Sunday was a big day for Teemu Hartikainen. Salavat Yulaev’s forward scored four in a game for the first time in the KHL, his 5-point haul took him out in front in the KHL scoring race and by scoring his 50th point of the season, he set a new national record — and he did it all against Ufa’s biggest rival, Ak Bars in a resounding 7-3 win. Previously, no Finn had managed more than the 50 points that Esa Pirnes compiled for Atlant back in the first KHL season; now Harty has moved into new territory. What makes him so good? In the words of Oskar Osala, Hartikainen “moves like a figure skater and is as strong as a truck”.
With 10 straight victories, Ak Bars set a new club record and moved itself to the top of the KHL standings. The record-breaking win was actually game nine of the sequence, a 2-1 success at home to Dynamo Moscow, while Dmitry Kvartalnov’s team secured #10 in dramatic fashion when it rallied from 0-2 down to defeat Traktor in a shoot-out. The team’s run came to an end in Ufa on Sunday, but Stephane Da Costa continued his individual streak and has picked up points in his last 11 appearances. The French center has 21 (11+10) points in that run, placing him fourth on the overall scoring chart.
Age is no barrier for Dynamo Moscow goalie Alexander Yeryomenko. The 40-year-old is still at the top of his game and this week saw his 60th KHL shut-out, with 28 saves in Saturday’s 2-0 win over Dinamo Minsk. The two-time playoff MVP is only the third man to reach that figure, behind Vasily Koshechkin (82 shut-outs) and Ilya Sorokin, who had 60 when he left CSKA. And it’s no flash in the pan: Yeryoma ranks third in this season’s KHL for GAA (1.96) and shots stopped (93.1%), producing the kind of numbers that mean he has already played more than the 20 games he had last season.
Jokerit’s 3-2 home win over Avtomobilist might not seem like anything unusual — except that the Finns played this home game in Yekaterinburg. Sunday’s meeting was the second time this season that Lauri Marjamaki’s team gave up home ice advantage in order to clear the backlog of games missed while in quarantine. Earlier, Jokerit suffered a 1-4 loss in Kazan. Revenge might come quickly, though: on Monday, the Motormen entertain the Jokers once again, this time as official hosts of the game.
The Women’s Hockey League returned to action this week and the big game was a repeat of last year’s grand final as KRS Vanke Rays took on Agidel Ufa. The Russian team, limited to just 13 players, was out for revenge and jumped to a 5-1 first period lead against the defending champion. However, the Chinese club almost saved the game: Megan Bozek scored twice, while Jessica Wong, Rachel Llanes and Alex Carpenter both picked up two points in a 4-5 loss. Carpenter remains among the top five scorers in the WHL, but it’s Agidel’s Olga Sosina who leads the way. During the week she posted her 300th point in the competition and on Sunday she posted three more points to go to the top of the scoring charts.
Goal of the game:
Пожалуй, лучший гол сегодняшнего матча https://t.co/2GTvMGp1SO— ЖХЛ. Красивая Лига (@whl_ru) January 10, 2021
The Junior Hockey League ended its New Year break on Jan. 4. Dynamo Moscow’s Alexander Kisakov (53 points) and Nikita Lukhovskoi (49) continue to lead the scoring race. Sibirsky Snaipery forward Dmitry Ovchinnikov moves into the top five on 44 (16+28) points. Matvei Michkov, a 16-year-old at SKA-1946, potted his 22nd goal of the season and tops the goalscoring rankings.
Hit of the week:
Celebration of the week: