After a short road trip, Dinamo Riga returned home to meet Amur Khabarovsk and begin their three-game homestand.
Riga entered the game coming off of a third-period loss against Avangard in which they looked good enough but three quick goals in a short period of time took away their hope to fight in the match. Amur arrived at the Latvian capital after a loss against the Helsinki Jokerit team. Both sides had met previously this season when at home the Tigers earned two points in a 3:2 shootout battle.
For this game, Dinamo head coach Vladimir Krikunov had swapped up the lines to recover. Nikolajs Jelisejevs earned a promotion to the third line joining Tiivola and Darzins. As a surprise to many Johan Mattsson returned to net after being pulled in the previous match.
In a game where many opportunities were had - Riga couldn’t capitalise and for the second time this season Amur Habarovsk earned two points against Dinamo.
‘’We changed up the lines today tried to put together our Canadian players, put Darzins together with Jelisejevs. They did have some chances while playing 5-on-4 but still couldn’t score. Maybe there has to be sometime for chemistry to build up in order to score goals. If we could’ve taken advantage of power-play the game would’ve gone differently. We don’t score enough and with one goal for you just simply can’t win. We need to fight for the position more in front of the net.’’ Vladimir Krikunov looked back at the game. ‘’We still haven’t made many changes because there hasn’t been time. There won’t be a revolution, there will be a week off soon and we’ll work to achieve better results.’’
Skating show in Riga
The visitors side began the game more active and in a more offensive minded manner. Riga had once again assure that their defense would be up to task. If their opponent controlled the puck there wouldn’t many concners as the first shot of the game belonged to home side. Tiivola shot the puck from the right face-off circle but Alikin stopped it cold.
The puck control didn’t change much but all of a sudden the chances that were had belong to Riga. An unnecessary penalty was taken by Amur team giving Riga a shot at gaining the lead. Their power-play looked good at the early point of it as Radil and Scarlett had magnificent shots that forced scrambles in front of the net but somehow no goal was scored.
Amur raised stakes even further towards the end of the period moving the legs and trying to out battle Riga and it worked. With 1:09 left in the frame the puck bounced out of the corner and right on the stick of Vladimir Galuzin who took advantage of Mattsson’s mistake and went five-hole to finish off the period with a score of 1:0 for Khabarovsk side.
In the second period Riga came out as a brand new time actively creating chances and attempting to tie the match. On multiple occasions there were opportunities to do so but Alikin still looked sharp. Amur expressed and showcased frustration on rare occassion but overall Mattsson didn’t have much to do in the first minutes of the period.
Dinamo team managed to earn a man advantage for the second time in the game and although opportunities appeared - the best one for Emile Poirier who’s shot beat Alikin, bounced off of goalies back but somehow it didn’t go in the net. Tension’s raised and Poirier all of a sudden was on the ground battling with Faizullin.
As Riga’s man advantage ended Amur got themsleves a shot to use a power-play but that also was unsucsefull. Riga once got a power-play but the story continued - wasted shot at a tie as the period ran down. Another incident on the ice made changes in the officiating department - one of the main guys on the ice had to leave the game due to a cut on his chin. Amur still were up by a single goal after fourty.
Amur doubles down
Riga still were the better team in the third period showcasing all sorts of attacks but the bounces didn’t want to go their way. The puck cycled around opposing offensive zone for the most of the time early on but the tie was nowhere to be seen.
Plenty of penalties followed up - Amur earned a shot to play with a man up but got caught changing and the game went to four-on-four. Shortly after Rudolf Ceverny got a hooking call that sent Riga down by yet another player - all penalties were negated.
Amur did however, find the back of the net once more - Vladimir Butuzov entered the zone and shot the puck far corner in a perfect manner giving Mattsson zero chances of making the save. Jere Karjalainen finally pulled through for Riga with a re-direct to assure score would be cut down to a one goal deficit. Goalie was pulled in order to reach the equaliser but it wasn’t enough as Dinamo Riga lost their second in a row.
Rudolf Ceverny seemed to have the key of the game down while realising where Riga has to improve in order to earn victories ‘’I think we were pretty active today. We tried our best but of course we didn’t score enough goals. We have to be hungry near the net and that’s the key. I think we have to work in practices in order to score. Be more hungry, be in front of the net, screen the goalie and find the puck. It’s all about that. It’s too bad for us that we don’t have any points. They are a good team but as I already said - we played good but we didn’t score any goals. It’s been a problem for us for a while now and we have to work on that.’’