Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Tuesday saw the first tournament action of the summer in Sochi, with Traktor living up to its billing as rising force. In warm-up games, there were wins for Metallurg and Ak Bars.

Metallurg’s new boys make an impact

Severstal Cherepovets 3 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 6 (1-0, 1-3, 1-3)

This clash between two sets of Steelmen was played in Minsk, where both clubs are holding pre-season camps. It was Severstal’s second game of the summer, following a win over Admiral on Thursday, and Andrei Razin shuffled his pack to give game time to newcomers Robert Rooba and Jakob Stenqvist as well as the more familiar trio of Yegor Morozov, Vladislav Podyapolsky and Daniil Vovchenko. Metallurg used its first warm-up game to get a look at all of its new signings apart from triallist Daniil Apalkov.

Severstal made the brighter start, repeatedly testing veteran goalie Vasily Koshechkin before taking the lead 23 seconds before the interval thanks to Morozov. Rooba increased that lead at the start of the second, but belatedly Metallurg got into the game. A 5-on-3 power play presented Nikolai Goldobin with his team’s first of the day, then Phillippe Maillet got his first for the club with a deflected effort to tie the scores. Pavel Akolzin, another summer arrival, made it 3-2 and in the third period the new boys continued to hit the target. Nikita Korostelyov and Brendan Leipsic extended Magnitka’s lead to 5-2 before Alexander Agapov and Yegor Korobkin traded late tallies.

Second win for Ak Bars

Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 1 Ak Bars Kazan 2 (0-0, 1-2, 0-0)

These two Tatar teams met for the second successive day and once again Ak Bars came out on top. Despite a 2-4 loss on Monday, Oleg Leontiev was content with minor changes to his Neftekhimik line-up, while Ak Bars head coach Dmitry Kvartalnov made bigger alterations. In particular, he set up a new first line with Jordan Weal centring Dmitry Kagarlitsky and Daniil Tarasov, recently signed from Dynamo Moscow.

The first period brought plenty of penalties but no goals. However, the last foul of the session put Ak Bars on the power play at the start of the second, and Trevor Murphy duly converted the chance to open the scoring. Another PP goal soon followed from Nikolai Kovalenko and the visitor was in control. Neftekhimik pulled one goal back midway through the game thanks to Andrei Chivilyov but there was no way back for the host.

Sochi Hockey Open

Cup winner beaten in opening game

Traktor Chelyabinsk 6 Avangard Omsk 3 (2-1, 0-1, 4-1)

Traktor’s summer trades have prompted many to suggest that Chelyabinsk could be a dark horse for honors in the coming season. Today’s win over the defending champion only adds weight to those opinions.

This was the first tournament action of pre-season, with the two teams meeting in the opening game of the Sochi Hockey Open. Avangard struck first, with Ivan Telegin potting his first goal since joining the Hawks from CSKA. However, Traktor soon turned it round with two power play goals, both assisted by Nikita Tertyshny, who is on a try-out contract.

Avangard dominated the middle frame, outshooting Traktor 17-3, but a solitary goal from Bogdan Denisevich off a great pass from Nail Yakupov was the only reward. In the third, Traktor took control with Vitaly Abramov joining Tertyshny on three points.

Avangard head coach Bob Hartley

This tournament in Sochi is a great opportunity for us to look at our new guys. We want to try and put them in different situations, different roles. It’s important that they have a chance to get used to our systems, I like how they’re progressing and how they are buying into our game. Mistakes in the third period decided today’s game.

Traktor head coach Anvar Gatiyatulin

This was our first game but we laid the foundations before today. We paid a lot of attention to physical fitness and before the tournament we started looking at tactics. We need to find some effective partnerships. I’m happy with the performance and the commitment but there are still plenty of questions. There’ a lot of work ahead of us, cleaning things up on defense and offense. It’s too early to draw conclusions, this is just our first game.

Host falls in OT

HC Sochi 2 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 3 OT (0-0, 1-0, 1-2, 0-1)

Sochi started its home tournament against Avtomobilist but the Motormen got the verdict thanks to an overtime goal from Alexei Makeyev. He converted an excellent pass from Sergei Shumakov to settle the outcome and give Bill Peters’ team the win despite resting several key players.

The visitor was without the likes of Nikita Tryamkin and Stephane Da Costa, and Patrice Cormier was the only import to feature for Avto. Sochi, meanwhile, was close to full strength with Slovak forward Martin Bakos the only obvious absentee.

This game was a slow-burner, with the first period short of memorable incident. That changed midway through the second when Latvian D-man Janis Jaks produced a fine individual goal on the power play to give Sochi the lead. Avtomobilist responded in the third when Shumakov tied the scores. Home captain Yury Alexandrov swiftly restored his team’s lead but six minutes from time a series of ricochets in front of Maxim Tretyak presented Stepan Khripunov with a simple finish from close range. That took us to overtime, and Makeyev’s winner.

Sochi head coach Evgeny Stavrovsky

It was a good, competitive game. We skated well, had a good focus on the net but unfortunately lost in overtime. We’ve only been together with the full roster for a week, we have reserves here and we want to look at them during this tournament. But there’s also a wish to play much of each game with our first team so the guys get to understand our identity.

Avtomobilist head coach Bill Peters

It was a good first game, we got better as the game went on and the third period was the best for us. Pavel Datsyuk is training on his own, he’ll make a decision this month and we’re looking forward to having him with us. If he decides he’s ready, that’s what will happen. This year is good for us, we have three pre-season tournaments, in contrast with last year, we’ll try lots of different combinations. If Datsyuk decides to play that won’t cause us any issues. Last season Sergei Shumakov missed a big part with injuries after he came to Avtomobilist. We need to give him a chance to adapt to the team, we’re looking at him on a line with Makeyev and da Costa. But we need alternatives because at the end of August da Costa is going to the Olympic qualification, so is Shane Prince.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Related clubs

Avangard (Omsk) Avangard (Omsk)
Avtomobilist (Ekaterinburg) Avtomobilist (Ekaterinburg)
Ak Bars (Kazan) Ak Bars (Kazan)
Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)
Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk) Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk)
Severstal (Cherepovets) Severstal (Cherepovets)
HC Sochi (Sochi) HC Sochi (Sochi)
Traktor (Chelyabinsk) Traktor (Chelyabinsk)
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