About the League
Nine regular season games took place in Parimatch Junior Hockey League on December 8th, five of which were second bouts of back-to-back series. We take a look at Sunday action in this review.
The game between Mamonty Yugry and Irbis Kazan was held simultaneously with the bout in Yekaterinburg, but it turned out to be much less high-scoring. The teams were spending a lot of time in the offensive zone, exchanging power play opportunities but there was no scoring in regulation time. Most of the shots were going wide of the net and goaltenders stopped those that were put on target.
Home team was more aggressive in the extra period of play, constantly peppering Konstantin Kuzmaul with shots. Khanty-Mansiysk had several 3-on-1 rushes but couldn’t hit the net. Midway through overtime Irbis put together their first scoring chance, which led to the only goal of the game. While Kazan were celebrating the win, Konstantin Kuzmaul pleaded to officials that there was goaltender interference on the play. Head-coach Dmitry Burlutsky challenged the play and the goal was waved off after video review.
There weren’t many converted attempts in the shootout either as both goaltenders were in the zone. Nikita Chusovitin scored the only goal as he outwitted Vladimir Mosin and won the extra point for Mamonty Yugry.
Prior to the game in Moscow Sakhalinskie Akuly made major adjustments to their roster. Defenseman Savva Dubovitsky and forward Alexander Timchenko saw their contracts cancelled. The ‘Sharks’ also inked a deal with former Ladiya Togliatti and Sputnik Almetyevsk player Robert Narullin.
The game was close in the opening period but home team capitalized on their chances better. Five minutes into the game Leonid Klimov sprang up for a breakaway shorthanded and put it past Grigory Kolupayev to put the red-and-blue in the lead. Midway through the period Moscow doubled it – Yegor Kuzminov found the back of the net. With a few minutes remaining to play in the period Krasnaya Armiya found themselves down a man – Takhir Mingachyov got a game misconduct. While the visitors couldn’t convert on the long power play in the first frame, they did just that early in the second – Daniil Kuptsov beat Matvey Kiselyov.
The score remained unchanged up till the final minute of the third stanza, even though Moscow almost restored the 2-goal margin in the second frame. Nevertheless, their power play tally was disallowed after video review. Sakhalinskie Akuly were aggressive late in regulation and made their opposition really nervous. After calling a timeout, the ‘Sharks’ pulled their netminder for the extra-attacker. With a just a handful of seconds remaining on the clock ‘army men’ failed to clear the puck down the ice and then left Denis Pyatkin wide open. Pyatkin made a cross-ice pass to Daniil Glukharev, who hit the twine with just three seconds till the final buzzer.
Home team was more aggressive in overtime and even had several seconds with a man-advantage. However, the game had to be decided in the shootout. Kolupayev stopped every single Krasnaya Armiya’s attempt, while Kiselyov couldn’t cope with Yegor Kurilkin’s shot. Sakhalinskie Akuly erase a 2-goal deficit and win their third game out of the past seven. With this 3-2 overtime loss Krasnaya Armiya see their 2-game winning streak come to an end.
The red-and-white faced the reigning champions at Khimik Voskresenks Arena as the team is Spartak’s VHL affiliate. Following games in Dmitrov, Moscow Region, in which Yaroslavl enjoyed two blowout wins over the heavy underdogs ORG Junior, head-coach Igor Melyakov put Vladislav Okoryak back between the pipes, while the top-line with Yegor Manin was listed as the fourth.
First period of action didn’t feature many scoring chances. ‘Railway men’ spent more time in the offensive territory but Spartak were closer to getting a goal. The game saw almost no stoppages and the teams headed to the dressing-rooms tied 0-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Second period of action began with home team opening up the scoring. It took Spartak just 15 seconds to capitalize on a man-advantage. Yaroslavl defensemen blocked the first couple of shots but there was no one to get in front of Nikita Borodayenko’s shot. However, Spartak held the lead for just 90 seconds. Mikhail Smirnov stole the puck at the red line, carried into the zone and found Danila Dyadenkin with a cross-ice pass, who redirected it past Dmitry Kulikov. ‘Railway men’ got in the lead in the very next shift. Stepan Nikulin intercepted a pass from behind the net and the puck bounced off straight to the tape of Maxim Denezhkin, who fired a quick and powerful shot on the far-side, making up for his earlier penalty.
Spartak didn’t look great late in the period either. First Roman Bychkov scored another one past Kulikov off a great set-up by Nikulin and then Borodayenko got a penalty, leaving his team shorthanded. The visitors managed to capitalize on the power play in the third stanza – Dmitry Solovyov scored his first career Junior Hockey League goal. Home team picked up the pace later in the period. First Alexander Oskin made Alexander Daryin pay for getting a penalty, scoring on a power play. Igor Melyakov challenged the play for goaltender interference but game officials didn’t see anything wrong with it. Okoryak allowed another goal in the last minute of regulation but Spartak player kicked the puck into the net, so it didn’t count either
Loko win their 5th consecutive game as they take it 4-2 on the road. Yaroslavl have almost caught up to the top team of the conference. Should Loko beat Spartak in the second game of the back-to-back series, they will surpass SKA-1946 St. Petersburg and climb on top of the Western Conference. Spartak lose their first of four meetings against Yaroslavl this year. Vladimir Tyurikov’s men will have three more attempts to get their revenge.
Following two blowout losses from Loko Yaroslavl ORJ Junior Beijing faced Almaz Cherepovets. First game of the back-to-back series didn’t go well for the home side either, although the Chinese team looked good at certain moments and even scored a few goals. Nevertheless, Cherepovets played at a different level. They scored six goals in the first period of play alone. Alexei Lapin got a pair, while Oleg Bogatov, Daniil Belyalov, Nikita Guslistov and Vladislav Fyodorov essentially put it out of reach in the opening period.
After Vladislav Kuznetsov and Yegor Chizhikov got a tally each, home team scored three goals – Anton Sedov, Dmitry Zherebkin and Artyom Klavdiyev got the markers. Notably, the three tallies were scored in a span of just over a minute. Lapin completed his hat-trick right after that, Nikita Lukhovsky got his second of the game and Bogatov chipped in another one as well. When ORG scored their fourth goal, Lukhovsky completed his hat-trick, too. The visitors kept buzzing around the net until the final buzzer and went on to score three more goals. In the end Almaz won 16-4. It was one of the most high-scoring games in Junior Hockey League history.
JHC Atlant Moscow Region faced Taifun Primorie Region in Mytischi. Both team were out of the playoff zone entering the contest. Primorie Region are located higher in the standings and were considered a favorite coming into this one. However, Moscow Region’s defense was on top of its game. Just a single goal was needed to decide the fate of the game. It was scored with 30 seconds remaining to be played in the opening period. Nikita Gergankin found the back of the net, while Nikita Miller and Igor Shmelyov picked up the assists.
Taifun didn’t manage to get the equalizer in the following 40 minutes of play. Even though Platon Zadorozhny did let one over the goal-line, it was waved off after video review as there was a high stick on the play. Final push was to no avail either. Zadorozhny posted a shutout with 28 saves.
Ladiya Togliatti faced Kuznetskie Medvedi. The visitors managed to get win in this hard-fought game in dramatic fashion. First goal came 14 minutes in – Yegor Vernigor sniped one on the far-side. With 30 seconds on the clock he exploited Ladiya netminder Igor Kulakov’s mistake to get his second goal of the game and improve the lead for the ‘Bears’. Only after Alexander Makarevich made it a 3-0 hockey game did Yegor Bystrov get a goal back for Ladiya as he beat Kirill Kuznetsov on a breakaway.
Five minutes into the third stanza Dmitry Semenovsky brought Togliatti back to within one and after Novokuznetsk’s another penalty Stanislav Rangayev fired home the equalizer on the ensuing power play. Nevertheless, all that effort by the home side was in vain. With two minutes remaining to play in regulation Kuznetskie Medvedi top-scorer Denis Sizikov scored the game-winning goal. Kuznetskie Medvedi win 4-3.
Sputnik Almetyevsk faced Tyumensky Legion at Yubileyny Sports Palace. First period of action proved to be the most high-scoring. Just 20 seconds into the game Vyacheslav Kolesnukov beat Alexei Shchetilin. The ‘Legion’ responded with a marker by Danila Barambayev but it was the only goal the visitors could get in this one, as Sputnik was the only team scoring after that.
Four minutes in Andrei Sholgin converted on a power play and with 23 seconds until the first intermission Timur Zakirov improved Almetyevsk’s lead to two goals. Second period featured more penalties than scoring chances and late in regulation Sputnik scored another one – Rishat Akhmetzyanov netted one right after Tyumensky Legion went back to playing full-strength. Sputnik take it 4-1 on home ice.
After the first game of the back-to-back series, which Avto Yekaterinburg won 2-0, the teams rested for a day. Altay Ust-Kamenogorsk players found the time to visit a KHL game between Avtomobilist and Dinamo Riga, and some of them had a chance to meet their first coaches.
Altay began piling up penalties early on. Just three minutes into the game Ust-Kamenogorsk had two players in the penalty box, while Vyacheslav Chegoshev got a game misconduct. While Oleg Bolyakin’s men did survive the 3-on-5 situation, they couldn’t kill off the 5-minute penalty. First Danil Mylnikov sent one past Vladislav Nurek and a minute later Ilya Loza doubled the lead for Avto. The visitors managed to get a goal back shortly before the intermission but game officials waved it off after video review as they saw a distinct kicking motion on the play.
Avto scored another goal early in the second period. Vladislav Bukharov made Altay’s power play unit pay for their clumsiness as he stole the puck, skated down the ice for a counter-attack and sniped one bottom-shelf. Altay lost another player just a few minutes later. Following Chegoshev, Artyom Ipatov also got a game misconduct. Home team managed to capitalize only once on their second 5-minute power play of the game – Ilya Loza redirected it home from the slot to get his second tally.
While in the first 40 minutes of play Altay tried to create something offensively and gave Georgy Romanov a lot of work to do, they fell apart in the third stanza, taking merely five shots on net. Having allowed two more goals, Timur Meider was delegated between the pipes for Ust-Kamenogorsk but he got scored on soon enough as well. First Ilya Ovchinnikov capitalized on power play at the exact moment Andrei Lagunov was stepping back onto the ice and a minute later Danil Mashtalir converted on another man-advantage for his first career Junior Hockey League goal. Vladislav Bukharov set the final score as he netted his second of the game shorthanded.
Altay played physical hockey throughout the game. Brawls popped up in every period but a real fight took place only late in the game. With six seconds remaining to play in the third period a mass brawls broke out next to Avto’s bench. As a result, 66 penalty minutes were assigned.
Altay suffer their biggest loss of the season so far as they fall 10-0. Ust-Kamenogorsk lost four consecutive games by a combined score of 25-2 and wrapped up their road trip without any points. However, Oleg Bolyakin’s team remains 4th in the Western Conference, while Avto get more comfortable at the 3rd.
Last game of the day was held in Zvyozdny Ice Palace in Orenburg as Sarmaty played hosts to Sibirskie Snaipery. Orenburg got a bench minor three minutes in but they managed to kill it off and went on to open scoring. Ivan Timashev beat Vladislav Shcherbakov five minutes into the game. Novosibirsk allowed another goal right before the intermission as Alexei Barkhatkin found the back of the net.
The teams gave in to their emotions in the second period of play, began piling up penalties and combined for 43 penalty minutes in the frame alone. Vladimir Oparko got 25 of those as he got a game misconduct for checking to the head. As for the goals, Orenburg pulled through and when Sibirskie Snaipery pulled their netminder for the extra-attacker, Barkhatkin scored his second of the game on the empty net. Anton Borodkin made 30 saves for a shutout. With this 3-0 win Sarmaty are now in the playoff zone.