About the League
13 regular season games took place in Junior Hockey League on February 12th. Among six Eastern Conference matchups, the one in Orenburg stood out the most as it featured 13 goals. As for the Western Conference, its action was concluded with an ‘army’ rivalry game in St. Petersburg.
After losing the first game of the back-to-back series on home ice, Sarmaty Orenburg were keen on getting their revenge and scored three unanswered goals past Denis Korotayev. Snezhnye Barsy Astana coaching staff decided to swap Korotayev for Demid Yeremeyev between the pipes after that.
Sergei Starygin’s men, most of whom had their talent tested at the recent World Juniors in British Columbia, managed to establish control on the game. Batyrlan Muratov scored his first career Junior Hockey League hat-trick and then Daniil Kiselyov put Astana in the lead. Orenburg’s top-scorer Ivan Ukolov also found the back of the net before the intermission and the teams headed to the dressing-rooms tied 4-4.
Third period of play followed the scenario of the previous two – Andrei Skmorokh’s side scored twice before the 49th minute but Snezhnye Barsy responded with as many tallies by Sayan Daniyar and Ansar Shaikhmeddenov’s first career JHL goal. With these markers, Kazakhstan team not only brought it all back to even but also won the game in regulation – the visitors scored the winner with just 59 seconds remaining to play in the stanza.
Sarmaty, who have lost their last hope of making Kharlamov Cup Playoffs this year, extended their bad streak. Orenburg have only one win in the past eight games. Losing to Snezhnye Barsy was their third consecutive defeat. Astana remain 9th in the Eastern Conference. With these two points they are now tied with Sputnik Almetyevsk, but the latter have a game in hand.
Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk are yet to score less than five goals against Altay Ust-Kamenogorsk this season. This game was no exception, although it seemed that the ‘Steel Foxes’ were going to have to settle for a more modest win this time – Vladislav Nurek managed to stop every shot he had to face in the opening period of play.
However, Magnitogorsk went on to score four goals in the first half of the second frame – Nikita Rozhkov, who leads Stalnye Lisy in tallies, put his team on the board and then Konstantin Dubin, Bairas Abdullin and Yegor Spiridonov, who had recently returned from Five Nations Tournament where he represented Team Russia, found the back of the net as well.
Nikita Nazarenko and German Shaporev got a goal each for the visitors to bring the intrigue back into the matchup but Dmitry Sheshin and Ruslan Gospodynko scored on Andrei Shutov, who had replaced Nurek midway through the game, to make it clear who was going to come out on top in the end.
Magnitogorsk stay strong on home ice. Since November 1st Stalnye Lisy played 18 home games, winning 16 of them. The only team to win in Magnitogorsk over the stretch was Avto Yekaterinburg, who are among the top squads in the standings.
Omskie Yastreby got into a rather good rhythm towards the end of the regular season, winning six games out of the past seven. Yet Yuri Panov’s men still couldn’t beat Tolpar Ufa. Perhaps, it has something to do with fatigue – while Tolpar played their recent games on home ice, the ‘Hawks’ were wrapping up their 8-game road trip in Ufa.
It was the visitors who opened up the scoring – Matvey Zaseda sent one past Dmitry Braginsky four minutes in. However, home team headed to the dressing-room for the first intermission leading 2-1 as Pavel Sinyavsky and Alexander Oskin found the back of the net. Rodion Amirov improved the lead to 3-1 for Tolpar in the second frame. The visitors did better early in the third stanza – Artyom Dmitrichev and Maxim Melnikov got a tally each within the first five minutes after the play resumed. The game was headed to overtime but then Amirov scored his second of the night and won it for Alik Gareyev’s men.
Omskie Yastreby will wrap up their long road trip and have a chance to get their revenge already tomorrow.
The teams were evenly matched in the opening period of play and neither of them had created many scoring chances. They would have stayed in the deadlock if it weren’t for a chance – Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk put the puck on net on a powerplay and it ricocheted past Vladimir Galkin.
‘Polar Bears’ went to hibernate in the second frame – they took just seven shots in the twenty minutes and lost to Avto Yekaterinburg in every statistical category. It showed on the scoreboard as well. Vitaly Solovyov’s men scored four unanswered goals and establish a comfortable lead before the final stanza. All of the goals were scored after Chelyabinsk’s clumsy defensive plays in their slot – first Avto’s top-scorer Kirill Tyutyayev shoved his way through defense, took a shot and scored, and then he passed it to the far post where Ilya Zakharov tapped it in.
Maxim Shabanov brought it back to a 2-goal differential but Yekaterinburg didn’t let Chelyabinsk get any closer.
Ladiya Togilatti continued their back-to-back series against Mamonty Yugry in Khanty-Mansiysk. Top team of the Eastern Conference scored two goals in the opening period of play as their top players found the back of the net – Denis Latyshevich and Sergei Golodnyuk. Latyshevich also go a minor penalty but Togliatti failed to capitalize on it. The visitors ran into a penalty problem in the following frame. Khanty-Mansiysk had a 2-man advantage once, took three times as many shots as the opposition and yet the score remained unchanged.
However, the ‘Mammoths’ did score shorthanded. Artyom Karandeyev’s minor did some good for the home side as Golodnyuk scored his second of the game early in the third period. He went on to complete the hat-trick, while Nikita Chusovitin added another goal on top of that. Konstantin Kuzmaul stopped 14 shots en route to a 5-0 win.
Tyumensky Legion played hosts to Irbis Kazan. The teams are neighbors in the standings and engaged in a fierce race for the playoffs. Tyumen took twice as many shots as the opposition in the opening period of play but failed to convert on their chances. Despite Tyumensky Legion having the momentum on their side, it was Kazan who got on the board first – Ruslan Akhmetvaliev found his target six minutes into the second frame after a long passing play. The visitors had a lot of work to do in their defensive end late in the period but they pulled through and protected their narrow lead.
Home side brought it back to even two minutes into the third stanza. A defensive mistake led to Alexander Luzhin’s breakaway and he beat Artur Akhtyamov. Nevertheless, the visitors regained the lead less than a minute later – Maxim Bykov fired it home from the slot for the win. Irbis take important two points on the road.
Chayka Nizhny Novgorod, who have lost all hope of making the playoffs this year, faced Krasnaya Armiya Moscow. Win of any sort granted a post-season berth to the red-and-blue, so they pitched camp next to Daniil Andreyev’s net early on and opened up the scoring midway through the period – Pavel Koreshkov found the back of the net. 2-time Kharlamov Cup champions went on to score two more goals – veteran Mikhail Mescheryakov got one of the tallies, while the other one was Semyon Roslyakov, who capitalized on the man-advantage.
Nizhny Novgorod got a goal back only early in the third stanza – Nikita Tomilov got the marker. That goal gave Chayka confidence and they pulled off a marvelous comeback. With three minutes remaining to play in regulation Tomilov scored his second of the night. Nizhny Novgorod pulled their netminder for the extra attacker and Nikolai Petrov brought the fans to their feet as he forced overtime with a late tally. Chayka went on to finish the job in the extra period – Vyacheslav Korotin scored the game-winning goal.
JHC Spartak Moscow is another Western Conference team that needs to get every point they can to make the post-season. This time the red-and-white faced KRS Heilongjiang of China. Spartak managed to convert on their initial powerplay opportunity of the night – Nikita Sokolov got the marker. He also picked up an assist on Zakhar Shablovsky’s second period goal. Moscow went on to improve their lead to 3-0 midway through the period as Oleg Korchagin found his target.
Dennis Miller, who has been a regular on the score-sheet as of late, made it a 4-0 hockey game halfway through the third stanza. As expected, Spartak enjoyed a firm win over Kunlun, while goaltender Matvey Botov stopped 14 shots for his first career Junior Hockey League shutout.
Loko Yaroslavl went on the road to Chekhov, Moscow Region. Russkie Vityazi dug their heels into playoff zone and now aim to get even higher in the standings. Moscow Region team came out hard for this one and capitalized on their initial man-advantage of the game – Dmitry Gavrilovich sent it past defending champion Vladislav Okoryak eight minutes into the opening period of play. Yaroslavl had two powerplay opportunities in the second frame but Chekhov netminder Kirill Cherepanov stood his ground and Russkie Vityazi still had a 1-0 lead after forty minutes of play.
‘Railway men’ finally found the back of the net after Georgy Dedov got a minor penalty – Igor Zenchikov saw an opening between Cherepanov and the post and sniped it. Vadim Khamidulin got a 5-minute major and a game misconduct late in regulation but Russkie Vityazi defended well and it went to overtime. Just as home team got their man back from the penalty box, they rushed down the ice and Pavel Gorokhov scored the winner. Russkie Vityazi beat reigning champions 2-1 at home.
JHC Dynamo St. Petersburg got off to a strong start in the game against HK Riga as they scored three unanswered goals in the first period of play. Anton Nazarevich, who obviously strives to become Junior Hockey League’s top goal-scorer again, got two markers, while Maxim Mikhailov chipped in a powerplay tally. The score remained unchanged in the second frame, even though Dynamo still had the momentum on their side. As for the visitors, they took just four shots on Kirill Ustimenko over the stretch.
Dynamo finished off their blowout win in the third period. Mikhailov got his second of the night, while Veniamin Baranov and Yegor Anisimov got a marker each. Kirill Ustimenko stopped 15 shots and got his 11th shutout of the year to match his career JHL high.
Almaz Cherepovets, who have long secured a playoff berth, went on the road to Stupino, Moscow Region. Local HC Kapitan are doing their best to get into post-season position. The teams traded goals in the opening frame – Nikita Kolesnikov scored for Cherepovets, while home team got a tally from Georgy Merkulov. The visitors got in the lead early in the second period of play – Pavel Zhirnov netted one four minutes in.
Cherepovets got two penalties in a row early in the third stanza. While Mikhail Kalashnikov’s minor led to nothing, home team did capitalize on Konstantin Shostak’s misdemeanor – Merkulov got his second of the game. Artyom Markov got a 5-minute major and a game misconduct late in regulation for checking to the head and that did for the visitors. With three minutes remaining to play in regulation Alexei Zhilin sniped the game-winning goal for Kapitan.
Atlanty Moscow Region faced JHC Dynamo Moscow in Mytischi. The visitors got on the board rather quickly – Igor Muzhikov got a marker just three minutes into the opening period of play. However, that was the only goal they could get in the frame, despite heavily outshooting the opposition. Yegor Bryzgalov doubled the lead for the blue-and-white five minutes into the second frame. Having established a 2-0 lead, Dynamo focused on defense. Only after Yegor Sinegubkin made it a 3-0 hockey game, Atlanty answered with Kirill Kabanov’s marker. JHC Dynamo Moscow win 3-1 on the road.
In the final game of the day two St. Petersburg ‘army’ teams faced one another – SKA-1946 and SKA-Varyagi. The 46’s, who top the Western Conference, got on the board just two minutes into the opening period of play – Alexei Tsyplakov sent one past Yaroslav Askarov. The visitors replied with a goal by Ilya Altybarmakyan. However, it took Alexander Savchenkov’s men just four minutes to get their second lead of the game – Ivan Manin tipped the puck into the back of the net on Stepan Anisimov’s shot.
Home team dominated late in the second frame as they scored three goals in a span of 90 seconds. Daniil Baranov converted on a powerplay, Nikita Yefimov had the quickest hands in the slot and poked the puck over the goal-line shortly after that and then Tsyplakov got another tally. Having established a firm lead, home team cooled down and grinded their way to the win. SKA-1946 take it 5-1 on home ice.