Medvescak Zagreb, one of the six teams that will compete at the Spengler Cup this December, has signed Canadian forward Geoff Kinrade for the remainder of the KHL season.
On Tuesday, Zagreb had announced that they had let go of former NHLer Anthony Stewart, claiming they needed to focus on bolstering their defense for the current season. That’s what lead them to signing Kinrade, a 29 year-old defenseman that most recently played five games with the NLA’s Ambrì-Piotta.
Kinrade would only see one NHL game during his career, playing for the Tampa Bay Lightning back in 2008-2009. His biggest North American career highlight came during the 2010-2011 American Hockey League season when he won the Calder Cup with the Binghamton Senators, the AHL affiliate of the Ottawa Senators.
Internationally, Kinrade has represented Team Canada at the past two Spengler Cup championships, winning it all in 2012. He won’t have the chance to suit up for the red and white in 2014, but will look to win his second tournament championship with Zagreb in December. The club has worked hard in recent weeks to help bolster the club for the event, signing many former NHL/AHLers, including former Sabres forward Ville Leino. Check out their roster here.
Former NHL forward Ville Leino has signed with Croatian KHL club Medvescak Zagreb for the rest of the season.
Leino has had a tough couple of seasons despite a strong start to his NHL career. He was bought out of his contract by the Buffalo Sabres this past off-season and then was released a couple of weeks ago by the Boston Bruins following an unsuccessful training camp contract. Despite holding a six year, $27M contract prior to his buyout, Leino wasn’t able to score a single goal in 53 games with Buffalo during the 2013-14 season.
Zagreb currently houses former many former NHL players, including Shaone Morrisonn Anthony Stewart and Aaron Palushaj. The team will compete at the 2014 Spengler Cup in December, being one of the three teams to represent the KHL in the legendary tournament this year.
Former NHL forward Wojtek Wolski has set the KHL record for the fastest hat-trick, scoring three goals in just 1:46 on Monday.
The Polish forward, who currently captains the Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod KHL club, scored three goals in less than two minutes to open the second period. Their opposition, Sibir Novosibirsk, had the 1-0 lead prior thanks to a late first period goal from Konstantin Alexeyev. Wolski’s destruction paid it’s toll for Novosibirsk, who were unable to overcome the deficit and would fall to Torpedo 3-2.
Unfortunately, despite having a a solid NHL rookie season with the Colorado Avalanche that saw him record 50 points with the Colorado Avalanche, Wolski’s career has gone downhill for the most part. Before landing in the KHL, Wolski played with multiple teams before eventually landing in an ideal situation. Last year, he managed to record 34 points in 54 games, but this year’s effort has been even more impressive. In just 14 games, Wolski has recorded 17 points, giving him 52 points in his brief KHL career.
36 year old goaltender Mathieu Garon has announced his retirement after spending the past season with Omsk of the KHL.
Garon, originally a second round draft pick of the Montreal Canadiens back in 1996, posted a career record of 144-131-3-28 over 341 NHL games. During the span of 13 seasons, Garon spent time with Montreal, Los Angeles, Edmonton, Pittsburgh, Columbus and Tampa Bay. Prior to the current season, Garon was given a pre-season contract with the Kings but with Jonathan Quick, Ben Scrivens and Martin Jones already holding spots with the team, there was no room for the athletic puck stopper.
After some spotty time as a starting goalie with the Kings and Oilers, Garon won a Stanley Cup as backup with to Marc-Andre Fleury back in 2009 with Pittsburgh. As a member of Omsk this past season following his release from the Kings, the right handed Garon put up a 5-9-4 record while splitting time with Andrei Mezin, Denis Kostin, Henrik Karlsson and Teemu Lassila.
The Russian roster at the 2014 World Championships may have taken it’s biggest hit possible: Ilya Kovalchuk will not be available after requiring knee surgery following an injury at the 2014 Olympics.
Kovalchuk was injured in Sochi in Team Russia’s final group game against Slovakia and damaged it further in a game against Norway shortly after. According to Dmitry Chesnokov, the Russian star would play through his injury during the KHL playoffs, but unfortunately, after just five points in ten games, his SKA team wouldn’t be able to overcome the eighth ranked Lokomotiv Yaroslavl club.
Last year at the World’s, which were split between Sweden and Finland for the second straight year, Kovalchuk finished fourth in tournament scoring after recording eight goals and 13 points in just eight games. Paired with Alex Radulov, the two created a dynamite pair despite Russia only finishing sixth in the final finishing order.
After months of speculation and predictions as to where the Kontinental Hockey League will expand to, league president and CEO Alexander Medvedev has announced the expansion of three news clubs in Sochi, Tolyatti, and Helsinki.
“We can speak about the entry of the Sochi club, Lada and Jokerit as a fact,” Medvedev told R-Sport.
The Bolshoy Ice Dome, a site of the 2014 Winter Olympic hockey tournament, will be the home ice rink for the Dolphin Sochi club. Entering the KHL from a four-year break is Lada Tolyatti. The two-time champions are located in central Russia.
In sight of new and better competition Helsinki Jokerit will leave the SM-liiga and enter the KHL just in time for the 2014-15 season. Jokerit is a five-time champion in the Finnish league since the 1991-92 season.
The addition of a team in Finland would mean the league’s expansion across nine different countries.
Notes: Spartak Moscow may be folding due to financial problems since December 2013 when their main sponsor, Investbank, ran out of business. The 89-year old club had to ask for a loan from the league to get through the remainder of the season. Medvedev has stated that their participation for next season will be known in late April.
The foreigner limit for each team has increased from five to seven in efforts to be more alike the NHL, which has no foreigner limits.
Just weeks after not getting selected as the third Slovakian goaltender for the Olympics, HC Kosice has snagged goaltender Rastislav Stana for the remainder of the season.
Staňa was drafted by the Washington Capitals in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, 193rd overall in the 7th round. After being drafted, he began playing in the Western Hockey League for the Moose Jaw Warriors and was later traded to the Calgary Hitmen. Staňa turned pro in 2000 and signed with the Capitals. He was assigned to play for the Richmond Renegades of the ECHL, but also played a handful of games for the AHL’s Portland Pirates. By 2002, Staňa was playing solely for the Pirates and during the 2003–04 NHL season, he played six games for the Washington Capitals. Staňa moved to Sweden to play in Elitserien for Södertälje SK during the NHL lockout. He would remain in Sweden for another three seasons. After a second season with Södertälje, Staňa moved to the Malmö Redhawks and then Linköpings HC. In 2008, Staňa moved to Russia to play in the newly created Kontinental Hockey League and signed a contract to play for Severstal Cherepovets, later moving to CSKA Moscow for the 2011–12 KHL season.
Stana won gold with Slovakia at the 2001-2002 World Hockey Championships before posting a bronze medal the following year. Most recently, Stana was named one of Slovakia’s top three players at the 2013 World Championships, posting a 2.51 GAA to go along with a .905 save percentage.
Former NHL prospect Krys Kolanos has signed with KHL club Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod for the remainder of the season.
Kolanos was selected in the first round, 19th overall, in the 2000 NHL Entry Draft by the Phoenix Coyotes. He would go on to play parts of two seasons with the club, finding limited success, before signing with the Edmonton Oilers in 2006. Kolanos would spend the majority of the season in the AHL, putting up decent numbers with the Wilkes-Barre/Scranton Penguins and Lowell Lock Monsters before eventually getting another chance at the NHL with the Minnesota Wild. During the 2008-2009 season, he was recalled multiple times by the Wild as an injury replacement recording six points in 21 total contests.
Kolanos, who hasn’t seen action in professional hockey this season, most recently spent last year split between the Calgary Flames and Abbotsford Heat. In 13 games in the NHL, Kolanos only managed to record a single assist, however the play=maker did post 40 points in 53 games in the American Hockey League.
When the 2013 edition of the Spengler Cup began after Christmas, the Davos faithful were very sure their club would make it to the finals and get revenge on Canada for the win last year. But that wasn’t the case, as both teams were eliminated in extremely exciting semi-final games on Monday. As a result, CSKA Moscow, a Russian team and Geneve-Servette, the second Swiss team, would take to the ice for the tournament deciding match, giving the many GSHC fans in attendance something to cheer for. The Swiss hockey fans were treated to an incredible performance on the ice, as Geneve-Servette scored the first four goals of the game to defeat Moscow 5-3 for the Spengler Cup championship.
The first goal of the game would be in the favor of GSHC. Special teams had been a key to their success to the top in the tournament, it was no different tonight as Juraj Simek got the first goal on the power-play, riffling the puck over Rastislav Stana for the 1-0 marker. Just past the halfway point in the game, Dennis Hollenstein bounced on a rebound from close range before safely putting it in the net for the 2-0 advantage.
The second period didn’t start much better for CSKA. Just four minutes in, Lennart Petrell scored the third goal for Genève-Servette on a perfect shot that Stana had no chance on for the 3-0 lead. CSKA would eventually start getting some pressure on the GSHC net, forcing Hamilton Bulldogs goalie Robert Mayer make many tough saves back to back, but it would Geneve who would get the next goal. Kevin Romy, a long time line-mate of Hollenstein on the Swiss national team, banged home the rebound into the net to make it 4-0. Moscow would get one back just prior to the end of the period when Oleg Saprykin deflected a shot by Dmitri Ogurtsov to give his team just a dash of hope for the third period.
And just like that, Moscow, the highly skilled team with high profile talent, were back in the game. Almost immediately after the drop of the puck, Mayer got completely deked out of his jockstrap by Alex Frolov for the 4-2 goal. Frolov was the shootout hero against Davos on Monday, putting the nail in the coffin for one of the pre-tournament favorites to win it all when he put the puck five-hole on Leonardo Genoni. They were hoping Frolov’s goal would spark an extra bit of attack for the closing period of the final, and it almost looked like the team would tie it up in the dying minutes. Alex Radulov, who had two goals and a shootout marker against Davos the day before, was almost silent for the first two thirds of the game, but eventually he would get a couple shots on net in an attempt to close the gap before the final buzzer.
Radulov wouldn’t be the one to do it, but Moscow would manage to get within one with just over three minutes remaining. Nikita Zaitsev, a Russian defenseman with tons of International experience already, would get the team within one after a nice wrist shot that beat Mayer blocker side. The Russians would get many great chances to tie the game up at four apiece, but after pulling Stana in an attempt to get an extra goal, Kaspars Daugavins, who got two goals to help his team take down Vitkovice a few days back, git the empty net goal to secure the victory for GSHC.
We would like to personally thank you for following our Spengler Cup coverage throughout the tournament. We hope you join us for the remainder of the World Juniors, and can’t wait for the 2014 Spengler Cup!
HC Davos and CSKA Moscow took to the ice for the first semi-final contest of the day, much to the pleasure of the huge Davos crowd support in attendance today. The home team was lucky enough to not have to play yesterday as their win against Canada on Saturday gave the team an automatic bye to the semi’s, while Moscow had to fight their way to the game today after defeating HC Vitkovice in the early afternoon contest. Davos is always the favorite to win coming into the tournament, but Moscow wasn’t planning on spending New Years Eve in the stands, defeating the host club 5-4 in the shootout.
Davos, easily the strongest overall team in the entire tournament, got the icebreaker goal within the first five minutes. Terrible communication by CSKA Moscow leads to a 2-on-0 rush the other way, with Enzo Corvi potting the goal after an unselfish drop pass by Andres Ambühl in front of the crease. The lead would only last three minutes as the skilled Alex Radulov created a distraction with the puck in the corner before sending it off to Ilari Filppula for the five hole goal, tying the game up at one.
Radulov was easily the top player during the first period for both teams. He too, like Davos, got a day off yesterday, as CSKA head coach John Torchetti claimed Radulov, as well as Alexei Morozov, Sergei Fedorov and Igor Grigorenko were all out with an injury. Minus Fedorov, who didn’t plan to play another game anyways, all the players miraculously returned to action, and once again, Radulov was the star, making great plays in all three zones of the ice.
Davos managed to grab the lead in the final five minutes of the first. After a great shot from the point, Niklas Persson attempted to grab the rebound but couldn’t get his stick on it. In an attempt to keep the play alive, he kicked the puck to fellow tournament import Nicklas Danielsson, who made no mistake in flipping the puck over a sprawling Ilya Proskuryakov for the go-ahead goal.
In case you needed more proof that he’s the best player in the entire tournament, Radulov got his fifth point of the tournament right off the bat in the second with an incredible wrist shot that beat Leonardo Genoni cleanly over the glove. Radulov wasn’t done, and after sitting the box twice after getting called for tripping, he got his second goal of the period after poking the puck in after sitting by the pad of Genoni, giving his team their first lead of the contest.
Davos wasn’t about to let a team that just barely made it to the semi’s take them down so easily. With just over five minutes remaining in the second period, Ville Koistinen, a former teammate of Radulov’s in Nashville, wired it from just inside the point to tie the game up at three after getting it over the glove of Proskuryakov. Proskuryakov would get just a little bit of redemption on the next play when he made two fantastic diving glove saves on Davos star Reto von Arx, allowing his team to stay tied by the time the second period came to a close. Or so he thought. With a minute remaining in the period, CSKA defenseman Stanislav Egorshev skated down the ice, drawing the attention of the Davos defenders, before sending it off to Vladimir Zharkov for the 4-3 CSKA lead.
Davos was now becoming desperate. Down a goal with ten minutes remaining, the home team began to pester Proskuryakov with shots from any angle, hoping the pre-tournament backup goaltender would eventually crack. At the half way point, Proskuryakov barely kept the puck out with a wicked stick save before it got too close to the line, keeping the lead alive.
Unfortunately for Moscow, things got bad with two minutes remaining. With the win in their sights, Zdenek Kutlak took a blast from the point that got tipped in front by von Arx for the tying goal, causing absolute pandemonium in Valiant Arena.
The pressure was now on for both teams. With the game going to overtime, the next team to score would play on Tuesday in the tournament finals, while the losing squad would go home just a goal away from potential glory. Overtime never solved anything, as both goaltenders battled it out to prove that they belonged in the finals, so the game would be decided in the shootout. Radulov continued his dominant performance with the first goal in the shootout, only to have von Arx score a nifty goal at the other end. The lone Davos goal in the shootout wouldn’t mean much in the end, however, as Alex Frolov’s easy five hole goal on Genoni was all Moscow needed to advance to the finals and eliminate the pre-tournament favorites from their own tournament.
HC Vitkovice and CSKA Moscow took to the ice for the first of two quarter-finals on Sunday. Vitkovice didn’t have an easy road to the QF’s, finishing with two losses and no points prior to the game today, while Vitkovice finished with a win and an overtime loss. Based off performance from the tournament so far, CSKA may have looked like the favorites, however with Sergei Fedorov, Nikita Zaitsev, Igor Grigorenko, Alex Radulov and Alexei Morozov injured, their chances weren’t looking good. After allowing the first two goals in the contest, the Red Army did return the favor by scoring two of their own to send the game to overtime, only to secure the 3-2 victory in overtime to move on to the next round.
Despite missing their stars, CSKA did get off to a strong start with many good chances off the bad. Their first really good chance came at the eleven minute mark when Fedor Fedorov managed to deke out goaltender Filip Sindelar, but the goalie made a fantastic sprawling save with the knob of the stick, keeping the game scoreless.
With four minutes remaining in the first period, Oleg Saprykin went flying into the open defense boards and would lay there hurt for a few minutes. It was a scary sight at Vaillant Arena, as the place went quiet for the first time all tournament. Saprykin would luckily only miss a few shifts, and after a little rest, he would return for limited ice time in an attempt to help his team grab the lead.
The start of the second period saw some spectacular goaltending. At one end, Rastislav Stana made multiple pad saves from the seat of his pants keep it out. At the other end, Sindelar made a good glove hand stop to deny Prokhorkin, only to make an even more impressive stick save on Saprykin on the very next shot.
The first goal of the contest would go to the pregame underdogs, Vitkovice. After killing off a hooking call four minutes into the second, Richard Stehlík gave his team the lead after taking an absolute blast from the point, beating a screened Stana. Vitkovice managed to double their lead on the very next shot when Vladimir Svacina was left all alone for the easy tap in. Their momentum almost looked lost when Saprykin drove the puck in the net, however the goal was called off as the former NHL forward knocked Sindelar into the net before the puck crossed the line. That wouldn’t stop the Russian’s though, as Ruslan Zainullin made a great spin deke that barely made it past Sindelar, but did in fact go in to put his team within one with half the game to go. A Nice blast by Prokhorkin in the final minute of the period was good enough to tie the game up at two apiece heading into the final twenty minutes of play.
With ten minutes remaining in regulation, Zainullin came in to contact with Vitkovice’s Patrik Valcak, injuring the Steel’s defender and taking him out for the remainder of the game with an apparent shoulder injury.
It was clear from the get go that Sindelar would face the tougher shots throughout the game, and that was definitely the case. With the game and their future in the tournament on the line, Moscow peppered Sindelar with tough shots throughout the period, but his spectacular glove hand got in the way of their advancement plans.
With the game tied at two, the first quarter-final match-up would need overtime to decide the winner. Vitkovice took a penalty late in the third that carried on into the extra frame, and Moscow defenseman Yakov Rylov made them pay for the infraction by getting the game winning goal early in OT.
Moscow will face Davos in the the semi-final contest tomorrow morning at 9am EST, while Vitkovice will be heading home.
CSKA Moscow and Geneve-Servette both skated in their second games of the tournament, looking to improve their records to 2-0. Moscow, coming from the Russian KHL league, just narrowly beat the a much improved Rochester Americans yesterday 4-3, while Geneve-Servette of the NLA easily dismantled Rochester with a 5-0 victory the day before. Saturday’s contest was a fantastic battle between the two clubs, with back and forth action throughout the game, but in the end, an overtime goal by Kaspars Daugavins gave GSHC their second win of the tournament, placing them first in the Torriani division.
As it seemed to be the trend in this tournament, the crowd would be treated to a goal quickly in the contest. On what seemed to be a harmless pass across by Alex Frolov just two minutes in turned out to be an own goal by GSHC defenseman Garrett Stafford, handing the Russian team the 1-0 lead. The lead didn’t last, as Denis Hollenstein managed to get a gift from beside the net, catching Proskuryakov with a weird angle to tie the game up at one. Hollenstein almost added to his goal total a couple minutes later when he stole a loose puck in front of the net, but Ilya Proskuryakov stretched out down low to get it with his glove and keep it out of the net.
During the first half of the period, Moscow looked like the stronger club, dominating the shot clock and puck possession totals while receiving strong goaltending from Proskuryakov. During the second half, however, Geneve-Servette looked like a whole different team, using the extra rest they had from taking the night off to come out stronger once the game wore on.
Former NHL forward Oleg Saprykin had a very opportunity to give CSKA Moscow the 2-1 lead four minutes into the second when he connected on a bouncing puck in front, but Mayer kept it out in a desperate pad stack attempt. After the save, it appeared as though Geneve-Servette had all the momentum, spending the next few minutes mainly in the Moscow zone. Unfortunately for the Swiss league team, a defensive miscue on a cycle in front led to an Alexander Radulov breakaway at the other end, making no mistake for the 2-1 advantage.
Regardless of what happens in the rest of the tournament, one of the most memorable moments has to be the return of Sergei Fedorov against Rochester on Friday. While that was special, he’ll probably tell you that his assist on the Saprykin marker during the second period on Saturday was more important, his first professional hockey point since retiring from the KHL at the end of the 2011-2012 season. While on the power-play, Fedorov received a great pass from the point to take a fantastic wrist shot on net, but it would be tipped in by Saprykin to give his team the 3-1 advantage. The two goal lead wouldn’t last for Moscow as Kaspars Daugavins got his second goal of the tournament after a great pass from Markus Nordlund in front, just after a great flurry of chances by the opposing team.
GSHC’s Roland Gerber got the ball rolling in the third period, crushing Stanislav Egorshev with a somewhat late hit right off the bat. Egorshev would take a while to get back up, but after a short period of time with the CSKA trainer, he would return to the game. A couple shifts later, Servette’s Alexandre Picard went face first into boards behind his own net, but despite feeling a little sore, he would return without missing any action. In fact, Picard’s return was huge for the club, as with just three minutes remaining in the third, Picard dangled past the Moscow goaltender to tie the game up at three.
That would be the only marker scored in the period, as the late goal meant the two clubs would head to the extra frame. If anyone was to score for Geneve-Servette, it made sense that the player of the game would be the one rewarded with the winning goal. Daugavins, who recorded his team’s second goal of the contest earlier, took a great wrist shot from the point, beating a screened Proskuryakov with the blast.
With the victory, GSHC will play the winner of tomorrow’s Cattini/Torrian crossover game on Monday afternoon.
Russia will enter the 2014 World Junior Hockey Championships with lots of big game experience already. With names like Andrei Vasilevski, who will compete in his third world juniors, Mikhail Grigorenko, who will also compete in his third tournament after the Buffalo Sabres loaned him out, as well as Igor Ustinski, Andrei Mironov and Anton Slepyshev, who will all compete in their second World Juniors. Russia defeated Canada 6–5 in overtime on home ice to win the bronze medal, sending the Canadians home without a medal for the first time since 1998, but with all the talent in this year’s edition, the bronze wont satisfy their expectations.
According to Swiss media reports, Sergei Fedorov will stage his comeback with CSKA Moscow at Spengler Cup at the age of 43.
This isn’t the first time Fedorov attempted a comeback this season. Earlier this year, when his team was plauged with injuries, he decided to leave the GM’s box and hit the ice, but the plan never went through. Fedorov returned to his home country of Russia for the 2009-2010 season, signing a 2-year deal with Magnitogorsk. He said that he wanted to fulfill his father’s lifelong dream of having his two sons play on the same team, teaming up with younger brother Fedor.
During his NHL career, Federov played for the Detroit Red Wings, Anaheim Mighty Ducks, Columbus Blue Jackets and Washington Capitals, winning the Stanley Cup three times with Detroit. In 1,248 career NHL games, Fedorov scored 483 goals and 1,179 points. At the 2010 Winter Olympics, Fedorov finished the Olympics at a point-per-game, tying former Capitals linemate Ovechkin for second on the team overall.
It’s great to see a legend like Fedorov still wanting to play professional hockey at his age. The Spengler Cup tournament gives him a good chance to do something he hasn’t done before at a legendary stage, and maybe this will attract more North American fans who loved watching him play during his NHL days.
Barys Astana of the KHL have signed Canadian forward Zach Hamill, just days after getting released by the AHL’s Utica Comets.
Hamill spent the 2012-2013 season split between the Hershey Bears and the Milwaukee Admirals, recording 26 total points. Hamill has been in 20 NHL games in his career, tallying 4 assists and 4 PIM with the Bruins. The Vancouver native was selected eighth overall in the 2007 NHL Entry Draft by the Bruins, and after signing with the Canucks during the most recent off-season, Hamill was hoping for a chance to suit up for the club he once idolized.
That wasn’t the case. Instead, Hamill had just three goals and nine points in 21 games with the Canucks’ AHL affiliate, leading the NHL club to place him on unconditional waivers. Hamill, the WHL scoring champion with Everett in 2006-07, has yet to live up to his junior prowess that led him to being drafted high up, and in an interview with Jim Jamieson from the Providence, he admits that his career hasn’t worked out as he planned.
“In Boston, the timing just didn’t work out,” he said. “But you go from there and you learn. You just put your head down and keep working.”
CSKA Moscow have announced their official roster for the 2013 Spengler Cup in Davos, Switzerland. Notable players include former NHLers Steve Eminger, Ilya Zubov, Alexander Radulov, Alexander Frolov, Oleg Saprykin and Alexei Morozov. Also on the list, as weird as it may sound to many, is the entry of Sergei Fedorov, the team’s general manager who also suited up for them earlier in the season. He still appears to have interest in playing professional hockey again, so the tournament gives him a good chance to do something he hasn’t done before at a legendary stage.
Former NHL defenseman Oleg Tverdovsky has announced his retirement from hockey at the age of 37.
Tverdovsky played 713 NHL games, recording 77 goals and 270 assists with the Los Angeles Kings, Carolina Hurricanes, New Jersey Devils, Phoenix Coyotes, Winnipeg Jets and Mighty Ducks of Anaheim. He also played 191 games in the KHL with Salavat Yulaev Ufa and Metallurg Magnitogorsk, posting 80 point in 191 contests.
Tverdovsky has won two Stanley Cups in his career: one with the New Jersey Devils in 2003 and one with the Carolina Hurricanes in 2006. Additionally, he also won the Gagarin Cup with Salavat Yulaev Ufa in 2011, the award given to the KHL champion.
Barys Astana have moved within 1 point of Eastern Conference leaders AK Bars after beating Metallurg Magnitogorsk in a shootout on Sunday, before topping Traktor 4-0 this evening.
Journeyman winger Nigel Dawes had a goal and two assists for the the Kazakh outfit as they squeezed past Mike Keennan’s Metaallurg side, with Ari Ahonen making 29 saves against his old club.
Ahonen starred again today, turning away all 24 shots to help Barys wrap up a convincing victory over Traktor. Dawes was on target again, with goals also coming from Mikhail Panshin, Roman Starchenko and Dmitry Upper.
Despite Barys good form, AK Bars narrow 3-2 victory of Vityaz ensured they remained top of the Conference. Emil Garipov’s good run of form continued, with the young puck stopper turning away 30 of 32 shots this afternoon.
The two sides are back in action on Thursday, with Barys taking on Neftekhimik, who fell to Avtomobilist today despite leading 2-0. Bars meanwhile heads to Moscow to take on Dynamo, who currently sit 2nd in the West.
CSKA’s winning streak came to an end last night, as the team fell 3-1 to Lokomotiv following another strong performance from Loko netminder Curtis Sandford.
Medvescak Zagreb were also in action, smashing struggling Metallurg Novokuznetsk 5-1. American forward Michael Ryan with a brace for the Croatian side who find themselves 7th in the West.
SKA St. Petersburg maintained their position at the top of the KHL with a shootout win over Lev Prague, former Atlanta and New Jersey star Ilya Kovalchuk with the decider after regulation and overtime failed to separate the two sides.
In other news, Admiral Vladivostok parted company with head coach Hannu Jortikka. Assistant Coach Alexander Selivanov has been appointed as interim head coach while the search for the Finns successor begins.
The All Star voting for the Eastern and Western Conference first lines also concluded this week. The two sides meet at Bratislava’s Slovnaft Arena on January 11 in what will be the sixth KHL All-Star Game.
Goalie: Alexander Yeryomenko (Dynamo Moscow)
Defense: Sandis Ozolins (Dinamo Riga) and Deron Quint (Spartak)
Offense: Ilya Kovalchuk (SKA), Alexander Radulov (CSKA) and Jonathan Cheechoo (Medvescak)
Goalie: Mikka Koskinen (Sibir)
Defense: Kirill Koltsov (Salavat Yulaev) and Shaun Heshka (Ak Bars)
Offense: Sergei Mozyakin (Metallurg Mg), Danis Zaripov (Metallurg Mg) and Brandon Bochenski (Barys)
Eastern Conference leaders AK Bars made a strong start to what became a busy week for the Kazan club, defeating Admiral 5-1 on Sunday. But Valery Belov’s side fell to Amur on Tuesday before losing in a shootout to last place Metallurg Novokuznetsk today.
Bars also parted company with Chris Bourque this week. The son of Hall of Famer Ray Bourque, the 27-year old has been linked with Swiss outfit Biel.
CSKA Moscow extended their winning streak to 4 games with victory over Ugra, courtesy of goals from Ilari Filppula, Nikolai Prokhorkin, Igor Grigorenko and Denis Denisov. The club has now climbed to 3rd in the West as a result, beating Barys and Avtomobilist as well this week.
Atlant ended a 190 minutes goalless streak on Monday, beating in form Lokomotiv in a shootout; but the Yaroslavl side bounced back on Wednesday with a 2-1 win against Severstal. Sergei Plotnikov struck midway through the 2nd period to secure the win, whilst Curtis Sandford’s exceptional form continued – turning away 29 of 30 shots.
SKA maintained their lead at the top of the KHL after beating against Neftekhimik, and now sit 4 points clear at the top of the West after Dynamo Moscow fell to Metallurg Novokuznetsk on Tuesday.
SKA are in action again tomorrow night, taking on Atlant, whilst Dynamo rounds off the KHL’s November schedule when they travel to Severstal.
Elsewhere; Medvescak and Barys recorded convincing 6-1 victories over Sibir and Slovan respectively, while back-to-back defeats for Spartak saw them lose ground in the play-off race in the West.
Former Columbus and Edmonton forward Gilbert Brulé is set to join Mettalurg Magnitogorsk, according to the clubs website.
Brulé had been on a professional try out contract with Portland Pirates, scoring 6 goals and 8 points in 8 games.
The 26-year old sat out much of last season for personal reasons, but attempted an NHL comeback with former club Phoenix this season. The Coyotes chose not to take on the forward however, and Brulé has been looking for a permanent home since.
Despite getting a permanent offer from the Oregon club, he is now set to bolster Mettalurg’s already impressive forward group – which includes the KHLs top two points scorers, club Captain Sergei Mozyakin and Danis Zarpov.
In 296 NHL games, the Edmonton native scored 43 goals and 95 points as well as 2 goals and 3 points in 12 post season appearances.