Fading Amur forwards can't find the net
Game Recap: Amur - SKA
NOV.18 -- To say the least - Andrei Pyatanov's squad got robbed tonight!
SKA's Latvian netminder Sergei Naumov managed 38 saves to register his second straight shut-out and third straight win and newcomer Sergei Makarov scored a short-handed goal late in the third period, as SKA upset Amur, 1-0, on the ice of Lenin Sports Palace in Khabarovsk.
"We played a game of screwed opportunities," - said Amur's head coach (Pyatanov). "I still can't believe we failed to score at least once".
Amur playing without several key players lost for the fourth game in a row against a team that had trouble flying in.
The game was delayed for several hours, as SKA's flight from Moscow was delayed because of the foggy conditions. Moreover SKA's head coach Boris Mikhailov stayed in Russian capital for unknown reasons and it was assistant Sergei Cherkas calling the shots behind the bench.
Barely three hours after arriving to South-Eastern City SKA players rushed to the rink, as the game begun at 9 p.m.
The visitors clearly weren't ready for action and were outshot 17-2 in the opening period. However red-hot Naumov kept them alive.
Over the final two periods Amur's advantage wasn't as obvious, but Pyatanov's men still poured 21 more shots at Naumov. However the visiting team also managed a few good chances.
Amur's Oleg Filimonov played almost as well as Naumov, but suffered a sit back in his first start of the season.
As it appeared more and more that Amur is going to score, SKA got the ensuing tally playing with a man short!
While Artyom Ostroushko was in the box for hooking, Egor Bashkatov and Sergei Makarov skated two-on-one and the later converted for his first goal of the season.
Amur's bench boss blamed the officiating for his team's loss: "There (on the decisive goal) should have been a boarding penalty called just before the rush took place." Pyatanov was clearly upset: "It was ref's mistake and it influenced the outcome of the game".
Meantime SKA coach was just happy to get a win: "We trapped for much of the game trying to slow opposition's quick forwards. To be frank, I think we were just lucky to score a short-handed goal."
Despite the loss Amur maintained its spot among the top eight, while for SKA only two points separates them from the safe 14th spot and 10 from a potential play-off spot. One week ago it was foolish on St.Petersburg's part to dream about play-offs but after three straight wins against solid opponents SKA's ambitions have raised higher than just battling for survival in RSL.
In NIZHNEKAMSK, Sabres' first rounder Artyom Kryukov finally played his first RSL game this season. Kryukov centered Sibir's fourth line with Oiler's Alexei Mikhnov on the left and Stars' Kirill Sidorenko on the right. Sibir beat Neftekhimik 3-1, while neither of mentioned above prospects figured on the score sheet.
-- Max Dostoevsky