In the first match since the 2019 KHL All Star Weekend, SKA comfortably defeated HC Dinamo Minsk at the Saint Petersburg Ice Palace, earning an emphatic 5:1 victory.
Previous meetings between the two sides had suggested SKA would be given a real test, but in reality, our players blitzed the forlorn Belarusian visitors with a strong, ruthless attacking show. In truth, the game was practically over as a contest in the first period, as Dinamo goalkeeper Mikhail Karnaukhov conceded three goals within 16 minutes.
SKA opened the scoring with virtually the first attack of the game. Pulling to the slot, Anton Belov shaped for a wrister, firing an accurate effort over the glove of Mikhail Karnaukhov. Moments later, Pavel Datsyuk’s pass across the crease was inadvertently deflected in by a Dinamo stick, before Alexander Barabanov increased the lead to three with a wonderful individual effort when clean through. Dinamo were all over in defence, but at the other end, they tested Igor Shestyorkin on a regular basis with Teemu Pulkkinen smashing the crossbar.
The one-way traffic continued in the second frame. Lurking on the doorstep, Nikolai Prokhorkin joined the party, tipping Nikita Gusev’s shot high into the net. Our players were in full control, and with the period approaching its climax, the goal of the day was scored. Andrei Kuzmenko displayed dazzling stick skills, he found the waiting Alexander Barabanov on the crease, and the latter expertly rolled the puck over the line to register his second.
Unfortunately, Dinamo Minsk subsequently ruined Igor Shestyorkin’s shutout hopes in the third period, as Jonathan Blum’s huge slapper from the blue line crashed into the net. During the frame, 17-year-old forward Vasily Podkolzin was handed a chance on the ice, and he displayed confidence by charging into the attacking zone with strength.
Despite further chances for both teams, the game ended 5:1, with SKA tallying a second consecutive victory in the 2018/2019 KHL regular season!
SKA – Dinamo Minsk – 5:1 (3:0, 2:0, 0:1)
1:0 Belov (Khafizullin, Kruchinin), 01.34
2:0 Datsyuk (Kuzmenko, Khafizullin), 03.27
3:0 Barabanov, 16.15
4:0 Prokhorkin (Yakupov, Gusev), 29.32
5:0 Barabanov (Khafizullin, Kuzmenko), 38.42
5:1 Blum (Hauden), 48.01
Goalkeepers: Shestyorkin – Karnaukhov
Shots on target: 31 – 20
Faceoffs: 34 – 21
Hits: 12 – 17
Penalty minutes: 6 – 10
Referees: Ansons, Lavrentyev
22.01.2019. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.