About the League
Five regular season games took place in Parimatch Junior Hockey League on January 13th. We take a look at key Wednesday action in this daily review on JHL official website.
The teams were evenly matched in the first minutes of the game in Yekaterinburg. Avto Yekaterinburg and Tolpar Ufa battled for momentum right till the midway mark of the frame. The visitors gradually got it under their control and in a few minutes Tolpar made it work in their advantage – Yekaterinburg took four penalties in a row in a stretch of just six minutes, which let the opposition shift the play closer to Mikhail Isayev’s net. Despite taking a lot of shots and creating several scoring chances, Ufa converted on just one of their power play attempts. Sergei Shapovalenko opened up the scoring 15 minutes into the first period of action. The hosts managed to even the course of the game out only late in the frame and pitched camp in Semyon Vyazovoy’s territory. However, that changed nothing on the scoreboard.
Yekaterinburg did their best to force their brand of hockey on Tolpar right after the intermission. Avto grabbed the momentum and established control of the puck. Nevertheless, they couldn’t prevent the opposition from doubling their lead - Shapovalenko scored his second of the night seven minutes into the stanza. The hosts converted on their chance midway through the period – Alexander Fomintsev found the back of the net with a nice backhand shot. Avto spent almost the entire second half of the period in the offensive zone looking for the equalizer but none of their offensive rushes led to a goal – Tolpar defense along with Vyazovoy kept the opposition at bay and the visitors still had a narrow lead heading into the third period.
Early in the final frame of regulation the hosts put together several decent rushes against Tolpar but Ufa gradually evened the game out. The teams spent the entire period trading scoring chances. Yekaterinburg continued to play as the favorites and looked to convert on their passing plays, while Tolpar increased the number of their rushes as well, which led to Isayev and Vyazovoy making flurries of saves. Tolpar switched to counter-attacks late in regulation, not letting Yekaterinburg put together one final push. In the last minute of the period Avto did pull their netminder for the extra attacker but couldn’t salvage the game. Tolpar Ufa enjoy a very important narrow 2-1 win in Yekaterinburg.
Mikhailov Academy Tula managed to score a quick goal in the game against Krasnaya Armiya Moscow. CSKA’s major junior team found themselves with two men in the penalty box just over a minute deep into the first period of play and the hosts grabbed the lead with a power play goal by Anton Danilov. However, the course of the game went in a different direction after that – he visitors killed off the remainder of the penalty and went on to get their initial power play attempt of the night as well. They didn’t manage to capitalize on it but the play shifted to Denis Popov’s territory. ‘Army men’ were spending a lot of time in the offensive zone but despite a hefty advantage on the ice they couldn’t crack Mikhailov Academy defense. Tula kept their cool and stayed out of the box, focusing on playing solid defense and were able to weather the storm keeping Krasnaya Armiya at bay. As a result, nothing changed on the scoreboard before the intermission and Mikhailov Academy headed to the dressing-room enjoying a 1-0 lead after 20 minutes of play.
Krasnaya Armiya got what they were looking for early in the second period. Sergey Shamsurin finished off a passing play three minutes in as he threw the biscuit past Denis Popov. Inspired by the success the visitors picked up the pace looking to get in the lead. However, just as in the previous period, they had a hard time lockpicking Tula’s defense. Despite having allowed a goal, Mikhailov Academy continued to play with a lot of caution and focused on defense. They also increased the number of their offensive rushes. The tactics worked in their favor – midway through the frame Yegor Filippov beat Matvei Kiselyov and gave the hosts their second lead of the game. Tula had a great chance to build on the lead right after that but they failed to capitalize on a power play attempt, deciding to stay sharp on defense instead. The ‘academics’ continued to lead by a goal following 40 minutes of action.
The course of the game did not change in the third period either. Krasnaya Armiya continued to dominate on the ice, playing aggressive hockey in the offensive zone, while Mikhailov Academy held them at bay not cracking under pressure. As the final buzzer approached, Tula began increasing the tempo and switched to counter-attacks, hoping to extend their lead. Krasnaya Armiya did everything they could to get past Mikhailov Academy defense but they were unable to go for one final push until the dying seconds of regulation. Krasnaya Armiya couldn’t throw another one past Popov to salvage the game. Mikhailov Academy held on to the flimsy lead and pulled off a great upset as they beat one of the top Western Conference teams 2-1.
HK Riga were very aggressive in the beginning of their home game against JHC Spartak Moscow. The hosts established a 2-0 lead by the fifth minute – Mikus Mintautiskis and Rudolfs Polcs chipped in a marker each to give the Latvian side a quick and sturdy lead. However, Riga slowed the pace down after that, which allowed Moscow to begin their crusade against Eriks Vitols. The teams continued to trade scoring chances but as time went on it was the visitors who seemed to have the upper hand. Having survived a penalty midway through the period, Spartak put the pressure on Riga again, which led the hosts to taking two consecutive penalties. Latvian side survived the 3-on-5 but with a second remaining on their power play the visitors did throw one past Vitols – Yegor Maklozyan with the marker. Riga went into the second period with just a 1-goal lead.
Nevertheless, early in the second period of action the hosts found themselves in a 3-on-5 situation again and Spartak got the equalizer right away – Matvei Kokovin found the back of the net and made it a 2-2 hockey game. Moscow had the momentum on their side throughout the first half of the second period and Vitols had to make several huge saves to keep it a tie game, while his teammates rarely troubled Platon Zadorozhny at the other end of the ice. Moscow continued to create scoring chances and dominate and yet Riga managed to fend them off a carry the 2-2 parity in the third frame.
However, Spartak got what they were looking for three minutes into the stanza – Ruslan Novruzov bubbled the net and gave Moscow their first lead of the bout. The visitors continued to hold the reins of the game after that, kept creating scoring chances and nipped Riga’s counter-attacks in the bud. On rare occasions, the hosts did skate into the offensive zone. For instance, midway through the period Spartak took a minor penalty but the Latvian side couldn’t get their third goal past Platon Zadorozhny. With two minutes remaining to play in regulation Spartak took another penalty and the hosts went for the kill, pulling Vitols for the extra attacker. The plan worked out – Kristaps Skrastins sent the game to overtime as he scored a goal with just 20 seconds on the clock. Nevertheless, the red-and-white didn’t let the success slip away from them. Dmitry Romko got first to the puck on the rebound and slipped it in for the win. JHC Spartak Moscow beat HK Riga 4-3 in overtime.