Andy Potts Andy Potts
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The day’s most eye-catching scoreline came in Moscow, where Kunlun Red Star scored nine on Spartak. There were also wins for Amur, Avangard, Sibir and Traktor.

Chelyabinsk Governor’s Cup

Dress rehearsal day

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 2 Sibir Novosibirsk 3 (1-0, 0-3, 1-0)

After the opening two games of the tournament, Thursday’s games in Chelyabinsk represented a dress rehearsal for the medal games on Friday. First up, we got a look at the third-place pairing with Lokomotiv deploying a youthful roster against an injury-hit Sibir.

The first period belonged to the Railwaymen. There were encouraging hints of what young Stepan Nikulin — the leading scorer in the Kharlamov Cup playoffs — can do, and there was an opening goal for Reid Boucher midway through the frame.

But the second saw Sibir take control with three unanswered goals. Yegor Milovzorov tied it up early in the frame and the Siberians moved away with two similar goals created down the right-hand channel. Viktor Komarov and Valentin Pyanov found the net and it seemed that Sibir had discovered the key to unlock a dense Lokomotiv defense. At the other end, Alexei Krasikov made a couple of big saves to preserve that two-goal lead, but he was powerless when a breakaway gave Daniil Tesanov a short-handed goal midway through the third. Sibir held on for the win, but at a price: Nikolai Demidov is the latest player to take an injury.

Lokomotiv head coach Andrei Skabelka

We had a good first period, we played with proper discipline and good connections between defense and offense. But I can’t say anything positive about the second, we had problems with our game discipline. In the third, we ran with three lines and managed to pick up the pace and score a goal.

Of course, we want to win every game. But we also wanted to give our younger players an opportunity to play. In our next game, we’ll already have a team that’s close to the one that will start the season.

Maxim Shalunov only joined the team 10 days ago. We’ll need his goals during the season. Right now it’s more important to see which partners have the best chemistry, and to do what we can so Maxim can get into shape as quickly as possible.

Sibir head coach Artyom Martemyanov

The first period was fairly even but I didn’t see what I wanted from my team. So we had a discussion in the locker room. In the second we were more or less there. Lokomotiv has quality on defense and a strong offense. We need games like this, winning these games is important. We switched up our lines and both of them made an impact — Milovzorov and Pyanov scored good goals. It means that the coaches’ ideas worked.

Traktor Chelyabinsk 3 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 2 OT (0-1, 2-0, 0-1, 0-1)

Next came a preview of the final, and the home team warmed up with an overtime victory. Both coaches made changes: for Avtomobilist, fit-again goalie Jakub Kovar made his first appearance of the summer, while 17-year-old forward Nikita Blendov joined two of the team’s imports on the second line. Traktor also welcomed back a key player with Tomas Hyka making his first appearance of the pre-season and Emil Garipov returning to the team, if not the ice. Even so, this was not a full strength line-up, with players away on international duty and Vladimir Tkachyov missing again after taking a knock in the opening game of the tournament.

The first 30 minutes of the game were dominated by frequent Traktor penalties. That helped Avtomobilist grab the lead late in the first period with Georgy Belousov scoring on the power play when he directed a Yefim Gurkin shot into the net. Midway through the second, Traktor responded in similar fashion when Vitaly Abramov touched home Albert Yarullin’s effort only for the officials to rule that his stick was high.

However, the next attempted redirect did its job legitimately and Nikita Tertyshny scored off Lawrence Pilut’s shot. Late in the middle frame, Traktor’s Czech mates renewed their partnership with Hyka setting up a goal for Lukas Sedlak. Avto recovered to take the game to overtime, but Sedlak struck again to give Traktor a psychological boost before the gold medal game tomorrow.

Avtomobilist head coach Bill Peters

We got a chance to look at our players in some none-standard situations that don’t arise in every game. We saw lots of guys in action. Because this was our 10th pre-season game, we gave several players a day off. They’ll be back tomorrow. I’m pleased that Jakub Kovar was finally able to play; he’s in good form and did well. We never expected him to play the full game, so Dmitry Shikin came in for the third period. I think tomorrow Kovar will play the whole game.

Traktor head coach Anvar Gatiyatullin

We’re still preparing for the season, we’re still looking for the right combinations. We still haven’t played a single game at full strength and we can’t do that yet. Each time we’re forced to make changes, we’re looking for the lines that we’ll take into the season. I’m pleased with the players’ commitment but there are things we need to tidy up before the start of the championship. Tomorrow, I’m expecting Emil Garipov to start in goal.

Mayor of Moscow Cup

Newcomers make an instant impact

CSKA Moscow 2 Amur Khabarovsk 3 (1-0, 0-1, 1-2)

As the Mayor of Moscow Cup welcomed Amur for the first time, CSKA greeted the team from the Far East with a youthful line-up. Only eight players survived from Wednesday’s loss against Dynamo.

That fresh-faced approach paid off in the early exchanges, with CSKA’s fast skating giving Amur problems from the start. The Tigers defended carefully, but struggled to generate much offense and fell behind a minute before the break on a Pavel Karnaukhov goal. Amur tied it up midway through the second on an Ignat Korotkikh goal and went in front at the start of the third through Vladimir Butuzov. That lead was short-lived, with Nikita Soshnikov tying it up within two minutes, but the Tigers clawed out a victory thanks to a power play goal from Radan Lenc.

Spartak Moscow 3 Kunlun Red Star 9 (0-3, 1-4, 2-2)

Kunlun powered to a club record victory in this game, with Greg Squires, Luke Lockhart and Josh Nicholls leading the way in a morale-boosting victory for Ivano Zannata’s men.

Photo: 26.08.21. Moscow mayor cup. Spartak (Moscow) - Kunlun Red Star (Beijing)

The Chinese franchise made a flying start, scoring twice in the first six minutes. Nicholls and Lockhart combined on the power play for Parker Foo’s opener, then Nicholls added a second. Alex Riche made it 3-0 before the intermission.

That was enough to end Oscar Dansk’s evening, but incoming Spartak goalie Alexei Krasikov had no better fortune. Squires beat him on the power play in the 22nd minute before Vyacheslav Solodukhin got the Red-and-Whites on the board at last. That gave Spartak something a foothold in the game; at least, it was more than 10 minutes before Red Star scored again. But when Nicholls added a fifth, Squires and Lockhart following with two more in quick succession to make it 7-1 after 40 minutes.

The third period, at least, was shared — small comfort for Spartak. Lockhart potted his second, Ethan Werek found the net, but Dmitry Kugryshev and Tim Heed added a hint of respectability to the final scoreline.

Puchkov Tournament

HC Sochi 1 Avangard Omsk 2 (0-0, 0-1, 1-1)

This was a third game in three days for Avangard, but the Hawks managed to rotate the line-up and edge a narrow win over Sochi. The Leopards, defeated 1-4 by SKA in their opening game here, also made substantial changes. The game was preceded by a minute’s silence for two-time Olympic Champion Vladimir Shadrin, who passed away at the age of 73.

Photo: 26.08.21. The Nikolai Puchkov memorial tournament. HC Sochi (Sochi) - Avangard (Omsk)

There were no goals in the first period and just 15 saves between the two goalies. The closest to a goal came at the start of the second when Dmitry Sokolov hit the post, but Avangard had to wait until the 32nd minute to finally break the deadlock. Ilya Kablukov screened Magnus Hellberg and Oliwer Kaski’s shot found the target for a power play goal.

Sochi tied the game midway through the third thanks to Kirill Pilipenko, but Avangard responded seconds later when Yaroslav Kosov profited from a ricochet off Vladislav Valentsov. The Hawks duly closed out the win.

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Related clubs

Avangard (Omsk) Avangard (Omsk)
Avtomobilist (Ekaterinburg) Avtomobilist (Ekaterinburg)
Amur (Khabarovsk) Amur (Khabarovsk)
Kunlun Red Star (Beijing) Kunlun Red Star (Beijing)
Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)
Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)
HC Sochi (Sochi) HC Sochi (Sochi)
Spartak (Moscow) Spartak (Moscow)
Traktor (Chelyabinsk) Traktor (Chelyabinsk)
CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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