Andy Potts Andy Potts
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The tournament action picks up pace, with day one of the Bashkortostan Cup in Ufa and day two of the Romazan Memorial in Magnitogorsk. That brought wins for both host teams, and an emphatic triumph for Sibir.

Republic of Bashkortostan Cup

Railwaymen too strong for Severstal

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 4 Severstal Cherepovets 1 (1-0, 2-0, 1-1)

Lokomotiv began its pre-season campaign in the opening game of the Republic of Bashkortostan Cup in Ufa. The Railwaymen were missing several leading players, including star signing Maxim Shalunov and forwards Yegor Averin and Andre Petersson, but still kicked off with a convincing win over Severstal. Of the summer signings, Anton Sagadeyev, Alexander Yelesin and Alexander Polunin all featured, but Reid Boucher sat this one out.

Photo: 10.08.21. The Republic of Bashkortostan Cup - 2021. Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) - Severstal (Cherepovets)

This was Severstal’s fourth game of the summer and head coach Andrei Razin named a strong line-up, including imports Robert Rooba, Jakob Stenqvist, Robin Press and Adam Liska.

The Steelmen had the puck in the net on an early power play, but that effort was whistled down for a high stick. After that, Lokomotiv began to enjoy the better of the game, actively moving the puck around the Severstal zone and getting its reward when Rushan Rafikov converted a 5-on-3 power play. The middle frame brought two more goals, with Sagadeyev potting another power play chance before Pavel Kraskovsky made it 3-0.

Early in the third, Daniil Vovchenko pulled a goal back and Severstal had chances to further reduce the deficit. As the clock ran down, a power play for the Steelmen persuaded Razin to gamble, withdrawing his goalie four minutes before the end. This time, though, the gamble backfired and Artur Kayumov scored into the empty net to seal the win.

Severstal head coach Andrei Razin
The big thing today was that we took too many penalties. Apart from the last goal, the other three came when we were shorthanded. We played 17 minutes on the PK and that’s a lot. Game management played its part and the opposition were mentally stronger. We have a lot of new players, our defense is almost entirely new. Now it’s a work in progress. I’m happy with some guys, not so much with others. We understand that it’s hard, they’ve come from other teams and now they have completely different expectations, different preparations. We’re relying on the fact that we still have time.

Lokomotiv head coach Andrei Skabelka
It’s our first game of the season. We had a good, extended training camp. I’m happy with the way we skated, not everything went according to our tactical plan, but I’m happy with the players’ attitude. [Maxim Shalunov] missed the camp, we saw him for the first time on the day we left for Ufa. He did his medical and we decided to leave him at home. It’s all down to game readiness, in Yaroslavl we have a group of 10, we left two coaches there. I think this week will be enough to get up to speed and fit in with the rest of the team when we come back.

Host starts with victory

Salavat Yulaev Ufa 3 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 1 (0-0, 1-1, 2-0)

Host club Salavat Yulaev began its campaign with a win over Avtomobilist thanks to two unanswered goals in the third period. The home team donned a special jersey for the tournament, which incorporated the names of every Salavat Yulaev player from the club’s 60-year history. Today’s line-up was not at full strength, with Sakari Manninen and Viktor Tikhonov both absent. That meant the familiar Finnish trio was broken up: Markus Granlund partnered Rodion Amirov and Mikhail Vorobyov on the first line, while Teemu Hartikainen played on the second with Alexander Kadeikin and Sergei Shmelyov.

Avtomobilist also rested some familiar faces, with Jakub Kovar and Sergei Shumakov missing out. Shane Prince, Ryan Spooner and Brooks Macek formed an import line, while Stephane Da Costa centered Georgy Belousov and Alexei Makeyev.

Despite a lively first period, the first goal had to wait until the 28th minute. Mikhail Naumenkov broke the deadlock, converting a pass from Amirov to give Salavat the lead. Soon, though, Avto tied it up on the power play when Makeyev beat Juha Metsola through a screen. But the third period saw Ufa take control with Shmelyov restoring the lead before Geoff Platt’s empty net goal wrapped it up.

Avtomobilist head coach Bill Peters
Results aren’t so important right now. The main thing is to build connections between the players and lay a foundation for the season. This is our fifth game, our second pre-season tournament, and we’re looking for the perfect partnerships. [Kovar] will join us when we are back to Yekaterinburg. He should be available for the tournament in Chelyabinsk. We expect Sergei [Shumakov] to play in the next game.

Salavat Yulaev head coach Tomi Lamsa
Overall, I’m happy with today’s game. If you look at the opposition, they already played a tournament in Sochi and for the first 10 minutes Avtomobilist looked sharper, we were feeling our way into the game. However, after that I was happy. We had a plan and we stuck to it.

Romazan Memorial Trophy

Amur pays the penalty

Amur Khabarovsk 0 Sibir Novosibirsk 8 (0-3, 0-3, 0-2)

Defending champion Sibir made it two wins from two games with a resounding victory over Amur. Five power play goals tilted this match-up in the Siberians’ favor as the Tigers struggled to make an impact.

Discipline was Amur’s big problem, with 11 different players finding themselves in the box during this game. Sibir took full advantage of this to ramp up the scoring. Andrei Martemyanov’s team had eight different goalscorers, with 18-year-old Dmitry Ovchinnikov scoring perhaps the prettiest of the day. His effort came in the 27th minute to make it 5-0 and chased starting goalie Tomas Bartosak from the net after the youngster slipped the puck through his own legs before shooting over the goalie’s shoulder. After two games, Sibir has 11 unanswered goals in the tournament.

Sibir head coach Andrei Martemyanov
Our power play exploded today, creating and scoring lots of good chances. But I’d also like to highlight the assured play from our goalies here. And not just our goalies, I’m happy with other players too. I don’t want to name names right now, but I’m pleased. The team kept going until the last minute and that makes me happy. We’re halfway through our preparations, we’ve finished a month of work, and within the team we can already start to draw some conclusions.

Late flourish gives Magnitka the win

Metallurg Magnitogorsk 4 Ak Bars Kazan 1 (0-1, 1-0, 3-0)

This clash was always likely to be the most eagerly awaited of the tournament as two titans of the Eastern Conference renewed their on-going rivalry. In keeping with the pre-season theme, though, both Ilya Vorobyov and Dmitry Kvartalnov were intent on looking at as many players as possible and both coaches made several changes from yesterday’s line-ups.

Photo: 10.08.21. Cup of I.K. Romazan. Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) - Ak Bars (Kazan)

For Metallurg, Linus Hultstrom, Arkhip Nekolenko, Semyon Koshelev, Nikita Khlystov and Alexei Maklyukov came into the team, while Vasily Koshechkin replaced Juho Olkinuora in goal. Ak Bars continued with Igor Bobkov in goal, but Kvartalnov switched his lines to put Jordan Weal on the wing after he centered the third line. He also put ex-Dynamo duo Dmitry Kagarlitsky and Daniil Tarasov together. Roman Lyubimov, Alexander Burmistrov, Nikita Dynyak, Artyom Lukoyanov, Mark Yanchevsky and Konstantin Luchevnikov all returned to the team.

Ak Bars made the better start, pressing Magnitka’s defense from the start and forcing Koshechkin into several good saves. But once the visitor got on the power play, the home team was unable to stop Per Lindholm from rifling home a one-timer. Metallurg’s response came in the second period thanks to Anatoly Nikontsev’s impressive wrist shot.

In the end, it was the home PP that made the difference. Nikolai Prokhorkin broke the deadlock on the power play in the 53rd minute and that was enough to win it. Late in the game, Metallurg wrapped up the win with breakaway goals — first from Brendan Leipsic, then from Koshelev. Metallurg and Sibir remain undefeated in the tournament and their meeting on Friday looks set to decide the outcome of the tournament.

Ak Bars head coach Dmitry Kvartalnov
The first period was good, the second was weak, for some reason we played differently. In the third we wanted to play better but it didn’t work out and in the end we lost three goals. It’s a worry that we’ve allowed seven goals in two games and scored just one. We’ve lost two games, and both times we were beaten late in the game. First of all, I think we need to improve our physical fitness.

Metallurg head coach Ilya Vorobyov
The game got off to a fast start and kept up that pace throughout the first period. Vasily [Koshechkin] kept us in it. But I like how we played in the second and third. We’re working on our special teams, we know what we need to do. We still have half of this tournament to play, on home ice, then another one in Kazan. We have time to make things better.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Related clubs

Avtomobilist (Ekaterinburg) Avtomobilist (Ekaterinburg)
Ak Bars (Kazan) Ak Bars (Kazan)
Amur (Khabarovsk) Amur (Khabarovsk)
Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)
Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)
Salavat Yulaev (Ufa) Salavat Yulaev (Ufa)
Severstal (Cherepovets) Severstal (Cherepovets)
Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)
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