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Traktor with a loss to Donbass in a match of equal opportunities

First period
First period was largely notable for goalkeepers’ performance. Six minutes into the match Donbass executed the first well-thought attack; Dadonov fired a shot, Wirtanen tried to add the puck in the net, but Fokin excelled both of them on this particular exchange. Traktor responded with Nichushkin-Karpov combo; Maksim took a shot that did not find the net though. Both these two had another great opportunity middle-period, but Nichushkin’s pass from Traktor’s zone on Karpov was stopped at the last second. Traktor looked good in the second half of the period; Kontiola and Chistov could pull Traktor ahead, but the former missed the net and the latter’s solo effort was thwarted by Donbass’ defense. The period finished with Fokin’s scintillating glove save.

Second period

The next 20 minutes of the match was more eventful. Deron Quint quickly brought crowd to their feet with a supposed goal-scoring effort, but it turned out he hit the post, not the net. Traktor’s goal was overdue, and it eventually came almost halfway through the match. Ryabykin cut Kuznetsov from Donbass’ defensemen with an accurate pass, and Yevgeny brilliantly capitalized. Riding the wave of success, Traktor rushed to try to increase the lead and very well could do it had Kontiola caught Belov’s pass a couple of minutes later. Then Jan Bulis could double the lead, but his namesake Laco made a miraculous save. Donbass managed to tie the game at the hands of Nedorost; then Fokin took center stage and made a series of superb saves that may very well appear on KHL top lists, including the one made with his skate (!!!).

Third period

Traktor was focused right off the bat and executed several attacks early in the third that unfortunately did not lead to a goal-scoring effort. Then the pendulum of the game swung to Donbass’ side when Tuppurainen broke away and was taken down; the victim himself scored the penalty shot and pulled visitors ahead. Donbass had two more breakaways before the end of the match; one was stopped by Fokin, the other was swing and a miss from Clay Wilson. Traktor could not do anything even remotely resembling a goal-scoring chance until the last minute. Belousov took a timeout and pulled Fokin; with one-man advantage Traktor possibly created more scoring chances during the 60th minute alone than throughout the whole contest. Kuznetsov had countless rebounds, Panov shot from the crease, but Jan Laco was the stumbling rock on Traktor’s way to victory. 1:2 – Traktor slips back to the third place on the East.

Stats and details

Traktor (Chelyabinsk) vs. Donbass (Donetsk) – 1:2 (0:0, 1:1, 0:1)

Goals: Kuznetsov (Ryabykin), 28 (1:0 – PP); Nedorost (Varlamov), 33 (1:1);Tuppurainen, 46 (1:2 – penalty shot).

Traktor (Chelyabinsk)
Fokin (0:00 – 59:30);
Quint – Ryabykin (C), Chistov (A) – Bulis – Kuznetsov,
Belov – Shinin, Yakutsenya – Kontiola – Kostitsyn,
Nesterov – Razin, Panov (A) – Popov – Glinkin,
Nichushkin – Dugin – Karpov.

Donbass (Donetsk)
Peretyagin – Babchuk, Kochetkov – Fedotenko (C) – Varlamov,
Wilson – Podhradský, Dadonov – Nedorost (а) – Kiiskinen,
Kolař – Bartulis, Tuppurainen – Wirtanen – Pettersson,
Kvitchenko – Donika – Matoušek.

Penalty Minutes: 2 (0+2+0) - 6 (0+4+2).
Shots: 25 (9+7+9) - 25 (7+10+8).
Faceoffs Won: 39 (7+13+19) - 27 (7+12+8).
Time on Ice: Belov (22:04), Ryabykin (21:07), Quint (21:00) - Babchuk (22:02), Peretyagin (21:05), Wilson (20:48).
Power Play Goals: 1-0.

Vyacheslav Bulanov, Andrey Rogachev (both – Moscow).
Linesmen: Konstantin Gordenko, Viktor Tomilov (both – Ufa).

December 5, 2012. Traktor Arena, Chelyabinsk, Russia. Attendance – 6750.