Ready for new season
HC Dinamo Minsk (KHL) claims victory over Ak Bars Kazan (KHL) in match for 5th place at international ice hockey tournament in Riga: Latvian Railways Cup
By Igor Grishin
The victory is the first for Dinamo Minsk against a KHL team in the current off-season. With no trophies or tournament prospects were at stake, the squads created no real scoring opportunities until almost the end of the first half, when Dinamo claimed a goal. Ak Bars equalised in the second half, thanks to forward Chris Burk, assisted by former Dinamo player Tim Stapleton — a Minsk fan favourite.
The 1:1 deadlock continued almost until the end of the game; in the 59th minute, Dinamo forward Dmitry Meleshko received a pass from Andrey Stas, then outwitted Russian Konstantin Barulin to score the decisive goal. A change of goalkeeper didn’t help the Kazan team, although Ak Bars was considered a favourite for the finals not long ago. After losing to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, Ak Bars was actually fighting for 5th place with Dinamo. Kazakhstan’s ‘snow leopards’ were left in last place in the Latvian Railways Cup.
The win in Riga was the first for HC Dinamo Minsk over a KHL club before the start of KHL Season 6, although the Riga tournament is now over for the Minsk club. Goalies Kevin Lalande (Minsk) and Konstantin Barulin (Ak Bars) were voted the match’s top players. At the Group Stage, Dinamo Minsk lost to HC SKA St. Petersburg (0:3) and HC Praha Lev (2:4).
Almost two weeks ago, HC Dinamo Minsk came third at an international tournament in memory of Ruslan Saley in Minsk, losing to HC Khabarovsk Amur (1:2) and HC Spartak Moscow (1:5), while defeating HC Grodno Neman (3:1).
Dinamo Minsk will soon take to the ice at Riga Arena again, taking on HC Dinamo Riga for the first match in the KHL Championship. Head coach Alexander Andrievsky awaits an answer from Belarus national team forward Alexey Kalyuzhny as to whether he’ll now join the squad.