Maillet makes the difference. September 10 round-up: Kontinental Hockey League (KHL)
Metallurg’s Canadian forward Philippe Maillet produced a game-winning display to end Spartak’s unbeaten start to the season. He scored twice, including an overtime tally, to cancel out Phil Varone’s strike in Magnitogorsk. In Saturday’s other game, Dinamo Minsk won 5-1 at winless Neftkehimik.
Maillet ends Spartak’s winning start
Two goals from Philippe Maillet earned Metallurg its first home victory of the season, while Spartak suffered its first loss of the campaign.
This was the third game in a row that Magnitka went to overtime, but following defeats to Severstal and Amur the Steelmen got it right this time. The lively Nikolai Goldobin burst into Spartak’s zone and dished off a pass for Maillet, who advanced to fire a shot beyond Patrik Rybar and win the game.
Goldobin had been Metallurg’s biggest threat in a goalless first period. He enjoyed the first big chance of the game, breaking clear to go one-on-one with Rybar, only to be halted by the goalie’s pads. Overall, though, Spartak shaded the play in the opening stanza. The visitor looked particularly dangerous on the power play and outshot Magnitka 10-8.
It wasn’t until midway through the second period that we saw the opening goal. Eddie Pasquale was at full stretch to stop a deflected shot from Spartak’s Joey Keane, and as the visitor kept up the pressure a dump and chase came back off the boards and on to the stick of Phil Varone. The Canadian took one step forward and placed a wrist shot beyond Pasquale to put the visitor ahead.
However, it took just a couple of minutes for Maillet to tie the scores. This time, Varone had less to celebrate. He managed to halt Maillet’s move through the center, but immediately coughed up possession and the home forward needed no second invitation to fire home the tying goal.
There were chances at both ends in the third period. Maillet’s play behind the net almost set up Yegor Yakovlev for the go-ahead goal, but Rybar made the save. At the other end, Shane Prince deflected Alexander Bryntsev’s shot onto the post and Zakhar Arzamastsev fired the rebound narrowly wide.
Dinamo demolishes Neftekhimik
There was no home comfort for Neftekhimik as Dinamo inflicted a fourth defeat of the season in Nizhnekamsk. Previously, the Wolves had lost three on the road; today they were over-powered on home ice.
For Dinamo, this was a third win in four games. Ryan Spooner continued his excellent start to the season, scoring his fifth goal in three outings. Spooner’s effort, in the 27th minute, made it 3-1 to Minsk and effectively took the game away from Neftekhimik.
The home team had been competitive in the first period, with Vyacheslav Leshchenko’s power play goal cancelling out an opener from Cedric Paquette. Pacquette was assisted by Joe Duszak, who already has six helpers since arriving in Belarus.
In the second period, though, Dinamo took control early on. Sergei Sapego restored the visitor’s lead before Spooner’s tally and subsequently Neftekhimik could make no inroads.
The game was put beyond reach in the third with a power play goal from Brandon Kozun and an empty-net tally for Vitaly Pinchuk. The latter claimed his first KHL goal when he scored with 25 seconds to play.