Dinamo Minsk 3 Admiral Vladivostok 4 SO (0-1, 0-1, 3-1, 0-0, 0-1)
The first warm-up game of the summer saw Admiral make its long-awaited return to action — and start its new era with a win inspired by two old favorites. The Sailors, who missed last season when the local authorities diverted funds away from sport to help fight the pandemic, got a shoot-out verdict in Minsk with the Ushenin brothers to the fore.
For Dinamo, meanwhile, Saturday’s game was a first chance to look at several new arrivals in the Belarusian capital. Slovak goalie Patrik Rybar made his debut, as did 21-year-old defenseman Sergei Sapego, back in his homeland after four seasons in North America and a WHL title with the Prince Albert Raiders in 2019. There were also starts from Lukas Bengtsson and Taylor Beck, both recruited over the summer.
Minsk made the brighter start to the game, but could not find a way past Nikita Serebryakov in the Admiral net. And, late in the opening frame, the visitor punished Dinamo. The Ushenin twins, who made their KHL debut for Admiral back in 2014, combined for the opening goal on 19:54 when Vyacheslav converted the rebound from Vladislav’s shot.
That family connected clicked once again the second period, with the brothers reversing roles as Vladislav made it 2-0. However, Dinamo raised its game and turned it around in the third period. Danila Klimovich, who starred for Belarus at last season’s U18 World Championship, could be a break-out player in the KHL this term. He staked a big claim to a place in Craig Woodcroft’s roster with a goal and an assist as the Bison tied the scores. Beck also made his first contribution in a Dinamo jersey, with a helper and a tally of his own. Veteran Denis Mosalyov put the home team ahead in the closing minutes, but Admiral tied it up at the last thanks to Evgeny Grigorenko.
The game went all the way to a shoot-out, and Admiral converted its first three attempts — thanks to Grigorenko and the Ushenins — while Serebryakov stopped everything that came at him from Dinamo.