Coach Sergei Zubov was short at the press conference. ‘’What kind of comments about the game can there be? We will analyse everything and move on.’’
After six months of no KHL hockey at the Arena Riga, it was time for Dinamo to step on the ice in front of their home crowd - this time taking on Traktor Chelyabinsk. Home side is coming off of a huge win against Kunlun Red Star after losing both of the previous two games to open up the season on the road against Lokomotiv and CSKA Moscow. For the visitors the road has been tough so far - an OT win in the opening game against Novosibirsk, however they managed to lose one in Helsinki when they faced-off against Jokerit. - that game also went past regulation. Both sides had previously met on 26 occasions with Riga taking only seven of those. Dinamo Riga captain has 14 points in these meetings and what’s important to note - Lauris Darzins spent part of 2013-2014 season with Traktor later on returning home to represent Dinamo colors.
Physical hockey was the key at the beginning of the game and that seemed to help Traktor take the lead early - Lukas Sedlak was sent behind Dinamo’s defense - he tried to beat goalie five-hole but the puck hit the pad bouncing back into the hands of Tomas Hyka who managed to punish Riga for their mistake to make it 1:0 in favour of the opponent. Traktor were more active with the puck, maintaining good offense. First real scoring chance for Dinamo came with 10 minutes left in the first but it wasn’t enough to tie the game. More chances were generated shortly after when the home side's third line came onto the ice - still nothing. Riga took two penalties of which one was killed whilst Chelyabinsk took advantage of the second one - Teemu Pulkkinen with a one-timer to double the deal, assists went to previous goal-scorer Hyka and Nick Bailen.
The force of Traktor carried over into the second period - they needed just a minute and 27 seconds to extend their lead further - Vitaly Abramov quickly found Evgeny Kulik on the right side of the ice who then wristed the puck into the net. It wasn’t long until the home team finally got their first of the game - Gints Meija shot the puck that connected with Will Roman’s pad and Skvorcovs was first to catch the rebound and backhanded it into a completely empty corner. Celebrations didn’t last long as Nikita Tertyshny in a fast and furious style regained a three goal lead for his side. Riga got hope with a man advantage but that was quickly disrupted by a mistake from Frank Corrado - he lost the puck in his defensive zone whilst on powerplay Tomas Hyka robbed him and sent Lukas Sedlak all alone against the goalie which led to yet another goal. 1:5 after forty minutes.
Traktor had no business stopping as they got another goal six minutes into the third - Teemu Pulkkinen got his second goal of the game only further adding to the pain for the home fans. It was evident that Riga were looking for any kind of chance to still find a way into the game as Emile Porier and Vitaly Abramov both found themselves in the penalty box for roughing. Kristaps Sotnieks interfered with an opponent giving Traktor a man advantage but Rudolf Ceverny unfortunately for his team left Dinamo on the ice with only three men. Penalties were killed and teams returned to five-on-five hockey. Score did not change and Dinamo began their home bout with a loss against Traktor.
In the next game Dinamo Riga will host Lokomotiv Yaroslavl. Teams played earlier this year, Lokomotiv defeated Latvian troops with 3-2 score after trailing 0-2.