Traktor suffers defeat at the hands of Avangard in an exciting goal-riddled matchup

First period
The period was evenly matched as the score after the buzzer suggested. Seconds into match, Zaborsky took a heavy shot, and Sergey Kostitsyn hit the post which set the hectic tone for the contest. Traktor quickly figured out how to react and seized the lead as Yakutsenya executed a riveting blind pass to the far post where Jan Bulis only had to direct the puck into the empty net. Avangard quickly regained themselves and responded with a series of attacks, and was it not for Mezin, the score would have been tied by then. Traktor reciprocated with Kontiola hitting the post and ... Andrey Mezin allowing a goal. Traktor got a power play momentarily and looked pretty well with two of Quint’s slapshots barely turned aside by Rämö. Avangard managed to score one minute before the buzzer, but after having watched the replay the referees cancelled the goal as they decided it had been scored by a hand.

Second period

Second period’s first pause occurred some five minutes after the starting buzzer as both teams played from net to net with a minimum of shots on goal. Traktor had a couple of one-on-ones during these minutes, but either the blocked pass or Rämö’s pad stood in puck’s way into the net. Traktor’s 17-year old diamond in the rough Valery Nichushkin looked splendid again, but was not lucky enough to score his first KHL goal. Another gem in Traktor’s crown, Yevgeny Kuznetsov, did a better job and pulled his team ahead with a vicious slapshot to the far corner. Avangard was not intent on giving in and quickly tied the match yet again; Zaborsky executed a fine penalty shot, having found a recess between Mezin’s pads. The home team could not reciprocate fast enough; the very next Traktor’s double power play saw Vyacheslav Belov give Traktor the lead for the third time with a scintillating slapshot. In the game of seesaw Avangard showed great resiliency and tied the game before the buzzer; Mezin blundered again, this time allowing the puck into the net from underneath his pad.

Third period

At the top of the period Katichev laid Zaborsky out with a devastating hit, and this seemingly charged Traktor with even more emotions which in its turn led to Traktor taking the lead for the fourth time in this match; Bulis scored his second game’s goal. Avangard jacked up the pace and again (!) were able to tie it up – Igor Volkov was left on the crease and capitalized brilliantly on a momentary negligence demonstrated by Traktor’s defense. Much to the chagrin of Traktor fans, it was the last time that Avangard tied the game because from then on it was only the visitors that scored in this contest. Some ten minutes before the end of the period Kirill Lyamin gave Avangard the lead for the first time in this matchup. Belousov substituted Mezin for Fokin, and the latter literally saved Traktor on several exchanges. Vyacheslav Belov had a perfect opportunity to tie the game at five apiece, but this time Karri Rämö’s reaction was impeccable. Traktor’s last chance to save the game came in the closing two minutes of the contest; Avangard was left shorthanded, plus Belousov pulled the goalie; but, all to no avail. One second before the buzzer Sergey Kostitsyn tallied an empty-netter and set the final score. 4:6, and Traktor relinquishes the Eastern conference lead for the first time in almost two months.

and details

(Chelyabinsk) vs. Avangard (Omsk) – 4:6 (1:1, 2:2, 1:3)

: Bulis (Yakutsenya), 4 (1:0); Perezhogin (A. Belov), 15 (1:1);Kuznetsov (Yakutsenya), 29 (2:1); Zaborsky, 34 (2:2 – penalty shot); V. Belov (Kontiola), 37 (3:2 – PP); Kalinin (Semin, Piganovich), 39 (3:3); Bulis (Quint, Kuznetsov), 43 (4:3 – PP); Volkov (Kuparinen, Kalinin), 49 (4:4); Lyamin (Zaborsky, Ivanov), 51 (4:5); S. Kostitsyn (Nikitin), 60 (4:6 – en).

Traktor (Chelyabinsk)
Mezin (Fokin 50:05 – 59:29, 59:59 – 60:00);
Quint – Shinin, Yakutsenya – Bulis – Kuznetsov,
V. Belov – Vasilchenko, Chistov (A) – Kontiola – A. Kostitsyn,
Katichev – Ryabykin (C), Panov (A) – An. Popov – Glinkin,
Nesterov – Razin, Nichushkin – Dugin – Karpov.

Avangard (Omsk)
Nikitin – A. Belov (A), Zaborsky – Al. Popov – Perezhogin,
Pujacs – Lyamin, S. Kostitsyn – Semin – Frolov (C),
Piganovich – Pivtsakin, Ivanov – Kuryanov (C) – Kalinin,
Valentenko – Kalashnikov, Volkov – Kuparinen – Pervushin.

Penalty Minutes: 4 (0+4+0) - 14 (4+6+4).
Shots: 21 (7+8+6) - 28 (11+8+9).
Faceoffs Won: 32 (9+8+15) - 23 (9+6+8).
Time on Ice: Kuznetsov (22:39), Kontiola (21:18), Bulis (21:02) - Nikitin (23:35), A. Belov (21:56), Frolov (18:31).
Power Play Goals: 2-0.

Linesmen: Yakov Deyev, Anatoly Zakharov (both – Moscow).
Referees: Dmitry Parfenov, Aleksandr Sysuyev (both – Ufa).

25, 2012. Traktor Arena, Chelyabinsk, Russia. Attendance – 7500.