Andy Potts Andy Potts
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CSKA’s recent winning streak lifted the Army Men to the top of the KHL’s power rankings last week — but Torpedo halted their march with a 5-2 win in Moscow. The two teams at the foot of the respective conferences, Vityaz and Admiral, halted their skids with wins on the road at Dinamo Minsk and Dynamo Moscow. At the top of the East, Metallurg restored its two-point advantage, defeating Red Star while Traktor lost at home to SKA. Harri Sateri’s latest shut-out brought Sibir a road win at Neftekhimik.

Metallurg eclipses Red Star in 10-goal showdown

Metallurg Magnitogorsk 6 Kunlun Red Star 4 (1-0, 1-2, 4-2)

Metallurg restored its two-point advantage at the top of the Eastern Conference thanks to a victory over Red Star. Maxim Karpov led the way with two goals in an entertaining clash in Magnitogorsk.

The home team had the better of the early exchanges and took a deserved 1-0 lead into the first intermission after Nikolai Goldobin converted the first power play of the game. In the second session, Nikita Korostelyov scored for the third game in a row to double the lead, and Magnitka seemed set for a comfortable evening.

The Dragons had other ideas, though. Brandon Yip pulled one back on the power play and Cliff Pu tied it up after a turnover in center ice presented Red Star with a great chance. By the end of the middle frame, the visitor had picked up momentum and, with the promise of a power play at the start of the third, Red Star had some bright prospects.

Metallurg responded firmly. First, that penalty was killed. Then Karpov restored the home lead with a power play goal of his own. Alex Riche, whose foul contributed to Karpov’s marker, tied it up with another goal following an interception, but Magnitka took the game away with two quick goals from Philippe Maillet and Yegor Korobkin. Karpov’s second of the day removed any doubt about the final outcome, but a battling display from the visitors deserved a consolation goal and Luke Lockhart obliged in the final seconds.

Burdasov brace sinks Traktor

Traktor Chelyabinsk 1 SKA St. Petersburg 4 (0-0, 0-2, 1-2)

Two goals from Anton Burdasov led SKA to victory in Chelyabinsk. Success against the second-placed team in the Eastern Conference makes it four wins on the spin for Valery Bragin’s team and restores the Army Men to the top four in the West thanks to Severstal’s loss at home to Jokerit.

The first period was surprisingly cautious, with neither team apparently able to inject much pace into proceedings. It wasn’t until midway through the second that the picture changed, with Burdasov deploying his trademark one-timer to beat Roman Will and open the scoring. That sparked the home team into life and suddenly Lars Johansson had work to do in the SKA net. However, Traktor’s attacking efforts were undermined by a defensive error that presented Danila Moiseyev with the second goal of the night.

With a two-goal lead to defend, SKA focused on exactly that in the final frame. Traktor again had more of the play but was unable to generate dangerous chances. And, on the counter, the visitor extended its lead. Kirill Marchenko, hero of the earlier shoot-out win over Traktor in Petersburg, was the scorer but this one was notable for an assist from Leo Komarov — his first point since he returned to the KHL last month.

Saving the game from 0-3 looked a thankless task but Traktor refused to give up and Vitaly Abramov reduced the arrears in the 53rd minute to deny Johansson his shut-out. However, a SKA power play in the closing stages enabled Burdasov to finish what he started, potting the fourth and wrapping up the scoring in Chelyabinsk.

Photo: 08.12.21. KHL Championship 2021-2022. Traktor (Chelyabinsk) - SKA (St.Petersburg)

Sateri denies Neftekhimik

Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 0 Sibir Novosibirsk 3 (0-1, 0-0, 0-2)

Sibir’s progress this season owes much to the form of goalie Harri Sateri and the Finn was at his best again to blank Neftekhimik. Sateri, who earned a call-up to team Finland for the Channel 1 Cup in Moscow next week, was again helped by a defensive approach to the game and a committed performance from his team-mates. In addition to his 34 saves, there were 12 more shots blocked in the game as Sibir’s progress towards the playoffs continues smoothly.

However, there was a surprise in store from the visitor, which began this game with unaccustomed offensive intent. Sibir dominated the first period, outshooting Neftekhimik 17-6. That was converted into a 1-0 lead by Nick Shore, who punished a bad defensive error from Yegor Popov.

In the middle frame, the visiting defense was tested more severely, not least when Neftekhimik enjoyed a power play midway through the session. However, Sateri held firm and Sibir protected its lead until late in the third period. Neftekhimik’s problems came in front of goal, where the home team simply could not take its chances. In the end, Sibir showed them how it’s done: in the last five minutes, Alexander Sharov scored on the power play and Valentin Pyanov found the empty net.

Voronkov sets up Vityaz victory

Dinamo Minsk 1 Vityaz Moscow Region 4 (0-0, 1-3, 0-1)

Vityaz snapped a four-game losing streak with four assists from Dmitry Voronkov orchestrating a 4-1 win at Dinamo. The Belarusians, currently enduring a run of turbulence, remain eighth in the West, but the gap to ninth is down to just two points.

The home team was left to rue its failings in the first period. Three power plays went without a goal and despite outshooting Vityaz 15-6, Minsk was unable to find the answer to Igor Saprykin in the visitor’s net.

Goals have rarely been a problem for Vityaz this season, and that’s largely down to Niko Ojamaki. He potted his 25th of the season at the start of the second period — three more would tie him with Teemu Hartikainen’s best-ever haul for a Finnish player in the KHL. Dinamo tied it up just after the midway point thanks to Malte Stromwall, but it wasn’t long before Voronkov set up Mikhail Smolin to restore the Vityaz lead.

The rest of the game was dominated by Kirill Rasskazov. He scored late in the second period to give Vityaz a two-goal advantage, then added a fourth midway through the final frame to kill any hope of a home fightback.

Anisimov grabs last-gasp winner

Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 3 Avangard Omsk 2 (2-1, 0-1, 1-0)

A fast start and a dramatic finish made for a memorable encounter in Yaroslavl where Loko nicked a late winner to sink defending champion Avangard.

The game got off to a frantic start. Avangard took the lead inside the first minute. Eddie Pasquale got behind a Ville Pokka shot but Arseny Gritsyuk steered the rebound back to Corban Knight on the slot for the opening goal. But it took barely two minutes for Loko to tie it up. Kirill Gotovets took a tripping minor and Denis Alexeyev deceived everyone with a goalbound shot when he seemed set to fire the puck to the slot. A minute later, the home team had the lead as Artyom Ilyenko beat Simon Hrubec at the second attempt. And all that came inside five minutes.

Subsequently, things calmed down a little. Loko enjoyed more of the play but could not extend its lead; Avangard’s bid to get back on level terms was limited to counterattacking efforts.

Midway through the second period, though, the visitor was able to tie the game. The goal came on Avangard’s first power play of the night, with Sergei Tolchinsky’s powerful wrist shot beating Pasquale. Two further opportunities on the PP came and went for the Hawks and the teams were deadlocked going into the third session.

They remained deadlocked for the next 19 minutes and 26 seconds as well, with Lokomotiv shading the play but finding it hard to get past Hrubec. However, in the last minute, Artur Kayumov went all the way around the back of the Avangard net only to see his shot blocked before it reached the Czech. Nothing daunted, Kayumov regained possession and shot again, this time from a deeper position. Artyom Anisimov applied the redirect in front of the goalie and the Railwaymen had the points.

Photo: 08.12.21. KHL Championship 2021-2022. Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) - Avangard (Omsk)

Indrasis celebrates 300 points

Dynamo Moscow 1 Admiral Vladivostok 2 SO (0-0, 0-0, 1-1, 0-0, 0-1)

Admiral moved off the foot of the KHL standings with a shoot-out win at Dynamo. For much of this game, neither team could break the deadlock — despite climbing to within touching distance of the Western summit, the Blue-and-Whites proved unable to unpick a resolute and hardworking opponent.

Dynamo was limited to just seven shots in the first period but in the second stanza it took greater control of proceedings. Boosted by three power plays, it outshot the Sailors 17-6 but could not solve Nikita Serebryakov in the visitor’s net.

The opening goal did not arrive until midway through the third period and, to the surprise of most, it went to Admiral. Miks Indrasis was once a popular man at Dynamo, but he showed no interest in nostalgia as he put his new team ahead with his 300th point in the KHL. It looked like it might be the winner, especially after Oscar Lindberg’s redirect on a Slava Voynov shot was ruled out for high sticks. However, Eric O’Dell saved the home team late in the game and forced overtime.

There was no further scoring and the shoot-out saw Indrasis again beat Alexander Yeryomenko before Andrei Obidin settled the outcome.

Agostino strikes twice as Army Men stumble

CSKA Moscow 2 Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 5 (0-3, 2-1, 0-1)

The Army Men’s march towards the top of the Western Conference made them clear favorites for a home game against Torpedo. The visitor’s uneven form has it outside the playoff places, but the Nizhny Novgorod team has a reputation as something of a Robin Hood, taking points from the top teams and donating them to outsiders.

That may have been what lifted David Nemirovsky’s team at the start of this game. In the first shift, Kenny Agostino opened the scoring and Artur Tyanulin made it 2-0 after eight minutes. As the first stanza drew to a close, Damir Zhafyarov struck on the power play, giving Torpedo a 3-0 lead against one of his former clubs.

Despite the scoreline, though, CSKA played its part in a first period that was more even in terms of stats than it was in terms of goals. In the middle frame, the home team turned that share of the play to its advantage. Midway through, Vladislav Kamenev pulled one back, then Anton Slepyshev made it 2-3 in the 37th minute. It took just 52 seconds, though, for Torpedo to respond: Zhafyarov had an assist, Andy Miele made it 4-2.

That was a blow from which CSKA could not recover. Tempers flared — we saw fights between Slepyshev and Kirill Urakov, then between Artyom Sergeyev and Andrei Belevich. In between, Agostino’s second goal of the night pushed Torpedo’s lead into unreachable territory. CSKA’s misery was compounded when Konstantin Okulov failed with a penalty shot; the Army Men lost ground of Western Conference leader Jokerit.

Photo: 08.12.21. KHL Championship 2021-2022. CSKA (Moscow) - Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod)

Andy Potts Andy Potts
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Dinamo (Minsk) Dinamo (Minsk)
Dynamo (Moscow) Dynamo (Moscow)
Kunlun Red Star (Beijing) Kunlun Red Star (Beijing)
Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl) Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl)
Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)
Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk) Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk)
Sibir (Novosibirsk Region) Sibir (Novosibirsk Region)
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Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod) Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod)
Traktor (Chelyabinsk) Traktor (Chelyabinsk)
CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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