Traktor took to the ice today in a special uniform. The player names and numbers all appeared in a spidery, childish hand as part of the club’s action in support of children with cerebral palsy. In support of International Cerebral Palsy Day, all the jerseys were due to be auctioned off after the game, and funds donated to the ‘Podarok Angelu’ charitable fund.
The unusual kit brought good fortune to the team, as well as to the charity. Traktor continued its winning streak, claiming a 4-2 verdict for the third successive game. The home team got in front thanks to two goals from Alexander Avtsin, who scored early in the first and second periods. Red Star responded in the 28th minute when Andrei Bakanov scored his first in the KHL. The 18-year-old Muscovite is eligible for consideration in the NHL draft and could learn his fate later today; as he redirected a flying puck past Roman Will, he might have sent out a quiet reminder to a few clubs in North America.
However, he could not redirect the path of this game. Within a minute, Vyacheslav Osnovin made it 3-1 to Traktor and the same player added a short-handed tally at the start of the third. Defenseman Ilya Karpukhin collected his third assist of the night on that play. Luke Lockhart pulled a goal back for the Dragons, but the home side was always too strong. Osnovin could have had a hat-trick, but his late penalty shot went into Simon Hrubec’s pads.
A fast start from the Motormen left Barys playing catch-up and the home team maintained its advantage to the finish line. Avto’s third straight win puts the team on top of the Kharlamov Division and lifts it to second place in the East. For Barys, a first road trip after emerging from quarantine ended in defeat.
Avtomobilist made the perfect start. After just 67 seconds a long diagonal pass from Alexei Makeyev picked out Peter Holland and the Canadian forward got the better of Joni Ortio from close range. Then, on the first power play of the game, the home team increased its lead when Dan Sexton picked out Brooks Macek with a fine pass. Despite the bright start, Avtomobilist’s difficulties with discipline emerged once more. The first penalty on the host saw Roman Starchenko reduce the arrears.
Penalty trouble struck again midway through the second period, with Barys getting a 5-on-3 advantage for 1:56. This time, though, the PK was strong and late in the middle frame Avto increased its lead. Makeyev scored on his former Vityaz team-mate Ortio to make it 3-1.
The job wasn’t quite done, though. Barys got a goal back in the third when Jakub Lilja converted a counter-attack to make it a one-goal game. The home defense had to put in some big shifts — 14 blocked shots in the third period — to absorb the pressure but held on to claim the win.
It was something of an old boy’s club for Metallurg as it snapped a nine-game losing streak against SKA. Former Army Men Yegor Yakovlev and Sergei Plotnikov were both on the scoresheet, while head coach Ilya Vorobyov plotted the downfall of his previous club.
SKA took the lead at the start of the third period when Joonas Kemppainen potted his first of the season, squeezing a low shot under Juho Olkinuora’s pads from the edge of the right-hand circle. But it took less than a minute to tie the game, with Juho Lammikko scoring for the third game in a row. Harri Pesonen intercepted the puck on his own blue line and launched an attack that ended with his compatriot shooting home from the deep slot. And midway through the frame Yakovlev marked his return to Petersburg with a goal for his new club. The defenseman, who made 187 appearances for the Army Men, gave Metallurg the lead with a long-range effort that clipped the inside of Kemppainen’s leg and nestled inside Mikhail Berdin’s far post.
In the third period, 22-year-old Yegor Korobkin extended Metallurg’s lead. Fellow youngster Igor Shvyryov chased down a lost cause behind the net, overpowered Dinar Khafizullin and set up Korobkin for a one-timer on the slot. That was the youngster’s second KHL goal, having opened his account last season. And there was still time for another ex-SKA man to get on the scoresheet when Plotnikov slotted the puck into an empty net.
Dinamo had almost a full week’s rest ahead of this game, having previously played on Oct. 1. That game saw a six-game winning streak come to an end in Riga. The Latvians were Sochi’s last opponent as well; the two met on Monday in a Western Conference basement battle won by the Black Sea team.
And the visitor took that form into the opening exchanges of this game, opening a two-goal lead in the first period. Igor Rudenkov opened the scoring in the 10th minute, and it wasn’t long before Jere Karjalainen added a power play tally. The Finn now has three points from his last three games, improving after five games without any scoring on his arrival in the KHL.
Dinamo, though, has not been short of goals this season. Midway through the second period the home team got on the board when Rob Klinkhammer scored on the power play. However, on this occasion Sochi was able to limit Dinamo’s chances and edge a 2-1 verdict with Joel Lassinantti making 28 saves. The visitor made it three wins from its last five games.