The Latvian side also held a four-game losing streak although in their previous game they showed teeth against SKA St. Petersburg and managed to earn a point in that outing. In their first meeting of the season Dynamo came on top in a 4:1 victory. Both teams are facing some injury woes as either side would have to dig deep in their depth and see what their players can present on the ice.
Riga were the better team in a game where there weren’t many emotions and after a while two points were earned in a 4:1 victory.
Valerijs Kulibaba once again could be proud of his team: ‘’Once again I want to say a massive thank you to the team for their fighting spirit and that they did what they were asked to do. We finally have a win under my leadership. We didn’t change a whole lot, just some systems and the team has handled it well and it has given us results. Special teams have worked for us well before. Today the guys did what they were asked to do. We are over the crisis that we had before, now we just have to keep going.’’
Post game Oskars Cibluskis was ecstatic: ‘’I’m feeling amazing after such a victory, one of the reasons is that my daughter is turning eight years old today and that makes this victory even more amazing. The game wasn’t easy. We did everything that the coach asked us to do. We scored on power-play and we held on while short-handed against a strong opponent that has a very good man advantage. I think that these were two very important points. We can now wait for the next opponents and look forward into the future.’’
A quick start for Dinamo Riga as just 51 seconds into the first period Stanislav Galiyev was assigned to the penalty box. Oskars Cibluskis wasted no time giving his team the first lead of the game - a quick cycle meant that he was free to shoot from the blue-line and he did to make it 1:0 with just 1:31 down in the period.
The reminder of the first didn’t go as anyone would’ve expected - many whistles followed for numerous icing calls that occured. Neither side had a visible advantage on ice with some chips and scraps along the way. Even though nobody seemed to control the game the goalies did their job as the workload had increased.
Things took a turn for the home side as Ralfs Freibergs unintentionally kneed his opponent who was down on the ice in some visible discomfort. After a video review it was determined that the latvian defenseman’s game was over as he received a 5 minute major as well as game misconduct penalty. Twenty seconds later the score was tied as Anton Wedin tied the game. Dinamo Riga did take care of the following four minutes and forty seconds while short handed and the first period ended with a tie - 1:1.
In the second period the referees continued to whistle as they did in the second, the game wasn’t anywhere near fast paced nor entertaining. Riga was the team that seemed more eager to score and did control the game for the most part. Martins Karsums was left all alone in front of the net just three minutes in but Dynamo’s goalie stopped him.
Chances were had and Martins Karsums was the guy that looked for yet another opportunity at mid midpoint of the period. He slid towards the net but couldn’t direct the puck into the net. Johan Mattsson had to get involved later on to save his team and to keep the tie. Game wasn’t emotional yet both sides tried to spark something - after a whistle at one point caused some words as well as pushing and shoving between the sides.
With just about three minutes left in the second Artyom Volkov was sent to penalty box for illegal and dangerous equipment that gave Riga a shot at power-play and Oskars Cibulskis was the hero once again - the goalie was down on the ice and he was tricked much more for Latvian to score one-timer from the blue-line for the first double goal game of his career.
In the third Dinamo kept being the team that had everything to show in order to earn two points in the derby and they seemed to have gotten it in the pocket - two minute penalty for Trineyev and Dinamo capitalised on their chance, Lauris Darzins with the set-up and Gints Meija sniped it into the net. The Moscow side was forced to make a goalie change - Bocharov came out and replaced his teammate.
Dinamo carried on creating opportunities and their opponents were caught red handed with a too many men penalty, however it was discontinued due to Riga taking a similar one. Four on four changed nothing, neither did Moscow’s man advantage.
In order to chase down the score Bocharov was pulled for the sixth attacker - they had opportunities, they had pressure but Riga was stellar tonight in terms of special teams and defensively bringing themselves two points against a very tough opponent.