A second victory on its road trip out in the east saw Dinamo Minsk move into the top four of the Western Conference. After thrashing Sibir 6-0 on Wednesday, the Belarusians had a harder time of it in Khabarovsk but came from behind to make it two wins from two.
Amur, playing at home for the first time since Oct. 25, settled in quickly. After almost four minutes of non-stop play, Dinamo’s defense failed to prevent Vladimir Butuzov from firing past Dominik Furch. The netminder allowed his first goal in 114 minutes and Amur had the lead. But it only lasted for one minute before a power play enabled in-form forwards Ryan Spooner and Brandon Kozun to combine and the latter tied it up. Both men extended their productive runs to four games.
The second period began with Dinamo’s Ivan Lodnya getting a two-minute penalty for throwing something onto the ice, and the subsequent period was littered with minor penalties on both sides. Neither team was able to score, though, and the game was decided in the final frame.
With both teams playing more disciplined hockey, the winning goal came midway through the third period Amur’s defense gave Shane Prince too much space on the slot and he took advantage to beat Evgeny Alikin. Amur had chances to recover, but Furch was equal to them.
Avangard scored four unanswered goals in the third period of this game to strengthen its position at the top of the Chernyshev Division. Sibir, meanwhile suffered a second heavy loss in three days: since the international break, Nikolai Zavarukhin’s team has allowed 10 goals and scored just once.
Sibir handed a debut to Finnish forward Pekka Jormakka — one of five Finns on the Siberian team. Avangard, which currently has six imports on the books, continued with Simon Hrubec in goal but replaced defenseman Ville Pokka with forward Jiri Sekac. However, the teams could not find a goal in the first period, with Sibir clearly focusing on its defensive game after a heavy loss last time out. The tactics looked to be paying off; while Avangard had more of the game it struggled to create clear chances. In the second period Sibir added a bit more attacking intent and got its reward when a breakaway saw Dmitry Sayustov pick out a pass for Evgeny Chesalin to open the scoring.
However, the third period had echoes of the horrific first period Sibir endured against Dinamo Minsk 48 hours earlier. On that occasion, the Novosibirsk men allowed five goals inside 11 minutes; this time it was three inside eight. Reid Boucher led the turnaround, tying the game 50 seconds after the restart then putting the Hawks ahead on the power play in the 45th minute. Semyon Chistyakov then gave the visitor some breathing space and Sekac finished the job with an empty net goal 30 seconds from time.