Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Teenage forward Yegor Chinakhov scored twice, including an overtime winner, as Avangard came from behind to beat Jokerit. And the Hawks consolidated their position atop the Eastern Conference as Ak Bars went down to a second successive loss, falling to Torpedo. Dinamo Minsk recorded a sixth straight win with a 4-1 success at Severstal, while Metallurg and Traktor both snapped losing streaks. Neftekhimik edged Kunlun Red Star.

Chinakhov’s double downs Jokerit

Avangard Omsk 3 Jokerit Helsinki 2 OT (0-0, 1-1, 1-1, 1-0)

Two goals from youngster Yegor Chinakhov earned Avangard a hard-fought victory at home to Jokerit. The Finns led twice in regulation on goals from Niklas Jensen, but could not seal the game and missed out in the extras.

Photo: 29.09.20. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Avangard (Omsk) - Jokerit (Helsinki)

The first period was cautious, but Jokerit got the first big opportunity of the game late in the session. Kirill Semyonov was ejected for slew-footing and the Finns had a major penalty to exploit. Avangard, though, dug in to resist the assault on both sides of the intermission. It wasn’t until the 26th minute that the visitor opened the scoring, with Jensen getting his first of the evening.

The Hawks, though, had something a bit special lined up in reply. You’ll have to go a long way to find a cheekier assist than Corban Knight’s outrageous feed between his own legs to set up Chinakhov for Avangard’s equalizer on 31 minutes. Ordinarily, the teenager’s second goal in successive games would be the headline on this play, but Knight stole the show with his audacious skills.

The third period saw Jensen on target again, before Sergei Shumakov tied it up with five minutes to play after another no-look feed, this time from Denis Zernov. That led to overtime and, after a penalty on Jokerit goalie Anders Lindback, Avangard got in front for the first and only time in the game. Helped by that man advantage, Shumakov and Oliwer Kaski combined to carve open the Jokerit defense; Chinakhov was well placed at the back door to wire home the winner with 34 seconds left on the clock.

Minsk’s magic run continues

Severstal Cherepovets 1 Dinamo Minsk 4 (0-1, 0-1, 1-2)

Two of the KHL’s surprise packets met in Cherepovets — but it was Dinamo that came away with the spoils. Craig Woodcroft’s men posted their sixth successive victory, maintaining a lofty perch in the top three of the Western Conference.

Teenage defenseman Vladislav Kolyachonok opened the scoring in the third minute and the visitor went on to enjoy the better of the first period. Severstal looked stronger in the second, but could not find a goal and fell further behind just before the intermission when Yegor Sharangovich doubled the lead. That’s five points in the last five games for Sharangovich, a key contribution to Dinamo’s progress.

The third period began with a power play goal from Rob Klinkhammer. At the other end, Dominik Furch was enjoying a return to Cherepovets, where he minded the net for Severstal in his last KHL campaign. However, with seven minutes to play, the Czech was beaten by Denis Vikharev as the Steelmen looked to save the game. It didn’t happen, though. An empty net effort from Kirill Voronin sealed the win for Dinamo.

Last-minute salvation for Metallurg

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 3 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 4 SO (1-1, 0-1, 2-1, 0-0, 0-1)

Both teams came into this game looking to snap a two-game losing streak and it took a full 65 minutes to separate them. Deadlocked at 3-3 after regulation, the two could not be divided by overtime and in the end it fell to Yegor Yakovlev to pot the only goal of the shoot-out and give Magnitka the win.

Photo: 29.09.20. KHL Championship 2020-2021. Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) - Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)

Yakovlev was also on target early in the game, but that goal merely cancelled out Loko’s opener. Roman Savchenko’s one-timer off an assist from 19-year-old Daniil Tesanov — his first point in the KHL — gave the home team the lead, albeit a short-lived one.

Early in the second, Metallurg got in front with a power play goal. Semyon Koshelev got the redirect on an Andrej Nestrasil shot to beat Ilya Konovalov. Despite a Lokomotiv onslaught, Koshelev’s goal and 15 saves from Vasily Koshechkin ensured that the visitor took a lead into the third period.

The host continued to press, though, and got its reward when Yegor Korshkov squeezed a shot home from an impossible angle midway through the third. And in the 56th minute, Loko was in front; Koshechkin couldn’t hold Daniil Ilyin’s shot and Pavel Kraskovsky gobbled up the rebound. Metallurg’s goalie was already off the ice when his team saved the game. Taylor Beck took play behind the net, Juho Lammikko fired the puck to the slot and Yegor Martynov applied the finish to take us to overtime.

After trading goals throughout regulation, neither team could score in the extras and the shoot-out also went a long way before anyone found the twine. But the penultimate attempt saw Yakovlev beat Konovalov and that proved sufficient to seal the outcome.

Back-to-back wins for Torpedo

Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 4 Ak Bars Kazan 2 (1-0, 3-2, 0-0)

Ak Bars slipped to a second successive loss on its current road trip as Torpedo celebrated back-to-back wins for the first time this season.

The home team got ahead in the first period when long-serving club captain Mikhail Varnakov opened the scoring. However, the definitive passage of play came early in the second.

When Stephane Da Costa tied it up for Ak Bars, the smart money seemed to be behind the visitor. But Torpedo had other ideas and hit back hard. Sergei Goncharuk — a two-goal hero in the win over Neftekhimik — struck again to restore the lead, then Anton Shenfeld struck to extend his goal streak to three games. Nigel Dawes got one back for Ak Bars but Semyon Ruchkin scored his first for Torpedo to make it 4-2. Ruchkin, a summer recruit from Avangard, looks to be establishing a role for himself on the blue line in Nizhny Novgorod.

The final frame was goalless. Ak Bars pressure founded on the rocklike defense displayed by Torpedo, with nine out of 28 shots blocked on their way to Nikita Serebryakov. That hard work got its reward with a morale-boosting win against one of the East’s top teams.

Wong returns with a double

Kunlun Red Star 3 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 4 (0-2, 2-2, 1-0)

Tyler Wong celebrated his return to Red Star with two goals in his first appearance of the season, but still finishing on the losing side. The 24-year-old, who needs to complete a second season playing for the Chinese team in order to become eligible for China’s Olympic program, made a long-awaited return to action alongside defensemen Trevor Murphy and Jason Fram, plus forward Josh Nicholls. All four signed new deals with the club this week after securing the necessary documentation to join up with Alexei Kovalev’s team.

At first, though, they had to endure a fast start from Neftekhimik. Alexei Volgin opened the scoring in the first minute and Marat Khairullin doubled the lead not long after. When Pavel Poryadin made it 3-0 early in the second, it looked like a rout might be on the cards.

But Wong had other ideas. He quickly pulled a goal back and even after in-form Alexander Kucheryavenko potted his sixth goal of the season Red Star’s old favorite was able to make it 2-4 going into the second break. In the third, Gleb Zyryanov got his first goal for Red Star to set up a nerve-jangling finale. In the end, though, the visitor held on to record a third win in four games.

Karjalainen’s first goal can’t save Sochi

HC Sochi 2 Traktor Chelyabinsk 4 (0-1, 1-0, 1-3)

Traktor’s imports made the difference in the third period, scoring three goals to snap the team’s three-game losing run. Sochi briefly held the lead after Jere Karjalainen’s first goal for the club, but could not stay in front for long.

The game began with Sergei Kalinin opening the scoring midway through the first period. That effort was cancelled out by Daniil Miromanov early in the second, but it was the final frame that brought the bulk of the action.

First, Karjalainen. The Finn, a summer arrival from Tappara, has been unable to deliver instant results on a Sochi team struggling for form at the start of the season. Today he got his first KHL goal, hopefully a milestone that will ease some of the pressure building on him. German Rubtsov, another big summer acquisition, had an assist on the play to collect his second point of a similarly frustrating start to the season.

But Sochi never had time to consolidate that lead. After 41 seconds, Pontus Aberg tied the scores and two minutes later Lukas Sedlak put Traktor back in front after Tomas Hyka stole the puck on the blue line. Hyka got a goal of his own midway through the third, converting a power play to put the game beyond Sochi.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
exclusive for khl.ru

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Avangard (Omsk) Avangard (Omsk)
Ak Bars (Kazan) Ak Bars (Kazan)
Dinamo (Minsk) Dinamo (Minsk)
Jokerit (Helsinki) Jokerit (Helsinki)
Kunlun Red Star (Beijing) Kunlun Red Star (Beijing)
Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)
Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)
Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk) Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk)
Severstal (Cherepovets) Severstal (Cherepovets)
Sochi (Sochi) Sochi (Sochi)
Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod Region) Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod Region)
Traktor (Chelyabinsk) Traktor (Chelyabinsk)
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