Torpedo snaps Avangard’s streak.
Torpedo and Spartak move up to second and third in the West, tied on 14 points, after wins on Friday. Neftekhimik’s loss to Traktor leaves it still seeking a first victory of the season, while the visitor moves into the top eight.
Neftekhimik still awaits first win
Neftekhimik’s poor start to the season claimed two victims during the week. Slovak forward Samuel Bucek and Russian goalie Alexei Murygin both left the club after an unsuccessful run. The changes bring opportunities for others, and young netminder Yaroslav Ozolin got his first game of the season at home to Traktor.
Thee 22-year-old featured in two games last season, but today he lasted just 20 minutes before being replaced by Alexander Sudnitsin. In that first period, Traktor scored twice to take control of the game. Anton Burdasov has a habit of making an early impact, and he opened the scoring here in the fourth minute. Ten minutes later, Teemu Pulkkinen doubled his team’s advantage and Neftekhimik was on course for a ninth straight loss.
Sudnitsin’s presence steadied things, and when Andrei Chivilyov pulled a goal back midway through the second period there was some grounds for optimism. After all, Traktor’s recent form is far from impressive and these two teams represented the bottom two in the Eastern Conference coming into the game. However, the visitor found an instant response as Kirill Kapustin made it 3-1. Then Vladimir Tkachyov’s power play goal stretched the lead further.
Neftekhimik needed a big third period, and Mikhail Sidorov’s goal three minutes into the action again raised home hopes. However, when Maxim Shabanov potted a fifth for the visitor, there was only one winner despite Ansel Galimov’s late consolation effort. Traktor moves up into the top eight, Neftekhimik is still rooted to the foot of the standings.
Torpedo shoots down Omsk’s revival
Torpedo snapped Avangard’s three-game winning streak with Denis Yan playing a big role in securing this home victory. Yan had a goal and an assist in the third period, breaking a 1-1 tie and steering Torpedo to the win.
The game began at a high tempo and the first period was engaging to watch despite a wait for the opening goal. There was little to choose between the teams, but when Kirill Voronin’s shot was padded away to Mark Marin, the home defenseman instantly followed up to give Torpedo the lead.
Marin later took the game’s first penalty, and Avangard was able to build itself a little bit of momentum early in the second period when the goalscorer’s return was followed almost immediately by a foul from Nikita Shavin.
However, it wasn’t until the start of the third that the Hawks found an equalizer. Alex Broadhurst was the scorer, corralling the rebound from Damir Sharipzyanov’s shot and slotting the puck past Ivan Kulbakov.
The game’s big moment came a couple of minutes later when Semyon Chistyakov moved across his zone to neutralize Yu Sato’s breakaway. The Japanese forward crashed to the ice and Chistyakov was assessed a 5+game penalty. That power play brought two goals for the home team. First, Yan’s shot took a deflection off Maxim Letunov and got past Vasily Demchenko in the Avangard net. Then Yan scored himself when he picked out the far corner.
That double blow rocked Avangard, but there were chances for the visitor in the closing stages. Twice, the Hawks got on the power play in the last 10 minutes and Ivan Telegin managed to convert one of those opportunities. Torpedo’s response was immediate, though. Just 33 seconds later Sergei Goncharuk restored that two-goal cushion to guide the home team over the line.
Tsyplakov goal sinks Sochi
With just one win this season, Sochi found itself rooted to the foot of the Western Conference. Spartak, meanwhile, had hopes of claiming second place with victory beside the Black Sea.
The opening goal did not arrive until the 27th minute, and it went to the visitor. Spartak failed to make the breakthrough on its first power play of the game, but continued to press at equal strength and got its reward. Maxim Tsyplakov was the scorer, rifling home Ilya Talaluyev’s feed.
That proved to be the only goal of the game. Patrik Rybar made 25 saves to record his second shut-out of the season. Sochi failed to score for the third time this season, and slipped to a fifth successive loss.