Elsewhere, Dinamo Minsk defeated HC Gomel 4-0 in its first game of the Salei Cup. Barys had a second comfortable victory over Saryarka in its latest warm-up game.
Dynamo Moscow 2 Vityaz Moscow Region 3 OT (0-0, 0-0, 2-2, 0-1)
The Mayor of Moscow Cup was first contested in 2008 and, since then, the trophy has always been shared by the capital’s three teams — Dynamo, Spartak and CSKA. Neither Atlant nor Vityaz was able to smuggle the prize over the city boundary until now.
But with a third win in three games, again by a 3-2 scoreline, Vityaz guaranteed itself first place in the last of the summer tournaments, making a little bit of hockey history for the suburban town.
“This is a long-awaited victory for us and for Podolsk,” said Vityaz head coach Mikhail Kravets after the game. “It could be the start of a good chapter in our history. We played three games against some of Russia’s leading clubs. It was a test for us and it showed how we are prepared for the championship.”
The game took some time to get going, but in the third period the teams traded four goals. Justin Danforth already looks like an astute signing for Vityaz and he boosted his reputation by setting up Linus Hultstrom’s opener in the 48th minute. However, Dynamo hit back to lead on tallies from Dmitry Kagarlitsky and Vadim Shipachyov. That first line looked capable of winning it for the Blue-and-Whites — and potentially throwing the race for the cup wide open — but when Dmitrij Jaskin missed a golden chance to make it 3-1, Vityaz responded to tie the scores thanks to Danforth. That led to overtime and Danforth, once again, found the target to win the game and the trophy.
“The game was up and down,” said Dynamo head coach Vladimir Krikunov. “We were up, we were down, but in the end we lost. We created plenty of chances but Jaskin didn’t score and immediately we allowed a goal at the other end. One of the laws of hockey struck again.
“In general, everything is going to plan for us. We were set back a little by the coronavirus but we still have until Sep. 5.”
For Kravets, though, pre-season success inspired dreams of more achievements to come. “Some people say that in pre-season, winning doesn’t matter,” he said. “Others claim the opposite. Today we have something to celebrate, and that’s always a good feeling, a positive. We need to keep working. I hope that nobody will relax before the season starts. I want us to stay ambitious, and to challenge for the Gagarin Cup.”
CSKA Moscow 5 Spartak Moscow 2 (1-1, 3-1, 1-0)
CSKA produced a strong finish to take second place with victory over Spartak in the final game of the Mayor of Moscow Cup.
The Army Men made a good start, taking the lead on the first power play of the night thanks to Artyom Blazhiyevsky. However, Spartak responded in kind through Jori Lehtera, with the Finn collecting his fifth point of the tournament. He was assisted by Emil Djuse and Martin Bakos, who also had helpers on Spartak’s other goal. That took Bakos to 4 (2+2) points in the competition.
However, CSKA had its own star in this event. Andrei Loktionov picked up four goals in three on his first appearances for his new club. Two of them came in Saturday’s game and that moved CSKA towards the win. Mikhail Naumenkov extended the lead and Nikolai Goldobin added another in the final frame to secure a convincing scoreline and give Igor Nikitin’s team second place overall.
The CSKA head coach wasn’t getting too carried away, though, despite Loktionov’s impressive performance at the pre-season event. “It’s a bit early to talk about a renaissance,” he said. “This is only pre-season, but of course its important for a forward to get that habit of scoring goals. We are glad that he’s doing well and we hope he can overcome his own problems and help out our other forwards.”
Spartak head coach Oleg Znarok was blunt in his assessment of his team. “Assessment of the game? We lost,” he said. “Tomorrow we’ll look at what happened and what didn’t happen. It’s good that we played this tournament, we needed to get into the rhythm of the game. We you make unacceptable mistakes, you lose games. But there is still time to prepare for the season.”
Dinamo Minsk 4 HC Gomel 0 (1-0, 0-0, 3-0)
The Salei Cup, which pits Dinamo Minsk against the top teams from Belarusian championship, is played as a straight knockout over one weekend. In Saturday’s semi-final, Dinamo easily booked its place in Sunday’s gold medal game, producing a stronger performance than its previous game against Gomel this summer.
This time, Dinamo got in front early on when Brandon Kozun opened the scoring after five minutes. He was assisted by Ryan Spooner and that line, along with Rob Klinkhammer, made the difference in this game. Spooner added a goal in the third period as the Bison took control of the game, while young Ivan Drozdov, star of last season’s Belarusian playoffs, also found the net. Dominik Furch recorded his first shut-out in Dinamo colors.
Barys Nur-Sultan 6 Saryarka Karaganda 1 (1-0, 1-1, 4-0)
Barys concluded its pre-season campaign with another comfortable win over Saryarka, a Kazakh team that usually plays in the VHL. After defeating this opponent 8-2 on Thursday, the Snow Leopards had to wait until the third period before taking control here, but finished with a convincing 6-1 scoreline.
Yegor Petukhov got Barys off to a fine start with a power play goal after five minutes. However, Karaganda tied it up in the middle frame and it wasn’t until the 36th minute that Darren Dietz restored the lead. Then the floodgates opened, with four unanswered goals in the third. Three of Barys’ goals came on the power play, two more were short-handed. Petukhov potted two of them and Dietz finished with 1+3 for his efforts.
Barys head coach Yury Mikhailis said: “For two periods, our opponent was very mobile, focused and gave us a real battle. In the second period, they played especially well and we had problems with our discipline. We took a lot of penalties and Saryarka scented blood — they created plenty of chances and might have got ahead but our young goalie, Denis Karatayev, had another great game. But in the end, we took the initiative and in the third period we played some great hockey, good passing and good offense.”