In order to remain fresh and survive without jet lag Dinamo team is living by Riga time meaning that they would suit up for practices at 3am local time. Although Amur isn’t an opponent that they should have to worry about - there is a concern for Riga side as their offense all of a sudden has faded - in their last game against Severstal they managed to throw only 15 shots at the opposing net. Amur meanwhile looked great in their victory against Torpedo on Thursday. In previous meetings Riga had a slight edge with 13 victories and were looking to extend it further. Sergei Zubov was also looking to make some changes in his line-up and recalled Edgars Kulda from a farm team that plays in Latvian league where he played six games and earned twelve points - it would be his season debut in the KHL.
The game quality wasn’t the best early in the period - a ton of icings as well as Amur forcing Riga who controlled the puck to play along the boards which meant that nothing that would be considered dangerous went towards the net. Five minutes in, Dmitry Arkhipov got penalised for hooking Reece Scarlett - Amur played well defensively and the only two chances to score Riga had created when having a quick zone entry and power-play was spent without settling down in the zone.
The game continued and seemed like the penalty had changed things - fast paced hockey, back and forth, end-to-end and goalies finally had to get to work. Khabarovsk's side kept on their undisciplined hockey - this time Tereschenko was sent to the box. This time Dinamo managed to create a lot more than in their previous man advantage but still - no goal. Although both sides came close to getting at least one puck into the net - netminders stayed sharp meaning that it would be 0:0 after twenty.
The open ice hockey returned in the second period and the stalemate was finally broken - Dinamo was the better team but Amur struck first. A quick counter attack for the home side - Nikolishin and Gorshkov passed the puck back and forth to move the goalie out of position for Gorshkov then score while putting the puck in the close side of the net for a 1:0 lead.
Amur quickly doubled down on their lead this time from a posessional attack - David Tomasek caught the puck, quickly sent it towards the net for Alexander Kuznetsov who assured that the puck would reach Roman Lyubimov and it all of a sudden was 2:0.
The game was now turned up-side-down but Riga didn’t give up and managed to strike getting one back - multiple attempts on the net and with traffic in front, all Kristaps Zīle had to do was shoot the puck which he did with a strong slap-shot giving his team their first of the game.
Reece Scarlett followed up with a boarding penalty and Riga’s penalty kill went to work. Amur did well in the opposing defensive zone but Dinamo’s kill was successful and the one goal difference on the scoreboard remained. Mattsson had to get involved on multiple occasions as the clock ran down and he did so in a sharp manner meaning that the score stood at 2:1 in favour for the hosts.
Riga came out flying to begin the final frame - they were determined to quickly tie the game up in order to reset the fight for two points in the standings. Amur answered with counters and managed to occasionally stick around in the offensive zone. Dinamo and their effort materialised - an attack that started behind Mattsson’s net led to a goal by Jelisejevs who was sent behind Amur’s defensive players by an effective pass by Lukas Radil.
The game kept being played in the same manner as before - both teams tried to assure that the game wouldn’t go past regulation to net instant two points. It ended up being a point for each side and that extra point would be decided in overtime.
Same story in OT - both sides pressuring, both sides attacking and many spectacular saves were witnessed by the goalies. A mistake by Riga gave Amur an excellent chance to win the game in OT and they capitalised on it. Cross-crease from Nikolishin to Gorshkov and the puck was in the net. Sergei Zubov reacted quickly, demanding a coaches challenge for off-side, after a very long review call on the ice was overturned - no goal and the party could continue.
The game would be decided in a shootout - both goalies made the save on the first attempts. Nikolajs Jelisejevs came out as the second shooter for Riga and went five hole on the goalie while Mattsson once again made the stop giving Riga an edge after two shots. Lauris Darzins extended the lead further, Amur answered with a goal of their own. Emile Poirier was stopped by the Amur goalie and the save was made by the big Swede in Dinamo’s net. Gints Meija went out with the game on his stick but couldn’t score while Amur capitalised on their final opportunity to level the score and assure that the shootout would continue. Lenc beat Mattsson for the second time while Jelisejevs couldn’t get his second which meant that Amur got the extra point and a victory in the game.
Post game Sergei Zubov admitted that the first period wasn’t the greatest but overall there were chances to take the victory in the first sixty minutes: ‘’The game was good. It felt like the team was asleep in the first but in the second and third period we played much better. In the end we had chances to take the regulation win. In the shootout we lost 2:3 and gave the extra point to our opponent".