Amur Khabarovsk 2 Traktor Chelyabink 1 OT (0-0, 1-0, 0-1, 1-0)
This game had no bearing on the tournament standings. Traktor’s victories in its opening two games ensured it could not be caught at the top of the table, while Amur was still awaiting its first goal and wouldn’t finish higher than fourth. However, the Tigers did find a way to end on a high, while Traktor left with the trophy for the second time in the club’s history.
Amur’s goal drought had one more period to run: the opening stanza saw the teams deadlocked at 0-0. However, at the start of the second stanza Vladislav Barulin finally broke the deadlock with his team’s first tally of the competition.
However, Amur secured the win in overtime thanks to Vyacheslav Gretsky. The former Dinamo Minsk man is best known for his appearance in the 2020 All-Star Game but he is looking to establish himself in the KHL this season after moving to Khabarovsk. Today’s game-winner suggests he is capable of playing a role in the Far East.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk 4 Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 5 OT (1-2, 1-1, 2-1, 0-1)
Metallurg has not enjoyed its happiest tournament on home ice and suffered a second loss in three games against Avtomobilist.
This game was a high-scoring affair, with much to enjoy for fans in Magnitogorsk. However, the Motormen took the verdict in overtime to secure second place in the competition behind Traktor.
Magnitka made a fast start, opening the scoring through Anatoly Nikontsev after 72 seconds. However, Avto turned it around the in the first period: Patrice Cormier’s power play goal quickly tied the scores, then Sergei Shirokov made it 2-1.
Early in the second session, Oleg Li added a third, but Semyon Koshelev quickly pulled one back. However, the second frame was dominated by the 58 minutes of penalties shared between the two teams – a fine pre-season work-out for the officials as well as the players.
Tempers cooled a little in the third, and Denis Zernov drew Metallurg level. Then came a dramatic conclusion with Cormier’s second of the game giving Avtomobilist a 4-3 lead on 57:41. Game over? Not at all. Nikolai Goldobin went straight to the other end and grabbed a tying goal just 18 seconds later. However, Avtomobilist would not be denied. Anatoly Golyshev got the winner in overtime, with Jesse Blacker producing his third assist of the evening.
Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 1 Sibir Novosibirsk 4 (0-2, 1-0, 0-2)
For the second time in two days, Torpedo entertained Sibir. And, for the second time in two days, the Siberians came out on top.
Nikita Shashkov led the way for the visitor, opening the scoring after two minutes and wrapping it up with goal number four on 57:26. In between, Michal Cajkovsky and Vyacheslav Osnovin added to Torpedo’s woes.
At the other end, Igor Larionov’s team managed a short-handed goal in the second period. A turnover enabled Japanese forward Yu Sato to release Denis Pochivalov for his first goal at this level. For Sato, too, it was a significant moment as he collected his first point of pre-season.
Vityaz Moscow Region 1 Ak Bars Kazan 3 (1-1, 0-1, 0-1)
Vityaz played its first game at its new home, Arena Balashikha, as the Moscow Region club continues its tour of venues. The team was based in Chekhov when it joined the KHL then moved to Podolsk before replacing Avangard in Balashikha this summer.
However, the housewarming party fell somewhat flat. Oleg Znarok, who made this venue his own during his time in charge of HC MVD, brought his Ak Bars team to the big game – and duly left with a 3-1 victory.
The teams traded power play goals in the first period, with Alexander Yaremchuk scoring Vityaz’ first goal in its new home. Then Ak Bars established a 2-1 lead at the start of the second when Kirill Petrov potted his second of the game.
That lead survived until the hooter, with Dinar Khafizullin’s empty-net goal in the final second putting some gloss on the scoreline.