About the League
11 regular season games took place in Parimatch Junior Hockey League on March 1st. We take a look at Sunday action in this review.
Just as the day before, the game between Krasnaya Armiya Moscow and ORG Junior Beijing began with home team’s offensive rushes. Moscow grabbed the momentum right from the get-go and established a firm grip on the game, while Beijing played solid defensively. The visitors, just as in the first game of the back-to-back series, were able to fend off Krasnaya Armiya and kept it scoreless. As a result, the fans didn’t get to see any goals in the first period of play.
However, early in the second frame Krasnaya Armiya got in the lead – Ilya Chaban sniped one home. Soon after that the visitors found themselves shorthanded, which led Moscow to doubling their lead – Leonid Klimov found the back of the net. Having established a comfortable 2-0 lead, the red-and-blue calmed down a bit, while the ‘Rhinos’ did their best to get back even on the scoreboard. Nevertheless, it didn’t change the flow of the game much. Moscow continued to have the momentum on their side, which allowed them to carry the 2-goal lead into the third period.
‘Army men’ continued to press offensively in the third stanza. They failed to capitalize on a power play attempt early into the period but midway through it Pavel Koreshkov did score Moscow’s third goal of the night. A little later Krasnaya Armiya further improved their lead. First Koreshkov scored his second and less than a minute later Nikita Solopanov added another tally. Right after that ORG Junior allowed another goal – Daniil Anop was registered with the marker. Krasnaya Armiya went on to enjoy a blowout 6-0 win on home ice.
First period of play in Stupino saw a ferocious bout. Home team had very few scoring chances just as the visitors. Both teams focused mainly on defense and did their best to avoid mistakes. HC Kapitan Stupino ventured to the offensive zone more often than Russkie Vityazi but Podolsk players also had their fair share of chances to get in the lead. As such, the visitors had two power play opportunities but to no avail – the fans didn’t get to see any goals in the opening period.
However, early in the second period Russkie Vityazi managed to impose their brand of hockey on the opposition. They got off to a very aggressive start, which led Kirill Kondyrev to break the deadlock. Kapitan’s Alexei Rybin restored the parity just 63 seconds later. That didn’t change much in the flow of th game. Podolsk were creating more scoring chances, while Stupino continued to focus on defense. As a result, the visitors couldn’t get back in the lead before the period expired, despite the fact they took four times as many as their counterparts.
The visitors succeeded again early in the third stanza. Filat Zotov put Russkie Vityazi in front. Stupino had a chance to get back even on a power play attempt after that but first Podolsk killed it off and then further improved their lead as Nikolai Smirnov hit the twine. That led the visitors to getting a vital victory on the road. Russkie Vityazi continue their pursuit of the playoffs.
SKA-Varyagi St. Petersburg managed to established a firm lead early in the game. They were up 2-0 just four minutes in as Stepan Borisov and Matvei Gorbushin got a tally each. Soon after that Grigory Kuzmin further improved the lead. A minute later Evgeny Sapelnikov sent another one past Timur Shiyanov, who went on to be replaced by Alexander Yevgrafov. That helped Amurskie Tigry Khabarovsk to get a goal back – Ilya Kozhukhov got the marker. However, SKA-Varyagi scored their 5th goal right after that – Stepan Borisov capitalized on a power play for his second of the game. As a result, home team had a 5-1 win following 20 minutes of play.
The game evened out in the second period. Both St. Petersburg and Khabarovsk were able to put together good offensive rushes. Six minutes into the frame Yegor Antonov got another tally for Amurskie Tigry to reduce the gap to three goals. The visitors stayed aggressive but couldn’t get any closer on the scoreboard. ‘Army men’ played well defensively and went into the third stanza with a comfortable lead.
The ‘Tigers’ rushed down the ice right out of the gate in the third frame, aiming to salvage the game. They managed to put the play into SKA-Varyagi’s zone but St. Petersburg defense was able to deal with Khabarovsk rushes. As a result, home team held on to their lead and won their 6th game in a row.
JHC Dynamo St. Petersburg grabbed the momentum right away. Early in the game Denis Popov had to make several huge saves for Krylia Sovetov Moscow. Dynamo gradually picked up the pace and yet had trouble getting anything past ‘Soviet Wings’ netminder. The visitors responded with rare counter-attacks but home side was able to cope with them just as well. In the end Dynamo’s pressure paid off – late in the period Pyotr Yakovlev helped St. Petersburg to get in the lead.
The flow of the game changed after the intermission. Krylia Sovetov got an early power play opportunity and even though they couldn’t convert on it, the visitors managed to put the play in Dynamo’s end. Moscow, who went into the game aiming to keep their playoff hopes alive, peppered Makar Chufarov with shot from all over the ice and the latter had to bail out his teammates on several occasions. Home team gradually evened out the game and began creating scoring chances of their own midway through the period. However, the aggressiveness in the second period ripped no dividends for either side over the stretch. Dynamo still had just a slender lead going into the third period.
Krylia Sovetov continued to have the momentum on their side in the third stanza, creating one scoring chance after another. Dynamo focused on playing smart defensively and relied on quick transition plays, hoping to catch Krylia Sovetov off guard. The visitors did their best at even strength and shorthanded but home team was able to pull through as Makar Chufarov let nothing get past him. JHC Dynamo St. Petersburg went on to win the game by a narrow margin, rendering Krylia Sovetov out of the playoffs.
JHC Spartak Moscow, who went into the game looking to rise to the 6th place in the Western Conference, grabbed the momentum right away and began creating one scoring chance after another. However, Sakhalinskie Akuly were able to fend them off. Home team increased their pressure midway through the period, the visitors took two consecutive penalties but killed off both of them. As a result, despite all Spartak’s effort, Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk made sure it was a scoreless tie after first period of play.
The visitors got a man advantage early in the second period but Moscow went on to survive it and then get in the lead with a goal at even strength – Ruslan Novruzov found the back of the net. Home team took two consecutive penalties after that, giving a great chance to Sakhalinskie Akuly to get back into the game but Spartak’s defense coped with the situation. The teams exchanged scoring chances in the second half of the period and with a few minutes remaining to play on the clock the ‘Sharks’ finally got what they were looking for. In a span of a minute Vladimir Krotov tied it up and right after that Alexander Baranov put the visitors in the lead.
Spartak put forward a lot of effort in the third stanza looking for the equalizer but Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk were able to keep the opposition at bay. Midway through the period the visitors scored two more goals in one minute to solidify their lead – Stanislav Basnev and Daniil Glukharev got a tally each. Moscow did their best to turn it around but the ‘Sharks’ didn’t crack. Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk win 4-1 on the road.
Irbis Kazan, who recently had clinched the playoffs, had a great chance to gain confidence before elimination games as they faced Tyumensky Legion. Tyumen were the underdogs of the season but they didn’t want to give up easily in one of their last games of the season. The ‘Legion’ fended off every Kazan attack in the opening period of play and allowed just one goal in the second – Razat Timirov added another goal to his ever-growing total and the teams headed into the third stanza with Kazan having a narrow lead.
Five minutes into the third period Timirov scored his second of the game to secure the win for his team, even though the visitors had the last word in this one. With 25 seconds remaining on the clock Tyumensky Legion top-scorer Alexander Golovin stole the shutout from Vladimir Mosin. Kazan still went on to win 2-1 on home ice.
Chayka Nizhny Novgorod, who still have a shot at making the post-season this year, had to beat one of the top teams of the Eastern Conference to keep their hopes alive as they went up against Omskie Yastreby. It was a daunting task. Both teams looked nervous in the opening period, which was especially true for Omsk and personally Bogdan Denisevich, who got a penalty for checking to the head. The game was also close in the second period and Nizhny Novgorod played just as well as their mighty foes.
Home team got in the lead five minutes into the third period as their top-scorer Yegor Alexeyev found the back of the net. They couldn’t hold on to the narrow lead. Arseny Gritsyuk forced overtime with a goal in the last minute of regulation. Extra period solved nothing either and the game had to be decided in the shootout. Nizhny Novgorod went on to prevail and they still have a chance to get a playoff berth this year.
Another game between two teams who will not make the playoffs this year took place in Almetyevsk – Sputnik faced off against Snezhnye Barsy Nur-Sultan. Home team did better in the opening period as they scored two goals past Maxim Pavlenko – Andrei Sholgin and Aidar Galimov got the tallies. The latter buried it on the rebound. Only after Denis Sizikov improved the lead to 3-0 with a power play goal did Kazakhstan team respond with a goal – it came with a man advantage as well. Alikhan Omirbekov got the marker.
Almetyevsk was the only team scoring in the third stanza. Sizikov and Sholgin scored their second goals of the game and Ilya Kovtun added another power play tally to the lead. Sputnik enjoy a solid 6-1 win on home ice and cemented their position at the 10th place in the Eastern Conference.
Two other teams who will play scrimmage and exhibition-like games for the rest of the season faced each other in Nizhnekamsk as Altay Ust-Kamenogorsk entertained Reaktor. The former just recently lost their last hope of making the playoffs this year. Nizhnekamsk were limited to just one goal in the opening period of action – Rail Mustafin found the back of the net. However, the visitors allowed as many as five goals in the second frame. Notably, Tatarstan team scored four of them on a power play.
Only Maxim Polkin scored at even strength, while Bulat Shafigullin, Aidar Valeyev, Andrei Chivilev and Vladislav Shutov converted on 5-on-4 situations. As a result, Reaktor had a 6-0 win after 40 minutes of play. Home team cooled down in the third stanza, while Ust-Kamenogorsk were able to get a consolation goal – Maxim Petrasyuk hit the target.
Ladiya Togliatti, who were devoid of tournament motivation, faced Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk. The visitors came into the game with hopes of rising to the 5th spot in the Eastern Conference, currently occupied by Sibirskie Snaipery. First goal of the game came late in the first period of action. Dmitry Kostenko feathered the puck to the far post and Timofey Doba was at the right place at the right time to bury it and make it a 1-0 hockey game. Chelyabinsk responded in the second frame – Ivan Shiryayev slammed it home with a one-timer to restore the parity on the scoreboard.
Third stanza proved to be the most high-scoring. Alexander Abramov put the visitors in the lead, while Ladiya answered with Pavel Simonov’s tally at the 49th minute. Togliatti won the final period. Veniamin Tsitser capitalized on a power play, while Dmitry Kostenko scored his second of the game on the empty net in the last minute of play. Ladiya snap their losing streak with a 4-2 win on home ice.
Last game of Sunday was held in Orenburg. Sarmaty played hosts to Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk. First period of play featured no goals. Magnitogorsk scored twice in the second frame – Danila Yurov and Danila Pyatkin found the back of the net. Home team brought it back to even as Maxim Makhrin got a pair of tallies.
Nevertheless, the ‘Steel Foxes’ restored the 2-goal advantage before the second intermission. Yuri Platonov put the visitors back in the lead, while Pyatin scored his second of the game just a few moments later. Orenburg never recovered from that blow, despite putting together several good scoring chances in the third stanza. Stalnye Lisy, who had clinched the playoffs, won 4-2 on the road.