Monday, 5 September 2016

KHL - Results - Thursday, September 01, 2016

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Amur v Kunlun 1-2
A last-minute goal from Tuukka Mantyla earned Kunlun Red Star victory in its first ever KHL game. The Finn struck moments after Kristian Kuusela looked to have salvaged a tie for the host, making it 2-1 on 59:04 with a powerful shot from the blue line that ripped through a crowd of players in front of home goalie Juha Metsola to win the game. The Beijing-based team took its bow in the big time on the banks of the Amur, the river the marks the border between Russia and China. The trip to Amur Khabarovsk is one of the shortest of the season for the Chinese representatives – but it was still a hefty 1,760km for Kunlun to travel to the Platinum Arena. A capacity 7,000 crowd, many of them back for the second time in 24 hours after seeing Amur claim its first win of the season against Admiral yesterday, saw a nervous start from both teams. But on 14 minutes, Kunlun’s second power play led to a moment of history. Sean Collins, a Canadian forward once on the books of the Columbus Blue Jackets and the Washington Capitals, got his team’s first ever goal when he forced home Tomas Marcinko’s pass to the slot. Home goalie Juha Metsola protested that Collins had encroached onto the paint, but the video official awarded the goal. Prior to Red Star’s formation there was much debate about how many Chinese-qualified players would actually step on to the ice in a multinational roster that also includes players from Russia, Canada, Finland, Sweden and Slovakia. In the end, four locals – defenseman Zach Yuen and forwards Tiangxiang Xia, Guanhua Wang and Rudi Ying made Vladimir Yurzinov’s line-up for the first game although they were used sparingly once the action got underway. Chances were hard to come by at both ends, although Amur thought it had equalized in the 52nd minute when Vitaly Atyushov launched a solo rush. The puck somehow squeezed into the net as Atyushov, defenseman Tobias Viklund and goalie Andrei Makarov got all tangled up – but the target was off its moorings and the goal was disallowed. The host did tie it up on 58 minutes, pulling the goalie on the power play to create a 6-on-4 situation. Kuusela took advantage of the extra space, finding an unguarded area at the edge of the left-hand circle and firing home his second goal in two days of Teemu Ramstedt’s pass. But parity was short-lived as Mantyla scored the winner just 64 seconds later. Kunlun makes its home debut in Beijing on September 5 against another Far East rival, Admiral Vladivostok.
Ugra v Metallurg Magnitogorsk 2-1
Two goals from young Ugra forward Pavel Varfolomeyev led his team to victory over the defending champion – leaving Sergei Mozyakin still waiting to reach Boris Mikhailov’s All-time scoring record of 428 goals. More worryingly for Magnitka, though, this was the team’s fourth successive defeat since lifting the Opening Cup with a victory over CSKA on August 22. It started off well enough for the visitor with Sergei Tereshchenko giving Metallurg a sixth-minute lead, but Varfolomeyev, 21, tied the game early in the second. Magnitka continued to pepper Alexander Sharychenkov’s net with shots – the final count was 41-17 in the visitor’s favor – but Mozyakin was unable to find the target with any of his four attempts. And midway through the final session Varfolomeyev got the winning goal, although he was aided by an uncharacteristic blunder from goalie Vasily Koshechkin. The forward looped in a hopeful shot from the blue line and could hardly believe his good fortune as it bounced off Koshechkin’s shoulder and spun lazily into the net. That was Varfolomeyev’s fourth goal of the season: two against Magnitka and two against the other Metallurg, from Novokuznetsk.
Magnitka strove for an equalizer but might have ended up losing 3-1: Ugra scored into the empty net but the goal was ruled out because it came after the final hooter. Mozyakin’s next chance to reach Mikhailov’s tally comes on Sunday with a home game against Amur Khabarovsk.

Severstal v Neftekhimik 0-2
Severstal slumped to a fourth loss in five games after going down 2-0 at home to Neftekhimik. Richard Gynge broke the deadlock in the 48th minute with a goal on the counter attack before Dan Sexton wrapped it up with an empty-netter. Ivan Lisutin made 32 saves for his shut-out.
CSKA v Ak Bars 4-2
CSKA made it three wins in a row after a fightback in the final stanza saw off Ak Bars. Trailing 2-1 after 40 minutes, the Army Men turned it around thanks to an equalizing goal from Kirill Petrov followed soon after by Denis Denisov’s game winner. The defenseman, who had already contributed an assist on Petrov’s goal, scored on the power play in the 48th minute. He met Igor Ozhiganov’s pass with a powerful one-timer that left goalie Emil Garipov clutching at thin air as Jonas Enlund provided the screen. An empty-net goal from Ivan Telegin wrapped up the game for CSKA while Ak Bars continued its frustrating start to the season. That put smiles back on home faces, but earlier the CSKA fans had to endure some anxious moments. Last time out, Ak Bars set a KHL record by scoring four times off a single power play after giving up an early goal in St. Petersburg. So when Bogdan Kiselevich took a 5+20 penalty for slashing at Anton Glinkin with his team in front on Alexander Popov’s goal, the omens were not great for the host. And Ak Bars delivered once again – albeit not as emphatically as against SKA – as Justin Azevedo tied the game with a one-timer from the face-off spot off Vladimir Tkachyov’s pass. But a penalty on Azevedo soon after removed the bite from Ak Bars’ offense and there was no opportunity to repeat Tuesday’s heavy scoring. But the visitor’s PP did fire again in the second period when Mikhail Zhukov made it 2-1 – a lead that was wiped out by the Army Men in that third period.

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