Traktor comes away with a tough victory in Chekhov

First period
First period turned out to be poor goal chances-wise, but still Traktor managed to score twice, having taken only eight shots during the period. Vityaz got the power play early on, but did come up with any substantial goal-scoring opportunities. Then Maksim Karpov made a great pass to the crease from behind the net, but no one was there to add the puck into the net. Then almost nothing happened during the next minutes until Andrey Popov exploded with a heavy shot and opened the score. It did not take Traktor long to double the lead; two minutes later Kontiola outplayed Vityaz’s defender and caught Ivan Kasutin off guard with a sudden shot. 2:0, a comfortable lead for Traktor before the first break.

Second period

The complexion of the second period took a complete 180O twist compared to the first one; this time it was Vityaz that scored twice in a tightly-fought contest. However, Traktor began the period with Nichushkin’s active play that allowed Traktor to get a one-man advantage. Visitors had a great two-minute power play and were closing in on the third goal, but Vityaz managed to survive the hardships and quickly pulled one back with Panarin’s cunning shot. Just like in the first period when Traktor scored twice in two-minute span, Vityaz came up with a doublet that took even less time; Brian Fahey slapped from the blue line one minute after Panarin’s goal and tied the score at two. Both teams had one-on-one scoring chances before the break, but the respective goaltenders prevailed. 2:2, and the third period promised to be a very intense one.

Third period
The final period of the contest was also evenly matched. Both teams had a power play to start the period, but the score remained the same. Middle-period Traktor could pull ahead when Kuznetsov took a shot from the center of the ice, Kasutin made a clumsy save, Yevgeny was the first to try to add the puck into the net, but Kasutin turned the threat away decisively this time. Anyway, Traktor still managed to get the victory. Four minutes before the final buzzer Kontiola took a devastating shot, leaving Kasutin no chance and pulling Traktor back in the lead. Vityaz tried to save the matchup, but Traktor performed perfectly in the defense and kept the needed score intact.

Stats and details

Vityaz (Chekhov) vs. Traktor (Chelyabinsk) – 2:3 (0:2, 2:0, 0:1)

Popov (Katichev), 15 (0:1); Kontiola (Chistov), 17 (0:2); Panarin (Fahey), 29 (1:2 – PP); Fahey (Chernov), 30 (2:2); Kontiola (Bulis), 56 (2:3).

Vityaz (Chekhov)

Kasutin (0:00 - 59:30);
A. Markov – Troshchinskiy (C), Korolyuk (A) – Hennessy – Korolyov,
D. Markov (A) – Fahey, Panarin – Chernov – Dvurechenskiy,
Seleznyov – Khafizullin, Timkin – Badyukov – Belousov,
Kudinov – Busygin, Lesnukhin – Sergeyev – Kulyomin.

Traktor (Chelyabinsk)
Quint – Shinin, Yakutsenya – Bulis – Kuznetsov,
Belov – Katichev, Chistov (A) – Kontiola – Kostitsyn,
Nesterov – Ryabykin (C), Panov (A) – A. Popov – Glinkin,
Nichushkin – Dugin – Karpov.

Penalty Minutes: 14 (4+6+4) - 14 (6+6+2).
Shots: 34 (12+12+10) - 27 (8+8+11).
Faceoffs Won: 33 (10+13+10) - 26 (11+10+5).
Time on Ice: Korolyov (20:53), Korolyuk (20:22), Khafizullin (19:44) - Ryabykin (24:39), Quint (24:12), Nesterov (21:03).
Power Play Goals: 1-0.

Referees: Sergey Karabanov, Aleksandr Cherenkov (both – Moscow).
Linesmen: Sergey Morozov (Moscow Region), Aleksey Medvedev (Moscow).

November 30, 2012. Vityaz Arena, Chekhov, Russia. Attendance – 2400.

Photo courtesy of Vityaz’s Press Office