again, though, neither team could find the net and it was a similar story in the third despite the Motormen again having the better of the play.
In the end, it wasn’t until the shoot-out that the Yekaterinburg offense found an answer to Langhamer. Peter Holland and Ilya Zakharov managed to beat the goalie at last, giving the team its second win here in Magnitogorsk.
Avto head coach Bill Peters was encouraged by what he saw. “I’m happy with the result, I liked how we played in the first period,” he said. “But the main thing is that we can continue to evaluate the progress of our players. I was impressed with the game of our goalie, Galkin, he played great and made some really important saves in the third period and in overtime.”
Metallurg Magnitogorsk 3 Sibir Novosibirsk 2 (2-0, 1-0, 0-2)
Metallurg bounced back from Monday’s loss to Avtomobilist — but after a fast start in this game, Ilya Vorobyov’s team was almost caught out by a Sibir revival.
The home team had a point to prove after its 2-3 reverse 24 hours earlier and wasting little time in asserting itself. Two goals inside the first six minutes saw blue liners Nikita Khlystov and Grigory Dronov put Magnitka in charge; visiting goalie Alexei Krasikov saw his evening ended on 5:40, with Anton Krasotkin taking his place.
“There were two reasons for our fast start,” said Vorobyov after the game. “First, we were angry after yesterday’s loss and second, the team is starting to play together.
“We’ve been encouraging our defensemen to shoot the puck more and I was happy that it worked out today. I’m not worried about who scores the goals as long as the team is winning.”
That changed helped Sibir to stabilize matters, and there was no further scoring until late in the second period. Then we saw Metallurg’s new strike force combine to set up a first goal for summer signing Sergei Plotnikov. The former SKA man looks set to join Sergei Mozyakin and Nikolai Prokhorkin on the top line and that combination made it 3-0.
At the time, it was hard to imagine that Plotnikov’s goal would prove to be the game winner. However, the third period began much like the first with two quickfire goals. This time, Vasily Koshechkin was on the receiving end as Evgeny Chesalin and Mikael Ruohomaa scored within 19 seconds of one another. From a comfortable lead to an anxious finale, Metallurg held on — but only just.
Sibir head coach Nikolai Zavarukhin lamented that his team was unable to complete its comeback.
“We’re not fully ready yet, but we looked close to it at the start of the third period,” he said. “But after we got those two goals, once again we stopped playing our game. We allowed too many counter attacks.
“But after such a long pause, the most important thing right now is to get the guys back into peak condition.”
Dinamo Minsk 3 Shakhtyor Soligorsk 2 (1-0, 1-2, 1-0)
Dinamo continued its preparations with a warm-up game against Soligorsk, runner-up in last season’s Belarusian championship. Summer signing Brandon Kozun made his debut for Craig Woodcroft’s team and duly obliged with the winning goal in the third period.