Five days after suffering a 0-4 loss in Yekaterinburg, Amur got its revenge on the Motormen on home ice. More importantly, Mikhail Kravets’ team moved closer to the top eight in the East as it looks to keep its playoff prospects alive.
Avtomobilist was blanked at home by Metallurg in its last game, the Yekaterinburg offense hampered by injuries to Brooks Macek and Stephane Da Costa. And today it struggled again, with Evgeny Alikin making 36 saves to bring home the win.
Amur made the better start and earned an early power play, converted by Danil Faizullin. After that, Alikin took charge, bravely keeping Avtomobilist at bay even when the visitor enjoyed a five-on-three power play.
After the break, Amur scored two goals in four minutes: Vladimir Butuzov and Sergei Tereshchenko found the net to open a 3-0 lead. That was too much for Bill Peters’ team to recover, especially with the power play hindered by the absence of two key forwards.
Admiral goalie Nikita Serebryakov made 46 saves to defeat Avangard in a shoot-out. The home team snapped a four-game losing streak, while the defending champion saw a five-game winning run come to an end.
However, the early stages favored the visitor. Avangard had the puck in the net in the sixth minute, but Pavel Dedunov’s effort was ruled out following Nail Yakupov’s foul on Serebryakov. However, it wasn’t long before the Hawks scored a legitimate goal when Peter Cehlarik struck on the power play. It took just 10 seconds of PP for the Slovak to score off a playbook move, underline Avangard’s status as the hottest power play unit in the KHL.
For much of the second period, Avangard continued to enjoy the better of the game. However, it was unable to build on its lead, partly due to Mark Verba’s traditional collection of hits, and just before the intermission the Sailors tied the game thanks to Andrei Obidin. That was enough to take the game into the extras, where Admiral took the verdict thanks to Serebryakov’s goaltending and winning shot from Vyacheslav Ushenin.
Sochi handed Danila Galenyuk a debut as it began its Far East tour. The young defenseman moved from SKA recently and found himself paired with another former Army Man, David Rundblad, as he began life at his new club.
However, with six wins in seven games, Sibir arrived in good form. The home team continued in that vein and grabbed the lead midway through the first period thanks to Alexander Sharov.
It wasn’t until the start of the second period that Sochi began to pose an attacking threat. An early power play did not produce a goal, but did give the visitor more assurance in its game. The breakthrough came late in the middle frame when Martin Bakos scored on a delayed penalty.
Subsequently, a hard-fought game became even more intense. For a time, it felt like the battle was likely to bubble over but, instead, the teams calmed down and focused their efforts on trying to find a winning goal. And it was Vasily Glotov, whose love of hockey as a child in Barnaul was kindled by a family trip to watch Sibir, who got the goal that sank his boyhood heroes. He struck on the power play — albeit after an anxious review for a possible offside — extending his productive streak to five games and making it three wins from four for the Leopards.
CSKA’s recent record in Cherepovets is imposing; not content with winning consistently here, the Army Men had not even allowed a goal since 2015. So, notwithstanding the home team’s greatly improved form this season, the visitor could be forgiven for expecting to leave with the points on this occasion.
However, this is a very different Severstal team from recent seasons. Under Andrei Razin’s careful guidance, a raft of young players has steadily improved, forging a highly competitive team that is disrupting the ‘natural’ order of things in the West.
Today’s clash with CSKA, for so long the dominant force in the Conference, highlighted the extent of that change. From Vladislav Podyapolsky’s 21 saves — his first shut-out of a season that started late due to injury — to a two-point game from Vladislav Kodola, this was an assured and effective performance against a strong opponent.
Kodola opened the scoring late in the first period and was involved again as Adam Liska doubled the lead seconds before the second intermission. Both of those goals came on the power play, and CSKA found itself visiting the box all too regularly in a game of great commitment but few chances. The balance of play was almost entirely even until the final frame, when CSKA finally began to dominate around Podyapolsky’s net. But there was no way through for the Army Men and Dmitry Moiseyev’s late goal extinguished all hope of a comeback. The win moves Severstal level with its visitor on 42 points, both teams are three points behind conference leader Jokerit.
The game of the day lived up to its billing as the second-placed team in each conference produced a 13-goal thriller in Moscow. Traktor trailed 1-5 in the second period, but rallied to tie the game twice in the third before falling to Andrei Mironov’s overtime effort.
This breathless battle got off to a flying start when Andrei Stas put Traktor in front in the third minute. But things quickly went south for the visitor. Dynamo turned the game around inside the first period thanks to Ivan Muranov’s equalizer and a power play tally from Vadim Shipachyov.
Things would get worse before they got better for Traktor. The second period began with three more home goals. Bogdan Yakimov and Anton Belov both potted their first for the club before Stanislav Galiyev found the net. His productive streak now runs to four games, with 7 (3+4) points in that time.
Game over? Not at all. Traktor responded when former Dynamo sniper Teemu Pulkkinen got one back before the second intermission. Then, in the third, the visitor roared right back into the game. Nikita Tertyshny led the way with a goal and a helper as three goals in eight minutes tied the game at 5-5.
And both teams kept going. Dynamo overcame that shock to restore its lead within a minute thanks to Yegor Zaitsev but this game was destined for overtime and Ilya Karpukhin took it there off a set-up from Stas. The decider came two minutes into the extras from Mironov, potting only his second of the season on a day when 13 different players were on target.