Severstal stuns Magnitka. September 6 round-up
The performance of the day came from Severstal, which recovered from 0-3 to defeat Metallurg in overtime. That was one of three games that went beyond 60 minutes, with Traktor beating Avtomobilist 4-3 in the extras and Sibir beating Kunlun Red Star in a shoot-out. The Dragons handed a debut to Kris Afanasyev in that one, bringing the KHL’s first Mexican-born player. Janis Kalnins made his debut in goal for Amur at Torpedo, but would prefer to forget this one after finishing on the wrong end of a 1-6 scoreline. Spartak got its third win of the season against Admiral in Tuesday’s other action.
Big fightback for Severstal
Severstal spoiled Metallurg’s home opener with a big fightback. Down 0-3 at the second intermission, the visitor turned it around to tie the game in regulation before Alexander Petunin grabbed the winner in overtime.
Visiting head coach Andrei Razin opted to withdraw goalie Vladislav Podyapolsky during the extras and his gamble paid off when Petunin finished off a cross-ice feed from Kirill Pilipenko two minutes into the extras.
That was Petunin’s second of the game as he reopened his account for the club following his return to Cherepovets from Dynamo Moscow over the summer. Earlier, he grabbed the tying goal on 59:04. On that occasion, with Severstal playing 6-on-5, the forward converted an eye-of-the-needle pass from Igor Geraskin.
It amounted to an improbable conclusion in a game that Magnitka seemed to have sewn up in the second period. The home team took control on goals from Maxim Karpov and Philippe Maillet 24 seconds apart. Semyon Koshelev then added a third in the 26th minute, chasing Dmitry Shugayev from the Severstal net.
But the visitor steadied and launched its fightback in the third. Daniil Vovchenko started the recovery with a power play goal in the 44th minute, then another PP saw Razin withdraw Podyapolsky for the first time. That enabled Ivan Yemets to score in a 6-on-4 play, setting the scene for Petunin’s late, game-winning contribution.
Traktor grabs its first victory
It was third time lucky for Traktor as Anvar Gatiyatulin’s team recorded its first win of the season. Avtomobilist, meanwhile, suffered a first loss of the campaign.
Both teams will feel that they could have won this in regulation: the visitor led going into the final session, but needed a late goal from Curtis Valk to force overtime.
Long before that, Traktor got the perfect start when Anton Burdasov opened the scoring after just 17 seconds. Burdasov claimed his first goal after returning to his hometown team in the summer when he was sent clean through and calmly beat Vladimir Galkin in the Motormen’s net. Avto tied it up late in the first, when Brooks Macek scored on the power play.
Midway through the second, the visitor got ahead thanks to a first goal of the season from Stephane Da Costa. The Frenchman produced a clinical finish to a well-worked move involving Sergei Shirokov and Anatoly Golyshev and his team looked well place to continue its perfect start to the season.
For Traktor, though, this was a last chance to take something from its opening home stand. Burdasov played a big part in ensuring that the host got a result this time. He tied the scores with his second goal of the game, then had an assist on Teemu Pulkkinen’s power play goal to give Traktor a 3-2 lead. Alexei Byvaltsev also had a helper on that one as he marked his 400th KHL appearance.
That wasn’t the end. Valk tied it up with a little over two minutes to play, but Traktor would not be denied. Pyotr Khokhryakov got the decider in overtime and his team is up and running in the Eastern Conference standings.
Torpedo hits Amur for six
Janis Kalnins made his competitive debut for Amur as the Tigers looked to build on Sunday’s win at Kunlun Red Star. However, the Latvian had a tough start to the latest chapter in his career, giving up a goal just 30 seconds into the game.
It was a fast-paced opening, with Amur twice testing Ivan Kulbakov in the home net before a quick breakaway saw Torpedo captain Mikhail Orlov fire in a low shot from the point that Kalnins could only help into his own net.
Subsequently, Torpedo took control of the game and Kalnins produced several saves to keep the score at 1-0. However, he was powerless in the 27th minute when Alexei Kruchinin’s efforts opened up the ice and Nikolai Kovalenko gobbled up his pass to score his first goal for his new club on his first appearance.
Amur needed a quick response in the third period, and got it. The Tigers were helped by a penalty on Igor Larionov Jr. Torpedo survived that, but just as the home team returned to full strength Yaroslav Likhachyov sniped his first KHL goal. The 21-year-old rifled home Pavel Makhanovsky’s feed to put his team right back in the game.
However, it was only a brief flicker of optimism. Within two minutes, Kirill Voronin restored Torpedo’s two-goal cushion and Mark Marin added a fourth with 10 to play. When Alexei Kruchinin’s power play tally made it 5-1, Kalnins’ evening was over. Dmitry Lozebnikov came on for the remaining six minutes. The youngster could not escape punishment from Torpedo’s forwards, with 20-year-old Nikita Shavin taking the opportunity to score his first KHL goal and complete the rout.
Prince’s double sinks Admiral
Spartak continues its winning start to the season, but victory number three was a hard-fought affair against Admiral.
The Sailors got a boost with a 4-1 success at Sochi last time out and they pushed the Red-and-Whites hard in Moscow, despite giving up an early goal. Shane Prince got his first of the season for his new club, converting the first power play of the game after 82 seconds.
Penalties proved to be the key incidents, though, and Admiral tied it up on its first PP of the game when Rudolf Cerveny found the net. The Czech claimed his second goal for his new club midway through the opening frame.
Early in the second, Spartak regained the lead and, once again, it was a power play effort from Prince. At that stage, all three penalties had led to goals so when the home team killed a too many men call midway through the game it felt significant. And so it proved. After that successful PK there was no further scoring at either end as Spartak took the verdict.
Sharov gives Sibir a shoot-out win
Sibir picked up its second win in three games after edging a shoot-out win over Kunlun Red Star in Mytishchi.
Kunlun made a little bit of KHL history today when Kris Afanasyev got his first start in the league. What’s so remarkable about a 24-year-old forward stepping up after previous experience in the VHL, you may wonder. Well, Kris was born in Mexico City, making him the first man born in Central America to play in the league. Today he featured on the Dragons’ third line alongside Garet Hunt and Brett Pollock.
However, Afanasyev was not able to celebrate a winning debut as Red Star lost out in a shoot-out. Sibir shaded the first period, with Matt Jurusik, Red Star’s new goalie, obliged to make a couple of good saves in the opening session. Early in the second, though, Jurusik was powerless when Parker Foo’s misjudgement enabled Nikita Shashkov to get the wheels working and grab a short-handed breakaway goal.
Although Red Star has been far more competitive this season, there are early signs that goals could be a problem for Greg Ireland’s team. After failing to breach Amur’s defenses at the weekend, the Dragons had to wait until the third period to find the net here. When it came, it owed everything to a superb individual play from D-man Zac Leslie. He picked up the puck in center ice and ran at the heart of the Sibir defense. Neatly bisecting two opponents, Leslie steered the puck around the sprawling Denis Kostin only to hit the post. Happily for Red Star, Jack Rodewald was following up to tap in his first goal in the KHL.
That took the game into overtime but the teams could not find a winner until Alexander Sharov settled a shoot-out in Sibir’s favor.