Traktor suffers defeat at the hands of Ak Bars

Valery Belousov has shaken the starting line-up quite a bit in comparison with the previous game. Andrey Kostitsyn, Traktor’s new est acquisition, took his place in the second line along with Panov and Kontiola. Thus all lines except the first one underwent changes; Yakutsenya, Sayustov and Antipov constituted the third line, Glinkin, Popov and Karpov – the fourth one. Plus, for the first time in the season Valery Belousov included the fourth pair of defenders in the starting line-up – Gennady Razin and Nikita Nesterov who has finally recovered from his minor injuries. Michael Garnetthas ordinarily occupied his place in the net while Vasily Demchenko became the substitute goalie for the second time in his KHL career.

First period

It was the last minutes of the period that were the most eventful, but we’ll get to that later. AkBars created the first goal-scoring chance four minute sinto the match when Korneev took a nice shot. Traktor responded immediately – Sayustov took as wift slapshot after the face-off, but the puck missed the net a tad. Shortly after Traktor got a power play but failed even to take a shot at Barulin’s goal. Middle-period Michael Garnett had to work hard to keep the score at nil. Four minutes before the break Glinkin found Karpov with a nice pass, but Maksim was held away by Ak Bars’ defense. Shortly after that Traktor got another chance to convert the power play which they did – Quint took a slapshot from the blue line, Kuznetsov picked up the puck and passed it to Chistov who turned his partners’ efforts into 1-0 on the scoreboard. AkBars got another penalty momentarily, but the referee quickly evened the teams up, and right before the intermission Ilya Nikulin tied the game with a heavy shot.

Second period

Traktor began the period shorthanded, but managed to get away with it. Ak Bars was on the offensive more than Traktor in the starting moments of the period. Five minutes into the period the home team bombarded Garnett’s goal with a series of shots, but didn’t manage to put the puck away. Two minutes later, however, Ak Bars took the lead for the first time in the match – Yevgeny Medvedev out smarted Garnett who was blocked by Ak Bars’ forward. Traktor’s grief didn’t take long though as a minute later Yakutsenya passed the puck to Karpov whose shot hit the bar, but Popov was there to tie the game again. Shortly after Deron Quin theroically saved his team from trouble, turning the puck over from Kirill Petrov who was on the breakaway. Then, the 37th minute came about. Petri Kontiola was sent to the locker room with 5 min + match penalty after having been provoked by Vadim Khomitskiy, thus leaving Traktor with three centers.

Third period

Traktor once again began the period short handed, but defended stoically, refusing to let the puck in. Four minutes into the period Karpov could score his first career goal in KHL, but Barulin was on point. This moment was the key one in this matchup, because after that only Ak Bars’ players put their names on the scoreboard.One minute after that Petrov hit the far corner of the net. Four minutes later Tereshchenko utilized Lukoyanov’s pass to perfection – 4:2. The very next attack saw Lukoyanov score the copy of the fourth Ak Bars’ goal. Denis Kulyash was the last one to score a goal in this match; even Patrick Roy in his prime would not have turned his can nonball-like shot away. 6:2 – Traktor suffers season’s second defeat.

Stats and details

AkBars Kazan vs.Traktor Chelyabinsk – 6:2 (1:1, 1:1, 4:0)

Goals: Chistov (Quint, Kuznetsov), 18 (0:1 – powerplay); Nikulin (Petrov, Tereshchenko), 20 (1:1); Medvedev (Lukoyanov), 28 (2:1); Popov, 29 (2:2); Petrov (Tereshchenko), 45 (3:2); Tereshchenko (Lukoyanov), 49 (4:2); Lukoyanov (Tereshchenko, Medvedev), 51 (5:2); Kulyash (Skachkov), 54 (6:2).

AkBars Kazan

  • Barulin;
  • Nikulin – Korneev, Zaripov – Kapanen – Morozov (C),
  • Medvedev – Kulyash, Skachkov – Tereshchenko – Petrov,
  • Zakharchuk – Khomitskiy, Lahti – Immonen – Obukhov,
  • Yarullin, Golubev – Bodrov – Lukoyanov.

Traktor Chelyabinsk

  • Garnett;
  • Quint – Ryabykin (A), Chistov – Bulis – Kuznetsov,
  • Belov – Vasilchenko, Panov (A) – Kontiola – Kostitsyn,
  • Shinin – Katichev, Yakutsenya – Sayustov – Antipov (C),
  • Nesterov – Razin, Glinkin – Popov – Karpov.

Penalty Minutes: 8 (6+2+0)-29 (2+25+2). 

Shots: 45 (11+17+17)-29 (12+11+6).

Faceoffs Won: 42 (16+14+12)-17 (7+3+7).

Time on Ice: Nikulin (22:35), Medvedev (21:22), Korneev (20:53) - Bulis (21:47), Kuznetsov (19:34), Quint (19:00).

Power Play Goals: 0-1. 

Referees: Anatoly Zakharov, Roman Gofman (both – Moscow).

Lines men: Nikita Novikov, Tornike Kuchava (both – Moscow).

September 20, 2012. Tatneft Arena, Kazan, Tatarstan, Russia.

Photo courtesy of Ak Bars’ Press Office.