Sibir Novosibirsk 5 Amur Khabarovsk 4 SO (1-2, 2-0, 1-2, 0-0, 1-0)
Just 24 hours after Amur handed Sibir a 3-0 loss in Novosibirsk, the teams met again. Sibir responded to Friday’s loss by handing Stepan Sannikov a first game since his return to the club. Nikolai Zavarukhin also deployed three of his imports, defenseman Jyrki Jokipakka and forwards Mikael Ruohomaa and Juuso Puustinen. For Amur, there was still no place for Nail Yakupov, a key figure in one of the summer’s more protracted trades.
If Sibir hoped for a revenge win, it couldn’t have made a worse start. Just 13 seconds into the game, Alexander Polunin put Amur in front off a Kirill Rasskazov feed. That’s two goals in two games for the former Lokomotiv forward. The host responded with a power play goal in the 15th minute, Andrei Yermakov getting Sibir off the mark at last, but parity was shortlived. Vladimir Butuzov converted a penalty shot two minutes before the break to restore Amur’s lead.
The middle frame saw Sibir turn the game around. Nikita Shashkov, who got into the season’s first fight yesterday, made it 2-2 before Sannikov set up a second of the game for Yermakov. Once again, though, a slow start cost Sibir in the third and Valentin Pyanov tied it up on 40:13. The teams traded further goals in regulation, with Puustinen restoring Sibir’s lead only for Rasskazov to take us to overtime. That could not separate the teams, bringing us the first meaningful shoot-out of the summer (technically, yesterday’s game at Dinamo Minsk also featured a shoot-out, but that was an ‘extra’, rather than a means of determining a winner after the Bison took a 6-4 verdict in regulation). Shashkov got the decisive goal as Sibir avenged Friday’s loss.
Ak Bars Kazan 4 Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk 1 (1-0, 1-0, 2-1)
Ak Bars got some quick revenge following Friday’s loss against Neftekhimik. Within a day, Dmitry Kvartalnov’s team had a victory over its Tatar neighbor.
Stanislav Galiyev had two goals in a losing cause yesterday and he potted his third of the summer to give Ak Bars the lead late in the first period. Justin Azevedo’s no-look feed from the behind the net presented Galiyev with an irresistible chance as the intermission approached. Galiyev’s productive pre-season continued when he produced an assist on Azevedo’s one-timer early in middle frame. The 28-year-old is going into his fourth season in Kazan in impressive form.
Neftekhimik tried to get back into the game and reduced the deficit early in the third period through Bulat Shafigullin. Like Galiyev, Shafigullin was on target in Friday’s game; today he scored on Timur Bilyalov, who got the start ahead of Adam Reideborn. But hopes of a fightback were soon quashed. Ak Bars made it 3-1 with a well-worked power play goal in the 47th minute — that man Galiyev scoring his fourth in two games to restore some comfort to the scoreline. Finally, in the 56th minute, the home team got its first goal without Galiyev: Patrice Cormier, short-handed, made it 4-1 when he capitalized on a breakdown in center ice and beat Fyodor Korotayev in a one-on-one.