Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 5 Kunlun Red Star 2 (0-0, 3-1, 2-1)
Two short-handed goals on one penalty kill turned this game around late in the second period. While Semyon Kizimov sat for two minutes, Damir Zhafyarov and Justin Kloos found a way to the Red Star net, opening a 3-1 lead for Torpedo.
That comprehensively cancelled out Viktor Shakhvorostov’s opener for Red Star early in the middle frame. There was an almost immediate response from Danil Veryayev to tie the game before that disastrous Dragons’ power play saw Torpedo take control of the game.
The third period saw more goals for David Nemirovsky’s team, with Zhafyarov potting his second of the game and Daniil Ilyin adding a fifth. Anton Glinkin got a goal back for Red Star late on, but it could not deprive Torpedo of its first win in the tournament.
For Alexei Kovalev’s Red Star, this was a second successive loss. However, the new Kunlun head coach was keen to point out the positives from a busy week for his hastily-assembled team. “The tournament wasn’t easy for us. We played a lot of games in a short space of time and we could see that the guys were getting tired. But there are still good things: we saw our players doing a lot of the things that we wanted to see from them.”
His opposite number, Nemirovsky, was content with the reaction of the Torpedo players. “The big thing is that the players understand what the coaching staff expects of them. And today, they didn’t just understand the words, they showed it in their game.”
HC Sochi 2 Severstal Cherepovets 3 OT (1-1, 1-0, 0-1, 0-1)
Sochi twice led in this game against Severstal but was unable to hold its advantage and ended up beaten by a power play goal from Kirill Kapustin in overtime.
Kapustin finished the game with two goals, having tied the game midway through the first period. That cancelled out Pavel Kukshtel’s early opener, with the youngster getting his second goal of the tournament and once again underlining his status as big prospect on the Black Sea coast.
Sochi regained the lead midway through the second period when Igor Rudenkov scored on the power play, but once again it wasn’t enough to sink Severstal. Maxim Afanasyev tied it up in the 50th minute during a spell of 4-on-4 play and, when Oleg Pogorishny took a penalty in overtime, Kapustin was able to take advantage and give Severstal its first win of the tournament.
That delighted Severstal head coach Andrei Razin, who identified Sochi as one of his team’s key rivals in the race for the playoffs and felt that win was a psychological boost.
CSKA Moscow 2 Vityaz Moscow Region 3 (1-1, 0-2, 1-0)
CSKA paid the penalty when it was left to defend a 5-on-3 situation in the second period of this game. With the scores tied at 1-1, Artyom Sergeyev and Sergei Andronov were sent to the sidelines and Vityaz took full advantage. Jakub Jerabek and Danila Moiseyev scored twice in the space of just 33 seconds to open a 3-1 lead.
There was still 36 minutes to play, but CSKA was unable to find a way back into the game. Maxim Shalunov reduced the deficit in the third period with a power play goal at the other end, but Vityaz held on to claim its second victory over the Army Men in successive Mayor of Moscow Cups.
Earlier in the game, new CSKA signing Andrei Loktionov scored on his first game for his new team, only for Vityaz youngster Zakhar Bardakov to tie the scores late in the first period.
For CSKA, this was the first pre-season game of the summer. As head coach Igor Nikitin explained, the team only assembled on Aug. 15 and he is relying on the experience of his players to see the team grow as the season gets underway. As for the first game, he added: “I’ve no complaints about the guys’ work and commitment, but our penalty kill wasn’t right. But for a first game we looked OK. In the next game I’m looking to use the Kempe — Goldobin — Slepyshev line. We’re still waiting for Brendan Leipsic in the next few days but right now the whole world is coping with technical difficulties.”
Vityaz head coach Mikhail Kravets added: “It was a competitive game, played at a good tempo. We knew that CSKA would be hungry in its first pre-season game, we expected them to play quick. We prepared our team for that and they did a good job. We stood firm on the penalty kill and took our chances, although we should have scored more in the second period. For us, every game against CSKA is an examination — and I’m pleased that we passed the test today.”
Dynamo Moscow 1 Spartak Moscow 4 (0-0, 1-0, 0-4)
Spartak’s four-star performance in the third period turned around a one-goal deficit and gave Oleg Znarok victory at the start of a tournament where, traditionally, his teams do not fare well.
Dynamo unleashed its top line of Dmitry Kagarlitsky, Vadim Shipachyov and Dmitrij Jaskin for the first time this summer. But there was a blow for Vladimir Krikunov’s men, with Oscar Lindberg missing out due an illness that threatens to rule the Swede out of the start of the season. Although Dynamo could call on its leading forwards to lead the offense, it wasn’t until the 39th minute that the deadlock was broken with Shipachyov putting Dynamo in front.
“Lindberg is ill,” confirmed Krikunov. “It looks like a fairly simple thing, let’s see where we are in two or three days. But without him, we ended up with a very different line and Ivan Igumnov couldn’t find a connection with Pulkkinen and Bryukvin.”
The coach added that he was happy with Shipachyov’s line, given that they had little time to practice together.
Dynamo’s goal woke up Spartak and within four minutes of the restart, the Red-and-Whites had the lead. Martin Bakos tied it up on the power play and another Dynamo penalty saw shots raining on Alexander Yeryomenko’s net before Sergei Shirokov put the puck away. Midway through the frame, Bakos scored a fine goal, stealing the puck from Juuso Hietanen and putting a backhand shot beyond the goalie. From that point on, there was only one winner and Lukas Radil’s empty-netter merely underlined the point. Jori Lehtera had three assists on Spartak’s four goals.
Spartak head coach Oleg Znarok was impressed with his team. “I didn’t expect to see such an assured performance,” he told journalists. “But no, I don’t think we are ready yet. Today we were playing on emotions and we didn’t look good in our games up to now. Today against Dynamo we more or less produced something like the game we want to see. But we still have time, we’ll keep working.”
Barys Nur-Sultan 8 Saryarka Karaganda 2 (2-1, 2-0, 4-1)
Barys took on another Kazakh team from the VHL and produced its most assured performance of the summer. There was a momentary wobble as Saryarka took a fifth-minute lead, but Anton Sagadeyev soon tied the scores and the scoring quickly became a procession.
In total, Barys rattled up eight goals, with Alikhan Asetov leading the scoring with a goal and two assists. There was a last-minute consolation for Saryarka, but this was very much Barys’ day.
“Compared with our first two games, today was much better,” said defenseman Darren Dietz. “We didn’t get away from our system, especially in center ice. Even when we lost the puck, we got it back quickly and prevented any danger around our net. Both teams had enough penalties to give us a chance to practice with our special teams and in general I think we did well with that.”
Jokerit Helsinki 4 Dinamo Riga 1 (1-1, 2-0, 1-0)
Jokerit recovered from a slow start to pick up a comfortable win over Dinamo Riga. For both these teams, this was a first test against KHL opposition this summer. Previously, both had played solely against teams from the Finnish championship, with Riga twice losing against teams from the second tier while Jokerit had two wins and a loss from its three previous outings.
Dinamo, playing its third game this week, settled faster. A power play midway through the first period saw Zack Mitchell put the Latvians in front while Eeli Tolvanen sat for interference. But the lead did not last long. Jordan Schroeder tied it up a couple of minutes later, with Swedish defenseman Jonathan Pudas continuing his productive summer with another assist.
Jokerit took control of the game in the middle session as Dinamo ran into penalty trouble. Henri Ikonen scored a power play goal early on, then Marko Anttila made it 3-1 on a delayed penalty. And there was more misery for Dinamo in the third when Antti Pihlstrom added a short-handed goal to make it three successive losses in Finland for the men from Riga.