Amur Takes All Three Points
Second game of home stint doesn't go Slovan's way, 1:3 defeat to Amur Khabarovsk.
HC SLOVAN Bratislava - Amur Khabarovsk 1:3 (0:1, 0:1, 1:1)
Goals: 59. Lunter - 6. Niinimäki (Orlov), 25. Miklík (Ryazantsev, Taimi), 48. Haščák (Fisenko, Lugin). Officials: Kiselyov, Shchenyov - Gordenko, Tmoilov. Penalties: 8:8 (2 min.), Powerplay goals: 0:1, Shorthanded: 0:0. Attendance: 9,619.
HC SLOVAN Bratislava: Janus – Sersen, Baranka, Foster, Sigalet, Štajnoch, Mihálik, Brejčák - Hudáček, Surový, Bartovič – Netík, Nedorost, Vondrka – Jeglič, Tičar, Rachůnek - Šťastný, Bližňák, Lunter
Amur Chabarovsk: Murygin - Taimi, Teryayev, Ryazantsev, Kurbatov, Yezhov, Peretyagin, Rybnicky - Tarasov, Špirko, Miklík - Lugin, Fisenko, Haščák - Kopiyenko, Niinimäki, Orlov - Zheleznov, Litovchenko, Abramov - Yakovlev
The Sky Blues took to the ice without their most productive player, Ladislav Nagy, as well as defenceman Tomáš Starosta, who were sidelined by injuries. Jaroslav Janus took his turn in goal. The opening minutes did not provide much of note, but the home team gradually began to take the initiative, creating some concrete opportunities. First Surový had a chance to finish after a defensive error, but couldn't beat Murygin. Netík shot from the right circle soon after, but his effort hit the post. Amur got into firing position in the 6th minute, and their first chance ended up in the net, a strong shot from Niinimäki beating Janus - 0:1. The visitors then got going and began to press their opponents. They won themselves a powerplay, but didn't stir up much trouble. Slovan then pushed for an equaliser, but their efforts were essentially fruitless; Amur remained the more dangerous of the teams, and Janus had his work cut out in handling efforts from Zheleznov and Miklík, as well as a great touch from Haščák. The home team did play a 49-second 5-on-3 powerplay at the end, but gave the fans nothing to celebrate.
Khabarovsk had their own two-man advantage for 31 seconds in the second period, and while they failed to make use of the double powerplay, they put that right when one man up. In the 25th minute, Ryazantsev's shot rebounded off the board to Miklík, and the former Slovan forward didn't hesitate - 0:2. The second goal made the home team come at Amur, and Slovan pressed them into their defensive zone. All the pressure on Murygin's goal resulted in a powerplay, but no goal to bring them back into the game. Slovan did create chances, but couldn't provide the killer finish. In the 34th, Šťastný and Sersen got away 2 on 1, but the former took too long to decide whether to shoot or pass, and the moment was gone. The hosts also added to their troubles with unnecessary penalties, ending the period defending on the back foot.
In the 42nd minute, Mihálik shot well, but Murygin was up to the task. Shpirko's foul then offered Slovan another powerplay chance, but it failed to galvanise the home team into more effective action. In the 48th, it was Khabarovsk who struck again. Fisenko fought and won the puck behind the net and found Haščák open, who sealed the deal for the visitors - 0:3. Despite a few late skirmishes, the game essentially played itself out. With just two minutes left, Lunter provided what could only be a consolation goal for the hosts - 1:3.
Petri Matikainen Slovan head coach: "It was a tough night. After the away trip, where we played really well and got three wins, we came home almost thinking we were better than we really are. We didn't work as we should have. Yesterday we played a difficult game, and today we just weren't as switched on mentally or physically, but that's no excuse. First off we have to apologise to the fans. Once again about 10,000 came to watch, and they didn't deserve this. It wasn't good. This is how it looks when your head and your heart aren't playing in sync. We were really slow and passive, up until the last ten minutes maybe, but by then we were already 3:0 down."