Hockey players’ great struggle for Cup of Hope
Dinamo Minsk hockey players defeat Moscow’s Spartak at home in overtime, in third match of Cup of Hope’s ј finals, qualifying for next round
Dinamo Minsk are aiming high after failing to reach the Gagarin Cup play-offs. In Moscow, the squad laid the groundwork for their victory in the Cup of Hope tournament, winning their first two games and raising fans’ hopes. They began the home match as favourites and in a positive mood, despite lacking team captain, defender Jere Karalahti. Forwards Yevgeny Khuzeev and Libor Pivko were also absent, replaced by Teemu Laine and Dmitry Meleshko. Meanwhile Denis Gorbunov, who usually plays with Bobruisk’s Dinamo-Shinnik in the Junior Hockey League, has stepped into the shoes of Andrey Stas, the Belarusian national hockey team forward; following injury in early February, during a selection round for the Olympics in Danish Vojens, Andrey remains out of action. In the absence of Jere Karalahti, the captain’s armband went to forward Alexander Kulakov.
Russian Spartak was playing with seven members of its affiliated team, from the Junior Hockey League.
After a successful first period, when five pucks were delivered by both teams within 13.5 minutes, the Moscow squad seemed to tire a little. The score remained tied but Dinamo took a 3:0 victory in overtime.
Dinamo Riga is next to face Minsk, in the semi-finals, having defeated Ukrainian Donbass following a penalty shoot-out.