This result isn’t quite unprecedented — twice before, Ak Bars has lost by a six-goal margin in the KHL — but it was hugely unexpected. Notwithstanding the visitor’s patchy recent form, and its absent players, defeat against a modest Amur team would always be a surprise. And a 7-1 loss was a sensation.
Czech defenseman Michal Jordan was the unlikely hero of the game for the Tigers. He potted a hat-trick to lead his team to a crushing victory — and admitted that it was a shock for him as well. “This is my first hat-trick since I played juniors,” he said. “After my third goal, I barely even noticed how we finished the game!”
Everyone noticed Amur’s start, though. In the fifth minute Alexander Kuznetsov opened the scoring when he redirected a Gleb Koryagin shot into the net. Then came a short-handed goal for the host, with Vladimir Butuzov beating Amir Miftakhov. Jordan’s first came late in the opening frame, firing home from the blue line for a power play goal.
In the second stanza, Ak Bars picked up the pace and dominated the game for long periods. A Stephane Da Costa goal hinted at a lifeline, but another Jordan power play goal late in the session extinguished that hope. On the bench, Dmitry Kvartalnov’s reaction said it all — for Ak Bars, it was fast turning into a day to forget, while Miftakhov was left wondering how Jordan’s slap shot went straight though him.
Late in the second, Valentin Pyanov made it 5-1; Amur scored two goals from six shots in the middle session. A 5-on-3 power play in the third brought Jordan’s hat-trick, following up a Kirill Rasskazov shot to score from close range. Nikita Kamalov completed the scoring late in the game.
After six successive defeats, Sibir finally got to celebrate a win after shooting down Traktor in the third period. The visitor, meanwhile, hit a bump in its encouraging recent form as a three-game winning streak came to an end.
The first period stats favored the home team, but the clearest chances fell to Traktor. And early in the second, Lawrence Pilut put the visitor in front with a point shot that beat Harri Sateri. Midway through the game, though, a power play saw Sibir draw level thanks to Oleg Li.
Sibir’s Finnish connection came together in the third to give the home team the lead with 10 minutes to play. Juuso Puustinen was the scorer, assisted by Jyrki Jokipakka and Mikael Ruohomaa. And Jokipakka picked up his second point of the game when he set up Yegor Milovzorov for an empty net goal to wrap up a long-awaited Sibir victory.
Trailing 0-4 after 45 minutes, Jokerit pulled off a sensational fightback to claim a stunning overtime victory. The remarkable turnaround saw the Finns bounce back from defeat at Amur on Monday and climb to fourth in the Western Conference.
There was little sign of the drama to come during a tame first period in which neither team posed much of an attacking threat. The second session saw a marked improvement from the home team, and goals from Yegor Petukhov and Arkady Shestakov gave Barys a deserved 2-0 advantage at the second intermission. Early in the third, further tallies from Jakob Lilja and Linus Videll opened a commanding lead and it seemed that this game was done.
However, the last three Barys games went to overtime and the Kazakh club has not won in regulation since September 10. Thus, when Peter Regin pulled one back in the 46th minute there was at least a faint hope for Jokerit despite the dire situation in the game.
That hope became tangible when two goals in 90 seconds got home nerves jangling. Tommi Kivisto made it 2-4 before Regin potted his second of the game. Barys, wobbling, called a time-out and hoped to stem the flow.
The home side was 70 seconds away from succeeding. Jokerit withdrew goalie Janis Kalnins and embarked on a final push. Mikko Lehtonen, his team’s leading scorer, moved to 16 (8+8) for the season when he scored the tying goal. Then, two minutes into overtime, David Sklenicka completed an unlikely comeback. Brian O’Neill collected his fourth assist of the game, moving level with Lehtonen on 16 points. Along the way, the American forward also collected his 200th points in the KHL.
Jokerit’s recovery set a new record — it’s the quickest any team has clawed back a four-goal deficit in the KHL, beating Traktor’s effort to overcome Ugra in 2012.
Roberts Bukarts scored twice to lead Severstal to victory over struggling Sochi. The game marked a return home for the Leopards’ newly-appointed head coach Evgeny Stavrovsky but the result was anything but a happy reunion for the 47-year-old. Even the inside knowledge culled from starting the season as assistant to Andrei Razin at Severstal could not help him escape a third defeat since taking over in the hot seat.
Razin’s team has rather fewer problems. Coming into the game, the Steelmen were looking to build on Sunday’s victory over Avtomobilist and they achieved that on the back of Vladislav Podyapolsky’s shut-out. The goalie stopped 24 pucks for his second clean sheet of the campaign.
At the other end, it was all about Bukarts. The Latvian has not enjoyed the easiest of starts at Severstal, in and out of the team and still awaiting his first goal as he went into this game. But he took his chance today, giving Severstal at 25th-minute lead then doubling the advantage when he converted a penalty shot.
On a day full of goals, the highest scoring game was in Mytishchi where Red Star continued its dramatic upswing in form. Wednesday’s win over Metallurg made it three in a row for the Dragons, and left goalie Artyom Zagidulin to suffer a nightmare return after he came back to Magnitka on loan from Calgary.
Initially, it seemed like the youngster might be heading for a comfortable win against a team he briefly represented back in 2016-2017. Metallurg opened the scoring early on through Igor Shvyryov and soon had the puck in the net again. However, Grigory Dronov bundled both puck and goalie over the line and a coach’s challenge ruled out the play.
The reprieve lifted Red Star and Hunter Shinkaruk tied the scores with his third goal in three games as his team converted its first power play of the game. Early in the second, though, it was Metallurg that profited from an extra man as another ex-Dragon, Taylor Beck, made it 2-1 for the visitor.
Then came a flurry of home scoring. Spencer Foo tied it up on the power play, Jason Fram gave Red Star the lead with a short-handed effort and late in the frame there were strikes from Ethan Werek and Sam Lofquist to give the host a commanding 5-2 lead.
In keeping with the day’s general theme, though, there were more surprises to come. A first KHL goal for 20-year-old forward Yury Platonov was a big moment for the whole family — dad Denis, a long-serving Metallurg player, is now on the coaching staff within the organization. It also offered way back into the game and a Harri Pesonen snipe soon had us at 5-4. But Magnitka could not emulate Jokerit’s heroics from early in the day and a late David Bondra goal sealed another Red Star win.
CSKA suffered a surprise loss on home ice as Torpedo bounced back from its disappointment against Kunlun to shock the league leader. Young Denis Vengryzhanovsky announced himself in the KHL with two goals against the league leader. The 19-year-old, playing in just his fifth game in the league, twice gave Torpedo the lead in this one as he looks to make the most of his chance after getting a call up from the juniors.
His first goal came midway through the opening frame. Artyom Sergeyev miscontrolled the puck in his own zone and Vengryzhanovsky was on it in a flash to shoot into the empty net. Bogdan Kiselevich tied it up, but young Denis got his second of the game to restore Torpedo’s advantage early in the second. This time he jumped on the loose puck after Ziyat Paigin’s rush was halted; his shoot deflected off Yegor Rykov and bounced past Lars Johansson.
CSKA tied it up once more early in the third through Mario Kempe but could not find a winner in regulation. Then, in the extras, a game that started with one of the youngest players getting his first goals was finished by one of the league’s most experienced. Mikhail Varnakov made his 700th KHL appearance on Monday; today he potted the winning goal two minutes into overtime.
Dinamo Minsk continues without its imports — and continues to find it tough with half the roster scratched. Not even a fast start in Moscow could save the Belarusians as Dynamo recovered to edge this one.
The game had an explosive opening. Igor Martynov gave Minsk the lead on 2:40, but it took just 14 seconds for Artyom Volkov to tie the scores. The home team went on to dominate play for the rest of the period, only to be hit with a sucker punch one second before the interval. Yegor Sharangovich grabbed a short-handed goal to restore Minsk’s lead.
Dynamo responded early in the second Mikhail Grigoryev exchanged passes with Vadim Shipachyov before firing home a point shot. That play survive a bench challenge from Craig Woodcroft, with the video showing no evidence of interference on rookie goalie Alexei Kolosov. Then Shipachyov scored one himself. Andrei Mironov stepped out of the penalty box to gather a loose puck and sent his team’s leading scorer through in a de facto penalty shot. Against an 18-year-old goalie, there was only one winner and Dynamo had the lead.
The visitor kept battling and the game was still alive in the closing minutes. However, two empty net goals sealed the outcome. Shipachyov got his second of the night before Dmitry Kagarlitsky finished the job.
A late goal from Alexander Semin gave Vityaz the points in this game, snapping a two-goal skid and returning the team to the playoff places.
Earlier this season, these opponents traded 11 goals in Ufa, so there was also an expectation of excitement here. Initially, though, both teams kept their powder dry and it wasn’t until late in the opening frame that Ufa opened the scoring. Alexander Kadeikin got the goal on the power play.
Vityaz turned things around in the second period. Semin tied the scores midway through the game, then Alexander Dergachyov made it 2-1. But that was just the prelude to a frantic finale. Salavat got back in front on goals from Vladislav Kartayev and Philip Larsen, but the lead lasted less than a minute before Svyatoslav Grebenshchikov tied it up once again. Overtime was looming, but with 71 seconds left Semin produced a first-class snipe, wiring home a one-timer off Yury Pautov’s pass to claim his second of the game and give his team the points. It also took us to 52 goals in eight games on Wednesday’s card — now that’s entertainment!