Vitaly Kravtsov’s second goal in two games, plus an unusual penalty call against Amur’s goalie, saw Traktor record back-to-back wins in Khabarovsk. Anvar Gatiyatulin’s team made it five wins from six games and climbed to fourth in the Eastern Conference.
The first period was fairly even until late in the session when Kravtsov opened the scoring. Traktor kept the play in the home end, Isayev fired in a point shot and Kravtsov got the touch to take it away from Marek Langhamer and open the scoring. That was the 20-year-old’s eighth goal of the season and it keeps up his run of scoring on Amur each time the teams meet.
Amur’s cause was not helped by an unusual penalty call on goalie Langhamer. The Czech took 2+10 for illegal equipment after his shoulder pads were deemed bigger than permitted. Traktor’s coaching staff alerted the officials to the issue and, during the first intermission, they measured the kit and found that it did not meet the rules. The penalty left Amur with just three skaters at the start of the second period and Sergei Kalinin took advantage to beat stand-in goalie Evgeny Alikin and double the visitor’s lead.
In the third period, with Langhamer reinstated between the piping, the home team managed to pull a goal back through Vladimir Butuzov. But it wasn’t enough to save the game.
The Dragons’ winning run came to an end — but only after top-of-the-table CSKA suffered a big scare in Mytishchi. Alexei Korolev’s team showed little respect for the Army Men’s elevated status, taking the game to its opponent from the first shift and completing the first period with a 2-1 lead. CSKA hit back in the second, before.
It wasn’t just a fast start from Red Star, it was the quickest goal in the club’s history. Alexei Toropchenko needed just 34 seconds to get on the end of Cory Kane’s feed and steer the puck home at the far post. The previous fastest KRS tally was scored by Linus Videll back in the 2016/17 campaign. This time, the video review to confirm the play lasted longer than the time elapsed in the game.
CSKA responded with a power play goal from Maxim Shalunov, but any expectation that normal service would be resumed was rudely disrupted by a Ryan Sproul shot a minute before the intermission. The defenseman got his first goal of the season to send the home team into the break with a lead.
It took a moment of individual flair to put CSKA back on level terms. Midway through the second period, Pavel Karnaukhov provided it when he fired home the tying goal. Even then, the Dragons still posed a threat and Tyler Wong was agonizingly close to restoring the lead for a third time when his shot dinged the piping on a power play. At the other end, though, the visitor’s PP did its job for the second time in the game as Nikita Korostelyov gave CSKA the lead for the first time in the game.
Both teams came into Sunday’s game on the back of important wins. Sochi’s 5-2 success at Vityaz ended a six-game losing streak and gave recently-appointed head coach Evgeny Svarovsky his first victory for his new club. Spartak, meanwhile, continued its recent hoodoo over SKA, recording a third successive win in Petersburg to return to the top eight in the West.
The first half of the game was goalless, but shortly after the midway point the teams traded a quick pair of tallies. Lukas Radil put Spartak in front but within 65 seconds Amir Garayev brought Sochi level. The 19-year-old, called up from Kapitan Stupino of the JHL, claimed his first goal in the league.
For a long time, it looked like that might be the end of the scoring as well as the beginning. But the last five minutes saw Spartak take the verdict. Ilya Talaluyev broke the deadlock on 55:03 before Radil scored on the power play to make the game safe. The Czech completed a hat-trick with an empty-net goal to complete a second successive 4-1 scoreline for the Red-and-Whites.
Dinamo welcomed back its imports as it returned to Minsk and had high hopes of snapping a four-game losing streak after getting back to a full-strength roster. Defenseman Adam Almquist and Brennan Menell were restored to the team, as were forwards Ryan Spooner, Brandon Kozun and Shane Prince. However, Severstal arrived in Belarus with ambitions of its own after two wins in its last three games returned Andrei Razin’s team to the top eight.
After two periods of goalless hockey, Severstal looked like it had the winner thanks to a Shawn Lalonde goal midway through the third. But Dinamo battled to the very end and grabbed a last-minute marker to take us into overtime. Spooner fed Menell at the center point and when Dmitry Shugayev failed to hold onto the slap shot, Yegor Sharangovich jumped on the rebound to force overtime.
The extras began badly for Dinamo when Almqvist — only just back on the team — fell awkwardly and had to be helped from the ice. That certainly seemed to deflate the host and Severstal quickly camped out in Dinamo territory. The pressure paid off when David Dumbadze set up Vladislav Provolnev for the winner on 62:45.