Kunlun Red Star 2 Saryarka Karaganda 0 (0-0, 1-0, 1-0)
The Dragons’ two-goal victory was not quite enough to secure a place in tomorrow’s tournament final. A win by a three-goal margin would have put Ivano Zanatta’s team into the gold-medal game, but after falling one tally shy, Red Star left the door open for Barys in the later game.
This encounter was dominated by Jeremy Smith, making his first appearance of the tournament in goal for KRS. He responded with a shut-out, repelling a determined Saryarka performance to backstop his team’s win. At the other end, it was all about the Foo brothers. Spencer scored the first goal, a playbook power play move. Then he set up Parker for a redirect on the slot to double the lead in the third period.
Barys Nur-Sultan 4 Torpedo Ust-Kamenogorsk 2 (0-0, 2-1, 2-1)
Barys knew that victory in this game would take it to a tournament final against Saryarka, and the host team duly obliged. In the first period, though, Barys failed to convert a major penalty against Yegor Mazhugi, leaving the game deadlocked at the first break.
At the start of the second, Cody Kunyk broke the deadlock with the help of a deflection off the same Mazhugi. Next came a power play goal from Erik Martinsson. Torpedo pulled one back quickly, but fell behind once more at the start of the third when Darren Dietz scored during a 5-on-3 power play. The intrigue was not over — Torpedo made it 2-3 with three minutes left — but Arkady Shestakov’s empty netter sealed the win.
Torpedo will play KRS in Sunday’s early game before Barys embarks on a revenge mission against Saryarka in the final.
Dinamo Minsk 7 Shakhtyor Soligorsk 1 (2-1, 2-0, 3-0)
The gap in class told as Dinamo Minsk entered the Belarus Cup at the semi-final stage. The Bison were paired with Shakhtyor Soligorsk and had little difficulty in overpowering the team from Belarus’ domestic championship.
The opposition — whose name means ‘miner’ — dug a big hole for itself early in the game. A two-man advantage helped Dinamo open the scoring in the eighth minute on Artyom Demkov’s goal. A power play goal saw Soligorsk draw level thanks to former Dinamo man Sergei Kostitsyn, but just one minute later Dinamo was in front again thanks to Dmitry Buinitsky.
Tomorrow, Dinamo will face Yunost Minsk in the cup final.
Spartak Moscow 1 Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 2 (0-0, 1-0, 0-2)
Spartak iced an experimental roster in the first of two back-to-back games against Torpedo — and lost out to a pair of goals from new import Kenny Agostino.
Many of the home players were drawn from the Red-and-Whites’ farm club and initially Torpedo took control of the game. Until the middle of the first period, Spartak struggled to muster a shot on goal. However the scoreboard remained blank until deep into the second, when the host went ahead through Maxim Afanasyev.
Torpedo responded in the third. Agostino tied the game on a power play after 47 minutes and, midway through the session, he got the game winner. The teams meet again tomorrow, with Spartak expected to deploy something closer to a full-strength roster.
Avangard Omsk 5 Dynamo Moscow 2 (0-0, 4-2, 1-0)
Avangard took on Dynamo Moscow in its first game since the Sochi Hockey Open. Youngster Ivan Miroshnichenko was named in the Hawks’ roster and Francis Pare returned to the team while Pavel Dedunov, Ilya Kablukov and Yaroslav Kosov missed out. Vyacheslav Kulyomin returned for Dynamo after missing the recent win over Spartak.
The first frame was goalless but Avangard went in front at the start of the second on Nail Yakupov’s power play effort. Almost immediately, Vladislav Mikhailov tied the scores and it wasn’t long before Vadim Shipachyov put Dynamo ahead. But the final stages of the second period brought a goal rush: Denis Zernov, Sergei Tolchinsky and Peter Cehlarik all hit the target to give the Hawks a commanding lead. Zernov got his second in the final session to wrap up the win.
Main photo credits: HC Barys