Still looking for a win
Game Recap: SKA - Amur
OCT.15 -- Six games into his coaching stint in St.Petersburg Boris Mikhailov is still looking for his first win. Tonight his team managed season high 31 shots infront of a season low crowd at the Ice Palace. But of all those shots only one snicked past Amur's American netminder Alex Westlund.
At 6:05 of the opening period the home team scored it's only goal. Defender Nikolai Syrtsov blasted a powerful slapper off the point while his team had a power-play. A few minutes before that Egor Bashkatov skated all alone against Westlund, but the goalie stood firm.
Before the end of the period Amur players were closer to scoring, but Sergei Krivokrasov and Alexei Kopeikin missed on good opportunities.
Early in the second period the visitors equalized. Alexander Grishin rushed out of the penalty box and set up Vadim Pokotilo. After that until the second intermission it was all SKA. Twice Oleg Boultunov found himself open near Amur's goal, but couldn't beat Westlund. So couldn't Syrtsov who's powerful shots from the blue line gave American goalie enough trouble all night long. Nikolai Zuenkov, Andrei Rychagov and Dmitry Mikhailov missed on great opportunities as well.
At 1:29 of the third period Vadim Averkin's weak wrist shot slipped past Sergei Naumov. A bad goal didn't discourage SKA players, as they stormed Westlund's net with furious intensity. However neither Westlund had an intention to give up anything to the home team, nor his teammates were content to pass up on great counters. Max Spiridonov and Oleg Minakov could have taken the game out of SKA's reach but it was Naumov's time to seek rehabilitation for a lousy goal he allowed.
With about a minute left to play Mikhailov took his goalie out in favor of sixth skater. Unfortunately his top line appeared to be out of gas as they failed to mussel a shot on Westlund's goal in ensuing minute.
"The only thing I'm content with tonight is the effort my players gave," - said Mikhailov. Much-heralded SKA coach promised big line-up shuffle when the November's trading period begins. Prior to the game SKA waived vets Igor Nikulin and Evgeny Gribko. Avangard's Ilya Gorbushin and Ukrainian defender Artyom Ostroushko already signed with the club. Moreover Mikhailov mentioned that Andrei Troschinsky (STL draft pick, plays for Metallurg Mg) and Askhat Rakhmatullin (belongs to the Wild, begun the season in Sibir) will be arriving soon for a try-out with the team.-- Max Dostoevsky