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Ice hockey - KHL: Dinamo Minsk end losing streak with win in Moscow

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By Continetal Hockey League website

Spartak Moscow 4 Dinamo Minsk 5 (3-2, 1-2, 0-1)

Goals: 0-1 Pavlovich (7:14); 0-2 Pulkkinen (Martynov, Gotovets 8:03); 1-2 Rylov (Karsums 9:06); 2-2 Hersley (Zubov, Hanzl 12:07 PP); 3-2 Yunkov (Leshchenko 17:23); 4-2 Karsums (23:30); 4-3 Kostitsyn (Pare, Gotovets 24:31); 4-4 Elliott (Demkov 30:59); 4-5 Stefanovich (Elliott, Pare 57:45 PP)

Goalies: Bespalov (Khomchenko 30:59) – Osipkov

Dinamo Minsk got its first victory of the season in dramatic fashion, with a late goal from Mikhail Stefanovich winning a nine-goal thriller in Moscow. The 29-year-old forward has played the bulk of his career in the Belarusian championship, most recently with Yunost Minsk, but returned to Dinamo this season to resume a KHL career that tailed off in 2011. His game-winner was his first in the league since he scored in a playoff defeat against Lokomotiv in February 2011.

Photo: 08.09.19. KHL Championship 2019-2020. Spartak (Moscow) - Dinamo (Minsk)

Before that, though, both teams played a full part in a wild encounter that swayed this way and that. Dinamo, beaten in its first three games, made a fine start and jumped to a 2-0 lead in just eight minutes thanks to Alexander Pavlovich and Teemu Pulkkinen. Spartak responded immediately, led at the first intermission and enjoyed a two-goal advantage of its own early in the middle frame when Martins Karsums made it 4-2.

Minsk wasn’t done. Andrei Kostitsyn reduced the deficit and Stefan Elliott tied the game at the midway stage, prompting Oleg Znarok to replace starting goalie Nikita Bespalov with 24-year-old rookie Pavel Khomchenko. Maybe that was the catalyst for a change in the game: after sharing eight goals in 31 minutes, the teams failed to score again until Stefanovich’s late blast. Karsums, though, went close twice on the breakaway in the third period, hitting the post on one occasion and forcing a save from Alexander Osipkov. The Latvian forward’s frustration was obvious at the time; after Dinamo snatched the win, his angst only intensified.