This year marks 60 years of Sibir’s existence. Today’s game was earmarked for a celebration – live music, retro uniforms and more. The 2022 team played its part in full, romping to a convincing victory over Severstal.
Under head coach Andrei Martemyanov, the Siberians are enjoying a good season. They had lost just once in the previous six games, and came into this one looking to consolidate a top-four position in the East. Severstal, meanwhile, is having rather less fun this term. The Steelmen came to Novosibirsk hoping to end a five-game losing streak.
The visitor might have been able to improve its status had it stayed out of the penalty box. Severstal looked competitive in the first period, but fell behind midway through the session to a power play goal from Vladimir Butuzov. Then, in the middle frame, the home team added two more PP markers, both from Taylor Beck and both assisted by Trevor Murphy. Late in that second session, Sibir proved they could do it at equal strength too and Nikita Korotkov made it 4-0.
The game was over as a contest, but Sibir’s special teams still had a trick or two. Midway through the final frame Vyacheslav Osnovin potted a short-handed goal. Severstal’s never-say-die attitude was commendable, its decision to withdraw goalie Vladislav Podyapolsky and play 6-on-4 for the power play went unrewarded.
Podyapolsky returned for the remainder of the PP and Yegor Morozov got a consolation goal while his team still had its numerical advantage. But that was only a consolation effort as the host enjoyed its party.
Salavat Yulaev moved to second in the East with a convincing victory over Barys. It was a sixth straight success for Ufa, while the Kazakhs dropped a fifth loss.
Andrei Skabelka’s team has struggled on the road all season and went into this game with a point to prove. Barys made the better start, pushing Salavat Yulaev back in the early stages. However, the host withstood that onslaught and took control of the game with two goals midway through the opening frame. Stepan Sannikov broke the deadlock with Ufa’s first shot of the game in the 10th minute. A couple of minutes later, Danil Alalykin doubled the lead, claiming his first goal of the season.
At that point, Salavat Yulaev had two goals from two shots, much to Skabelka’s frustration. However, the visitor responded well and pulled one back at the start of the second period. Yegor Petukhov halved the deficit and there was every reason to assume that Barys could use that to kickstart its game and find a way to salvage something.
Instead, though, the visitor took a penalty almost immediately and Sergei Shmelyov took advantage to restore the two-goal cushion. From that point on, the game was always heading one way. Barys still created chances, but could not add to its tally. Even when Anthony Louis found the Sibir net, his effort was whistled down for offside, an incident that rather summed up his team’s day. At the other end, Alexander Chmelevski got his 10th of the season to make it 4-1 before Alalykin forced a turnover to set up Alexei Pustozyorov for the fifth midway through the third period.
Two teams scrapping for position in the Western playoff race played out a tight game in Balashikha. It took a shoot-out to separate the pair, with Minsk eventually getting the verdict. Nick Merkley’s attempt proved decisive after 65 minutes of play failed to separate the teams.
Both teams were in poor form coming into this game. Dinamo had lost four of its last six, and needed a good result to move in front of Severstal and get into the top eight in the Western Conference. Vityaz snapped its losing streak against Kunlun Red Star last time out, but remains in a somewhat perilous position in the race for a playoff place.
The home team found itself absorbing some early pressure as Dinamo saw a chance to jump back into the top eight. However, despite the visitor’s bright start, Vityaz got the opening goal when Artyom Borodkin found the net with a shot that deflected off the goalie’s pads. That was only the second goal of the season for the defenseman and it came at a key moment for his team.
Dinamo tied it up in the middle frame when Vladimir Alistrov was first to react to the rebound from a Mark Barberio shot. From then on, the game remained tight and neither team was able to add to its tally in regulation.
The extras could not settle the outcome, with the best chance coming in the last minute when Dinamo’s Joseph Duszak got clean through but was unable to beat Maxim Dorozhko in the home net. However, Dorozhko was unable to steer Vityaz to victory: Merkley and Vadim Moroz were on target in the shoot-out to give the Bison the edge.