No match-up between Traktor and Metallurg needs any extra spice. The two clubs are geographical neighbors and fierce rivals in the KHL. Today’s meeting would determine the winner of Chelyabinsk’s pre-season tournament and secure local bragging rights, at least until the Ramazan Memorial Cup in Magnitogorsk next week. Not surprisingly, then, this brought a capacity crowd to the arena.
Traktor made few changes to the roster from the previous game but Metallurg strengthened significantly. Goalie Vasily Koshechkin played the first half of the game, defensemen Paul Postma and Yegor Yakovlev all featured, but there was no place for Sergei Mozyakin nor the injured Dennis Rasmussen.
The opening stages saw Traktor on top. The home team took the game to Magnitka, hit the piping and even had a goal disallowed. But it wasn’t until late in the second period that the opening goal arrived. Metallurg was left playing 3-on-5 for four minutes and the opportunity was too good to refuse. Christian Thomas delivered the opening goal 14 seconds before the intermission.
Further goals from Alexander Podkorytov and Alexei Kruchinin made the game safe. Kruchinin, back at his hometown club after a stint at SKA, finished as the leading forward in the tournament. Traktor took the trophy after winning all three games.
Traktor Chelyabinsk 3 Metallurg Magnitogorsk 0 (0-0, 1-0, 2-0)
Goals: 1-0 Thomas (Virtanen 39:46 PP); 2-0 Podkorytov (Karlin, Bailen 42:22); 3-0 Kruchinin (Popov, Glinkin 54:27)
Goalies: Demchenko – Koshechkin (Galimov)
Peteris Skudra, head coach, Traktor
It was a good, entertaining game, not like a typical pre-season affair. We started pretty well but couldn’t take our chances, Vasily Koshechkin did well in their net. In the second period we played a lot of 3-on-5, but our PK got better throughout the tournament, the players are improving that. And, of course, Demchenko made a couple of big saves. I’m pleased that we didn’t allow a single goal at equal strength in this tournament. We’ll have a short break then continue our preparations.
Josef Jandac, head coach, Metallurg
The decisive moment was in the second period when we had a long time playing 3-on-5. But our guys didn’t shoot enough and lost almost every face-off. Unfortunately we couldn’t score enough goals throughout this tournament. Mozyakin didn’t play because he’s getting ready for our home tournament. A player of his ability doesn’t need to be tested in pre-season, he just needs to get into shape.
Prior to the Ural showdown, Severstal and the Governor’s Cup Team played in the afternoon with the winner taking third place in the tournament. Both teams had lost their opening two games and it took overtime to separate them here.
The opening goal came late in the first period when Ansel Galimov got his first goal for Severstal in only his second appearance for his new club. But it turned around in the second period when 19-year-old Traktor prospect Demid Mansurov put the Governor’s Team level before Ivan Nikolishin’s fine solo effort saw Severstal fall behind. The Steelmen tied it up when Dmitry Alexeyev fired home a shot as he fell to the ice and the game finished 2-2 after 60 minutes.
In overtime, Nikita Khlystov fired home the decisive goal to give Severstal third place in the tournament.
Governor’s Cup Team 2 Severstal Cherepovets 3 OT (0-1, 2-1, 0-0, 0-1)
Goals: 0-1 Galimov (Baldayev, Kodola 17:02); 1-1 Mansurov (Alexeyev, Babenko 23:46 PP); 1-2 Nikolishin (29:13); 2-2 Alexeyev (Shepelev, Babenko 37:32 PP); 2-3 Khlystov (Geraskin 62:59).
Goalies: Sukharyov – Podyapolsky
Andrei Razin, head coach, Severstal
I’d like to thank the management at Traktor for inviting us to such a good tournament. They found a way out of an unexpected problem when Kunlun was unable to travel here. As for our performance, I’m not too worried that we didn’t play very well. Our guys were still feeling the effects of our physical preparation, we flew here direct from our conditioning camp in the Czech Republic. In these first few games we skated well and we were improving each time. I wasn’t impressed with our finishing but that’s a work in progress. Right now we’re trying out our players and the scoreline is of secondary importance.
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Day one of this tournament in Hradec Kralove saw Amur suffer a 0-7 loss. Day two brought a victory for Admiral, restoring some KHL pride. Sergei Svetlov named a strong roster, including all of his imports. Finnish goalie Juho Olkinuora, given a public vote of confidence by his coach after an uncertain start to life in Vladivostok, was between the piping.
The opposition came from Orli Znojmo, once of the Czech championship but more recently part of the cross-border Austrian EBEL League. The Eagles, however, failed to take off: Admiral scored three goals in a 10-minute spell in the first period to effectively kill the contest. Znojmo pulled one back before the intermission and the subsequent action was more even, but a late goal from Markus Ljungh clinched a convincing 4-1 win for the Russians.
Orli Znojmo 1 Admiral Vladivostok 4 (1-3, 0-0, 0-1)
Goals: 0-1 Bakos (Lalond 7:00); 0-2 Voronin (Mereshkin, Dyakov 10:01); 0-3 Ugolnikov (Kozlovsky 17:25); 1-3 Matus (Miklis 19:49); 1-4 Ljungh (Bakos, Vikharev 53:32)
Goalies: Groh – Olkinuora
Two KHL teams were in action in Europe on Tuesday, and both recorded victories. Vityaz enjoyed the best win, defeating Lahti Pelicans 8-1 in Finland. The Moscow Region team was 2-0 up inside five minutes and was never troubled after that. Pavel Chernov led the scoring with a hat-trick.
Sibir continued its program in the Czech Republic and edged a 3-2 verdict against Energie Karlovy Vary. Maxim Kazakov’s short-handed tally in the 55th minute snapped a 2-2 tie; earlier the Siberians’ Finnish trio combined for the team’s opening goal.
Lahti Pelicans 1 Vityaz Podolsk 8 (0-2, 1-4, 0-2)
Vityaz goals: 0-1 Komarov (1:40); 0-2 Shevchenko (4:20); 0-3 Chernov (Semin 23:32 PP); 0-4 Nattinen (Yepishin 27:36); 1-5 Chernov (Komarov 35:28); 1-6 Aaltonen (Lajunen 37:31); 1-7 Chernov (Shevchenko, Komarov 44:29); 1-8 Makeyev (Shvets-Rogovoi 58: 27)
Energie Karlovy Vary 2 Sibir Novosibirsk 3 (1-0, 0-2, 1-1)
Goals: 1-0 Senkerik (Kohout 10:04); 1-1 Puustinen (Peltola, Ruohomaa 22:11); 1-2 Komarov (Khabarov 38:20); 2-2 Rachunek (Skuravy 53:50 PP); 2-3 Kazakov (54:05 PP)
Goalies: Novotny - Sateri