Traktor claims second consecutive victory

First period
Avtomobilist didn’t seem very hospitable in the first 20 minutes of the game as they attacked a lot more than the visitors, even though it was a series of penalties for Traktor that helped Avtomobilist get the advantage. Two minutes into the match Aleksey Vasilchenko was sent to a penalty box as he thwarted a promising counterattack bound to end with a goal. However, Avto could not capitalize as Traktor’s defense was on point, having deflected all the shots. Then it was time for Michael Garnett’s heroic efforts. Four minutes into the game the referees signaled for coincidental penalties; in four-on-four situation Avtomobilist had a couple of scoring chances but Garnett was flawless. Towards the middle of the period Traktor was left shorthanded again as Sayustov was given a penalty for attacking Avto’s goaltender Christopher Holt. To Traktor’s credit, they avoided serious trouble, several times throwing themselves selflessly in puck’s way. Five minutes before the intermission Yevgeny Kuznetsov gave Traktor a one-man advantage. During the power play Quint took a nice shot, but Holt made the save. The game got evenly matched in the end of the period, in spite of the fact that Garnett had to do his best to keep the score intact after two close-range shots in the closing moments of the period..

Second period
Second period saw the teams switch roles – Traktor was on the offensive from the get-go, and it was Christopher Holt this time that had to move to and fro in his goal to keep the score at nil. Garnett was at ease for the better part of the period until Makarov found himself alone right beside Traktor’s goalie, but Michael Garnett isn’t called Michael Garnett for no reason. Traktor’s goaltender made a scintillating save, and two nils still kept their place on the scoreboard. Right after that Traktor received another shot at the power play. Kuznetsov alone took three shots at Holt’s goal during those two minutes. Avto didn’t have any substantial scoring chances during the period as visitors’ defense didn’t allow much breathing room. Three minutes before the game’s second break Traktor had a real chance to change the figures on the scoreboard – Ryabykin made a picture-perfect pass through the lines to Zakiev who tried to hit the far corner, but Holt turned the threat away yet again.

Third period
Traktor had the advantage in the final 20 minutes of the match as well. Avto’s defender Denis Sokolov got injured in the beginning of the period and headed to the locker room. It took both teams almost seven minutes to construct something meaningful attack-wise – Kontiola had a breakaway but came up on the short end of the stick as Holt refused to let the puck in. However, it was only a matter time before Traktor established the lead. Shortly after the 50-minute mark Kuznetsov scored the game’s first goal with a splendid wrist shot. Despite taking the lead, Traktor didn’t repose on their laurels, and the award quickly found their heroes. Maksim Karpov picked up the puck behind Avto’s net and executed a through pass to Popov who cemented Traktor’s advantage, making it two-to-nothing game. Avto’s coach pulled the goalie two minutes before the end of the match, and Karpov amassed his second game point, assisting Maksim Yakutsenya who tallied an empty net goal. The final buzzer signaled Traktor’s second consecutive victory and Michael Garnett’s second consecutive shutout.

Stats and Details

Avtomobilist (Yekaterinburg) vs Traktor (Chelyabinsk) – 0:3 (0:0, 0:0, 0:3)

Goals: Kuznetsov, 52 (0:1); Popov (Karpov), 56 (0:2); Yakutsenya (Karpov), 58 (0:3 – empty net).

Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg

Mezei – Sokolov, Straka – Shpirko – Simakov (C),
D. Makarov – Yukseev, Piros – Malykhin – Bulatov,
Sazonov – Gusev, K. Makarov – V. Streltsov – A.Streltsov,
Stepanov, Gimatov – Zavarukhin – Ustyantsev,

Traktor Chelyabinsk

Quint – Ryabykin (A), Chistov – Bulis – Kuznetsov,
Belov – Vasilchenko, Karpov – Kontiola – Yakutsenya,
Razin – Katichev, Glinkin – Popov – Antipov (C),
Zakiev – Sayustov – Suglobov.

Penalty Minutes: 8 (4+2+2) - 6 (6+0+0)
Shots: 23 (11+5+7) - 41 (7+16+18)
Faceoffs Won: 28 (11+6+12) - 38 (11+10+17)
Time on Ice: Mezei (24:51), Makarov (24:11), Simakov (20:24) - Ryabykin (23:40), Quint (22:28), Kuznetsov (21:44)
PP Goals: 0 - 0

Referees: Vladislav Kiselev (Ufa, Russia), Vladimir Nalivayko (Minsk, Belarus).
Linesmen: Konstantin Gordenko, Viktor Tomilov (both Ufa, Russia).

September 10, 2012. Yekaterinburg, Russia. Uralets Arena. Attendance – 4500.

Photo courtesy of Avtomobilists Press Office