Andy Potts Andy Potts
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At the third time of asking, Spartak got a win — and it could hardly be sweeter than coming from behind to beat Moscow rival Dynamo. Across town, CSKA also had a good evening with a 3-1 success against Barys. Avangard went goal crazy, Sergei Shumakov scoring the best of his team’s eight against Amur. Markus Granlund maintained his good start to the season as Salavat Yulaev beat Dinamo Minsk and Severstal defeated Sibir. All of today’s games were preceded by a moment of silence in memory of the victims of the Yaroslavl air disaster nine years ago.

Abdul’s first goal gives Severstal the edge

Severstal Cherepovets 2 Sibir Novosibirsk 1 (1-0, 0-1, 1-0)

Severstal got its second win of the season thanks to a first KHL goal from Jindrich Abdul. The Canadian forward, who led the Slovak league in scoring last season, got the game-winner here 31 seconds into the final stanza.

Photo: 07.09.20. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Severstal (Cherepovets) - Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)

Sibir, still winless, pushed hard in the closing stages by Severstal closed the door on this game to claim the win. The visitor was limited to just five shots at Vladislav Podyapolsky in the final frame and the home goalie did what he had to do to get his team over the line.

Earlier, Severstal opened the scoring with a power play goal in the seventh minute. Ex-Steelman Ilya Khokhlov sat, Vladislav Kodola scored his second of the season. Sibir pulled a goal back in the second when Jyrki Jokipakka scored a power play tally of his own, but Abdul had the final say.

Derby delight as Spartak claims first win

Dynamo Moscow 1 Spartak Moscow 3 (0-0, 1-0, 0-3)

Spartak recorded its first win of the season in the most satisfying manner possible — coming from back at local rival’s arena to settle the game with a late burst of scoring.

Photo: 07.09.20. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Dynamo (Moscow) - Spartak (Moscow)

Oleg Znarok’s team came into the game on the back of two losses in the current season. There was also unfinished business from the previous campaign, which ended with Dynamo eliminating Spartak from the playoffs just before the season was curtailed. That clash was played behind closed doors; today, as things begin to edge back towards normal, there were 2,340 fans in the VTB Arena for the big game.

They had to wait some time for a goal, however. The first period saw plenty of endeavor, but no goals. The second reached the midway stage in similar vein, but Dynamo finally broke the deadlock in the 32nd minute. Vladislav Yefremov was the unexpected scorer: last season the 25-year-old had just one goal in 45 games; this term he’s matched that tally in two appearances. Spartak’s defense played a role, as goalie Nikita Bespalov collided with D-man Yakov Rylov to present Yefremov with a gilt-edged chance after Andrei Alexeyev was first to the rebound from a Yegor Zaitsev point shot.

Early in the third we saw a brief but intense fight between Sergei Boikov and Nikita Sokolov. Spartak was left shorthanded, but wasn’t disadvantaged by the situation. Vadim Shipachyov was caught in possession by Anatoly Nikontsev and the play ended with Dmitry Vishnevsky tying the scores.

That changed the momentum. Dynamo couldn’t believe it had given up its lead so carelessly, Spartak began to see a pathway to victory. A few minutes later, a Red-and-White power play saw Jori Lehtera make it 2-1 to the visitor and Lukas Radil wrapped it up with an empty-netter. Spartak gets off the mark for the season, but Dynamo is still waiting for its first win and, more surprisingly, a first goal from the Shipachyov line.

Granlund stars again for Salavat Yulaev

Dinamo Minsk 3 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 4 (2-2, 0-2, 1-0)

Salavat Yulaev continued its winning start and Markus Granlund scored twice to help his team to victory in Minsk. Dinamo came into this game with an unbeaten record, albeit aided by a walkover from its opening fixture when Jokerit failed to travel to Belarus. After that, the Bison edged a high-scoring game against Barys to come into this meeting full of confidence.

And the same goal-hungry approach the defeated the Kazakhs was in evidence early on as the home team jumped to a 2-0 lead. Alexei Protas, 19, opened the scoring on an early power play to celebrate his first KHL goal before Shane Prince made it two in the eighth minute.

However, if Dinamo looks like it will score more freely this season, the old questions about the defense remain. Once Salavat Yulaev regrouped, the visitor managed to tie it up before the intermission. Granlund, who had three points in his first KHL appearance, got his second goal in the league before Pyotr Khokhryakov tied it up.

In the middle frame, Ufa forged ahead. Teemu Hartikainen produced a superb pass to set up Granlund’s second of the game — he now has 5 (3+2) in three appearances. And a power play goal from Mikhail Vorobyov left Dinamo with too much to do.

The home team suffered another blow early in the third when young forward Ilya Usov got the first expulsion of the season for a head-butt. But Salavat Yulaev could not take advantage of the power play and faced a nervous finish after Artyom Demkov made it a one-goal game with 10 to play. However, Juha Metsola kept the home team at bay and his team celebrated another success.

Boucher scores again, Avangard goes goal crazy

Avangard Omsk 8 Amur Khabarovsk 2 (1-1, 5-1, 2-0)

This game was all about the second period. For 20 minutes, there was little to choose between the teams. Reid Boucher scored for the third game running to put Avangard ahead, but few could argue that Amur was poor value for a tying goal when Vladislav Ushenin scored on the power play late in the frame.

But that was as good as it got for the Tigers, who found themselves mauled in the middle frame. Pavel Dedunov restored the home lead after 26 seconds, Oliwer Kaski’s power play goal — his first for the club — extended the lead midway through the session. And then the Hawks’ offense exploded. Sergei Shumakov scored twice, either side of a Sergei Tolchinsky tally, as three goals in three minutes ended the game as a contest. One of Shumakov’s efforts was a lacrosse-style goal; it was one of those games where everything came off for the home team.

True, Amur pulled one goal back through Alexander Gorshkov, but Avangard was in no mood to relax. Instead, the home team added two more in the third with Jiri Sekac and Ville Pokka completing the rout.

CSKA despatches Barys

CSKA Moscow 3 Barys Nur-Sultan 1 (2-1, 1-0, 0-0)

CSKA had little difficulty despatching Barys with a routine win for the 2019 champion in Moscow. The Army Men assumed control of the game from the start, and it was little surprise to see Maxim Mamin and Andrei Svetlakov open a 2-0 lead midway through the first period. Svetlakov’s goal was assisted by Brendan Leipsic as the Canadian forward made his KHL debut after a summer move from Washington.

Photo: 07.09.20. KHL Championship 2020-2021. CSKA (Moscow) - Barys (Nur-Sultan)

It was something of a surprise when Barys pulled a goal back. Against the run of play Nikita Mikhailis gave his team a lifeline seconds after Artyom Sergeyev emerged from the penalty box. However, CSKA was not about to lose its grip on the game. Sergei Andronov steere the puck into the net early in the second, only to be denied because of a high stick. Barys, though, did not heed the warning. The visitor hit penalty trouble and Anton Slepyshev converted a 5-on-3 power play to take the game away from the Kazakhs.

In the third period, CSKA did a solid job of defending its lead. There were few chances at either end as the home team closed out the game. The win ended an unwanted sequence for the Army Men, who hadn’t won at home to Barys since 2017.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Barys (Nur-Sultan) Barys (Nur-Sultan)
Dinamo (Minsk) Dinamo (Minsk)
Dynamo (Moscow) Dynamo (Moscow)
Salavat Yulaev (Ufa) Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)
Severstal (Cherepovets) Severstal (Cherepovets)
Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)
Spartak (Moscow) Spartak (Moscow)
CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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