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Author: Alessandro Seren RossoDate: 01/18/2009
KHL January 13th: Dinamo Moscow edges Ak Bars Kazan in close game

2009 U20 World Junior Championships

KHL January 13th: Dinamo Moscow edges Ak Bars Kazan in close game

Great match in the marvellous Mega Sport Arena in Moscow as the local Dinamo faced Ak Bars Kazan for an exciting KHL regular season match. A number of prospects have skated in this game for both teams, who had to deal with injuries as Grigory Panin and Sergei Zinovjev (Boston Bruins) have been left out from the lineups because of injuries. Ak Bars' featured their new goalkeeper in net, Fredrik Norrena, while Dinamo iced their starting netminder Vitaly Eremeev.

In the first part of the match Ak Bars Kazan had some good time against a slow Dinamo defence, but at the 3'47" Morozov lost a puck in the neutral zone, allowing a quick counterattack to Kalyuzhny, who shot wide.
Less than one minute later a great feed by the Swede Mortensson puts Morozov in front of Eremeev, good save by the goalie. The game resumes, the puck arrives to Hentunen who shoots right on Eremeev's pads, but the Finn started celebrating as he thought he has scored.

With seven minutes gone on the scoreboard Zhitnik hooks down Morozov for the game's first penalty. At first Andrei Pervyshin (St. Louis Blues) gets dangerous with a left side shoot, then Zaripov gets rid of Rachunek with a soccer-like, between the legs spectacular move, but Eremeev closes the gates. Despite a couple of penalties against both teams we have to wait until the twelfth minute to see something interesting as Morozov – truly in great shape tonight –forces Vyshedkevich to the penalty and Ak Bars gets near to the go-ahead marker with a big slap shot by Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers) nicely gloved by Eremeev.

Game's highlight machine has to be turned on at the 16'38": Mortensson plays the puck towards Zaripov and the puck gets deflected by a Dinamo's defenseman. Medvedev picks it up and one-times it, but Eremeev once again denies the chance. Ak Bars pushes, but it's Dinamo the team to get the match's first goal: high forecheck by Landry who gets Morozov off the puck, serving Cajanek. The former Ak Bars player sees and feeds Rachunek between the circles whose hard shot leaves no chances to Norrena. The first period ends with the home team up by a single goal despite being out shooted – and for long traits outplayed – 10-4.

After only ten seconds of the second period Nikulin gets on the penalty box. Twenty seconds later Kapenen gets sent off too, putting Dinamo on a double powerplay. A further minute later Emelin does a great job working hard killing the penalty and forcing Weinhandl to the penalty, but his great play doesn't produce the hoped momentum shift as Dinamo doubles the lead. Rylov works a good puck on the right flank and serves Vyshedkevich, whose top right angle slap shot gets in again on Norrena's glove side.

Dinamo's double advantage though doesn't last long. At the fifth minute Stepanov gets a big chance, but Eremeev nicely reflects his backhander. Ak Bars insists and cut down the hosts' lead to one goal only as Oleg Petrov with a great diagonal pass cuts the neutral zone to launch Hentunen. The Finn's consequent, powerful shot gets in on Eremeev's blocker side and Ak Bars gets back on track.

Dinamo reacts with a quick rush by team captain Yachmenev, Norrena gets down and saves. But every time Dinamo paces up the young guest defence get put on the spot and allows another chance to Kalyuzhny, but his shot is denied by Norrena.

Three minutes later, when the game is almost midway, Dinamo adds one up to their pile: Nikulin allows Landry playing the puck behind the crease as he frees up himself in front of the gaolie, beaten with a low shot. Landry played it nicely, but in this case the experienced Ak Bars' defenseman made a poor, poor job.

Down by two goals the guests have to react, and they reacted. After a big chance for Kazionov robbed of a goal by a superb save by Eremeev, Badyukov with a smart pass feeds the rushing Stepanov who one-times it past the goalie for the 2-3. It's a close game again.

The third period will then start with Dinamo on a powerplay because of an excessive forechecking by Zaripov against young defenseman Maxim Isaev. This second period seen more action from the Dinamo side, opposite as the first period.

As said the third period starts with the man advantage for the home team, but it's at even strenght that some material for the chronicles pop up as Afanasenkov puts Dinamo again up by two as he scores with a great wristshot again on Norrena's glove side.

Ak Bars' once again reacts quickly and gets dangerous with the first line, but a great save by Eremeev denies the goal to Mortensson. The first line stays on ice. Morozov centers the puck, Eremeev deflects with the stick, but loses position. The puck reaches Zaripov's blade who very wisely doesn't one time it but with a fake fools out the goalie and scores his team's third goal.

Some istants later Vyshedkevich gets on the penalty box, giving thus to Ak Bars a big chance to tie things up. Pervyshin fakes a shot and serves Mortensson who is a very good player but lacks of finishing skills and thus shoots right against the goalie's pads.

11'38: Stepanov gets in the slot and gets tripped down by Isaev, it's another powerplay for Ak Bars. The guests attack head down, allowing to Landry a clear breakaway, but he shoots wide as Norrena correctly skated out of the crease to cut him space for the shot.

This was the last true chance of the game as when it was time of attacking again the guests get a couple of penalties that prevent them to further attack and remove the goalie. The match thus ends with a deserved home team win with a 4-3 final score.

Dinamo Moscow - Ak Bars Kazan 4-3 (1-0; 2-2; 2-1)

17:14 1-0 Karel Rachunek (New York Rangers) (Eric Landry, Petr Cajanek)
21:57 2-0 Sergei Vyshedkevich (Yakov Rylov) PP
26:12 2-1 Jukka Hentunen (Oleg Petrov, Niko Kapanen)
28:34 3-1 Eric Landry
34:08 3-2 Alexander Stepanov (Alexei Badyukov)
41:39 4-2 Dmitry Afanasenkov (Ivan Nepryayev, Maxim Pestushko)
44:29 4-3 Danis Zaripov (Alexey Morozov)

Scout notes

Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers): iced in the first line with Pervyshin, he played a very good game offensive, but a poor one back in the own end as he as on the conscience Dinamo's third goal scored by Landry and a couple of penalties in the keys situation.
Grade: C

Andrei Mukhachev (Nashville Predators)
The sized defenseman has just moved from Atlant to Ak Bars and got iced by Bilyaletdinov in the second pair with Evgeny Medvedev. He's really improved and added to his game some patience that raised his efficiency. Because of his size he's effective in the slot both on defense and during powerplay stretches. Good game overall, without errors.
Grade: C+

Andrei Pervyshin (St. Louis Blues)
Has to work on his shot because it lacks accuracy, and he has to use it more, especially during the powerplay stretches he could create some chances or dangerous moments if only he would be willing to risk a shot. Has become effective along the boards, despite his relative small size, as he demonstrated throughout the whole game. The best prospect of the game with Emelin.
Grade: B-

Vyacheslav Buravchikov (Buffalo Sabres)
Buravchikov has really improved his game lately and he did some good strides forward. He has developed a very good offensive game and a nice shot, both wrist or slapshot. Hasn't standed particularly in this match, but he made no obvious errors and got a fair share of quality ice time.
Grade: C+

Alexei Emelin (Montreal Canadiens)
Emelin is another player who played solidly tonight, despite changing partner passing from Panin to Buravchikov.
Finishing his check he was a presence in the ice, especially back in the zone, and has worked very well in the penalty killing too. Very good match.
Grade: B-

Kirill Petrov (New York Islanders)
He was in the lineup but was never iced.

Maxim Isaev
Isaev is a right defenseman who at this level doesn't look out of place if not heavily played. Has improved in puck handling and passing, but he has still a long path in front of him. Has got some confidence and he will get more with the experience. He has played an encouraging game.
Grade: C

Related Player Profiles: . V.Buravchikov A.Emelin M.Isaev A.Mukhachev I.Nikulin G.Panin A.Pervyshin M.Pestushko K.Petrov K.Rachunek S.Vyshedkevich D.Zaripov S.Zinovjev
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