If against Spartak Moscow for Riga key to success would’ve been a stellar defense then against another Moscow team - it had to be near perfect. Vadim Shipachyov is Dynamo’s biggest weapon and has had points in six straight games to begin the season. Riga meanwhile can put up a balanced roster and look for their opportunities while also having a point to prove as they haven’t seen a victory on road against tonight’s opponent in five straight meetings in the Russian capital. Zubov prior to the game seemed to be ready for changes in order to get going - Matej Machovsky would start for Riga as well as many other differences in his line-up compared to the previous game in all positions.
Not realising their opportunities, penalties ultimately were what cost Dinamo Riga the game, team captain Oskars Cibulskis said that prior to the match one of the main things coach asked for was avoiding penalties: ‘’Our task was not to take penalties, they have a great power-play, we couldn’t deliver on the task and that’s what made the difference.’’ After the disallowed goal when Riga had a man advantage their captain felt like it could’ve made a difference: ‘’Of course if we would’ve scored there, after 1:1, it’s 2:1 and then the game takes a whole different turn, but still we had way too many penalties of our own and we know how that ended.’’ When asked if fatigue or lack of strength were the main issue for the penalties Cibulskis wouldn’t agree - ‘’You have to ask the referees how they would rate the game, we went out and battled as hard as we could and some of the penalties.. it is what it is.’’
Two different styles of hockey early on - Moscow team went into the zone to crash the net while Riga tried to create something with far diagonal passes as well as dump-and-chase type of game. Dynamo’s style worked better as they forced Oskars Cibulskis into the penalty box and then executed a man advantage - lengthy pressure in offensive zone with ton of passing - a cross-ice pass from Shipachyov to Galiev who paused while skating towards the net and then sniped it between Machovksy’s glove and pad for a 1:0 lead.
First organised attack for Riga came about eight minutes into the period after killing a penalty. Shinkaruk dragged the puck into the zone and then many attempts to create something dangerous in the offensive end followed but Ivan Bocharov stopped them all. Active game by Riga forced Dynamo’s Andrei Sergeyev to cross-check his opponent to give them their first man advantage of the game - league’s 5th best power-play went on to attempt and tie the game, that opportunity was wasted. If nothing happened with an extra player on the ice a five-on-five goal would do just fine - Nikolajs Jelisejevs carried the puck into the offensive zone, created space for himself and made a precise wrister that flew into the net to tie the game.
Second period started with both teams actively pressuring each other and trying their best to create dangerous chances on the opposing net - Dynamo Moscow was better at that and with 14 minutes and 18 seconds left they got a goal, chaos in front of the net and Galiyev cashed in his second of the game. A situation where a potential challenge could be used by Riga and they decided to do so - Machovsky made an attempt to freeze the puck but the opponents stick appeared to have blocked him from doing that, a lengthy review and call on the ice was overturned - no goal.
Disallowed goal for Dynamo and then a boarding penalty for Ivan Igumnov was something that could give the visiting team a spark to take over the thread of the game but yet another power-play opportunity wasn’t capitalised upon. Riga followed up with a mathematics violation when at one point too many players were on the ice but their penalty kill was successful as well. They followed up with yet another penalty - this time Alexander Protapovich was sent to the sin bin for high-sticking but his team and goaltender Machovsky stopped every chance that the opponents had. Lack of discipline kept showing as both sides exchanged penalties as the time ran out but the score after forty minutes was 1:1 promising an interesting battle in the final frame.
The Moscow side were a man up to begin the third, Riga killed the penalty and so the battle for two points could really commence as neither side seemed to be ready to give up anything in this game. The trend of taking penalties carried over into the third - this time Nikolajs Jelisejevs tripped up his opposing player to give Dynamo yet another chance to capitalise with having an extra player on the ice which is precisely what they did - Rashevsky used his wrist shot and Dinamo goalies error allowed the score to become 2:1.
Then yet another power-play and yet another goal - Vadim Shipachyov after the face-off with a phenomenal one-timer leaving the goalie no chances to make the save.
After the goal Riga once again went down to having only three players to defend but this time they managed to keep their opponents lead to two goals. After the commercial break, the puck once again found its way into Dinamo’s net, this time it was Ivan Igumnov. Game ended and the score remained unchanged - it was a 4:1 loss for Dinamo Riga.
Sergei Zubov did point out that his team played well at the front end of the game: ‘’We played a good forty minutes against a good team. In the third period we took unnecessary penalties, we didn’t have enough power to finish it off. We have to learn to play like Dynamo did today. We had our chances but you can’t score goals if you aren’t going towards the net and battling in front of it.’’