By Igor Leshin
Unfortunately, in the opening game of the season, Alexander Andrievsky’s wards lost to local Dinamo Riga in Latvia, with a score of 2:1 in regular time. Fans were also disappointed by the following match, hosted by Minsk-Arena in the presence of 14,800 spectators, against CSKA Moscow. Both teams were eager for victory, after starting defeats, leading to intensive play and many shots at goal.
Experienced Alexey Kalyuzhny joined Dinamo on the eve of the CSKA match, joining Geoff Platt and Canadian Jacob Micflikier in attack, and replacing Geoff as captain. Despite failing to score, the three showed team spirit and kept their rivals on their toes. The Moscow squad defended well, allowing Minsk to score only within 3 minutes of the end of the second period, when Artur Gavrus slipped past Rastislav Staňa, scoring his own first goal in the Kontinental Hockey League. The guests brought the score level at the start of the 3rd period, thanks to Nikolay Prokhorkin outwitting Kevin Lalande. The score of 1:1 remained throughout, leading to extra time, when CSKA’s Georgy Misharin managed a goal two minutes before the final whistle. The loss leaves Dinamo with one point in the KHL Championship.
The game saw fans create a unique atmosphere in support of Dinamo, as noted by coach Alexander Andrievsky. He considers that his squad played even better than in Riga but lacked concentration. He is pleased to welcome Kalyuzhny to the team but believes it will take time for Alexey to settle and synchronise with other players, showing his best play.