The opening day of the Mayor of Moscow Cup began with Dynamo Moscow beating Vityaz 4-1. But the main attraction was the derby clash between Gagarin Cup holder CSKA and Oleg Znarok’s Spartak. The defending champion showed its class to inflict a first defeat on Znarok since he took over at the Red-and-Whites.

Dynamo’s power play makes the difference

The Mayor of Moscow Cup got underway with Dynamo defeating Vityaz thanks to a pair of power play goals. Experienced forward Igor Polygalov cancelled out an early goal from Alexei Mikeyev when he raced onto a defense-splitting pass from Yegor Zaitsev and when the penalty count totted up, the Blue-and-Whites took advantage. A 5-on-3 power play saw Ivan Igumnov and Mikhail Grigoryev put Dynamo 3-1 up and in control of the game at the second intermission.

Photo: 22.08.19. Moscow mayor cup. Dynamo (Moscow) - Vityaz (Moscow Region)

Captain Vadim Shipachyov added to an earlier assist to complete the scoring midway through the final stanza. Dynamo began with a victory in this battle for capital-city bragging rights.

Dynamo Moscow 4 Vityaz Podolsk 1 (0-1, 3-0, 1-0)

Goals: 0-1 Makeyev (Shvets-Rogovoi 3:02); 1-1 Polygalov (Zaitsev 21:19); 2-1 Igumnov (Shipachyov, Grigoriev 37:28 PP); 3-1 Grigoriev (Zaitsev 38:27 PP); 4-1 Shipachyov (50:23)

Goalies: Bocharov – Samonov

Vladimir Krikunov, head coach, Dynamo

We took a long time to get into the game. We didn’t start well and conceded straight away. I liked how we woke up in the second period and took our chances on the power play. In the third we scored again and took the game to its logical conclusion. Unfortunately, Petersson suffered an injury when he took a blow to the head. We’ll keep an eye on his condition.

Mikhail Kravets, head coach, Vityaz

Our first period was really good, but in the second our mistakes let us down and we took too many penalties. 18 minutes of penalties in a game is a lot. We know what we have to work on.

CSKA has too much for Spartak

The build-up to the Moscow derby between Spartak and CSKA brought out some special guests. Stanislav Cherchesov, head coach of Russia’s football and a former Spartak goalkeeper, visited the Red-and-White locker room for a pre-game pep talk, while Moscow mayor Sergei Sobyanin was on hand for the ceremonial face-off.

Photo: 22.08.19. Moscow mayor cup. CSKA (Moscow) - Spartak (Moscow)

CSKA named a strong line-up, with the Gagarin Cup winner giving Moscow fans a first glimpse of two new lines: SekacVeyGrigorenko, and KaprizovSvetlakovOkulov. For Spartak, meanwhile, this was a chance to test Oleg Znarok’s promising new regime against the best in the league.

On this occasion, the sorcerers had the edge over the apprentices. Midway through the first period, Grigorenko’s power play goal put CSKA ahead. In the second, Kirill Kaprizov scored a beauty in the manner of Pavel Datsyuk. At times, only Julius Hudacek kept Spartak in the game and his heroics at one end inspired a response at the other: Alexander Khokhlachyov set up the play, Ilya Talaluyev converted it and the game was alive once more.

The third period, though, saw the Army Men take control. Two goals early in the frame settled the outcome before the teams traded goals in the closing minutes. Znarok’s Spartak suffered its first loss of the summer.

CSKA Moscow 5 Spartak Moscow 2 (1-0, 2-1, 3-1)

Goals: 1-0 Grigorenko (Vey, Nesterov 9:54 PP); 2-0 Kaprizov (Grigorenko, Nesterov 28:17 PP); 2-1 Talaluyev (Khokhlachyov, Vishnevsky 31:48); 3-1 Andronov (Sorokin, Mamin 42:02); 4-1 Karnaukhov (Mamin, Nesterov 44:53); 4-2 Hanzl (Daugavins, Karsums 50:36); 5-2 Popov (Okulov, Kiselevich 57:13)

Goalies: Sorokin – Hudacek

Oleg Znarok, head coach, Spartak

Today’s game showed that we still have plenty of problems. And we’ll try to learn from that. We’ll keep working so that in future we can find a way out of situations like this. We’re still building our team, some things are working out but others are not. But I think we can work this out. We have some good players and I’m sure we’ll come together and move forward.

Igor Nikitin, head coach, CSKA

Both teams played with a huge amount of desire but maybe they were lacking in strength. There were problems on the counter-attack and we have things to work on, but we’re happy with the result.

It’s clear that things have changed at Spartak. There hasn’t been enough time for any coach to fundamentally change a club, but the work that Oleg and Harijs [Vitolins] have done is striking.

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