November 24, 2008

Dinamo - Lada Tolyatti, game review

Dinamo Riga Vs.
Lada Tolyatti

This was the second meeting of the teams this season (Dinamo lost the first game 0:6). Marcel Hossa was finally in the roster. The goalies for the game were Prusek and Koshechkin.

Riga had a chance to open the result already at the first minute and then held some more attacks. Lada answered once, but the puck hit the goal-post. Riga continued attacking, but Hossa got a two minute penalty for interference giving Lada a chance for disturbing Dinamos’ goalkeeper. Riga, however, defended very well; Ladas’ players did almost nothing in their offence zone. After – the game was equal, both teams attacked, but Dinamos’ were a bit more dangerous. On the 13th minute Riga got a power-play, but had only one real goal-scoring moment. Some seconds after the guests were at full-strenght, they once again got a PP (Lavins for tripping), but Ladas’ shots were easily for Prusek to catch. And then – again – Riga got a PP and again – nothing special happened. All attacks that were held in the first twenty minutes were attacks only conditionally, 0:0 – an absolutely fair result.

At the second periods beginning Ladas’ player Niemi got a penalty, which Dinamo didn’t fulfill, but had nice chances to score, especially at the end of the PP. Dinamo was more active the next minutes, but still – it’s hard to name their attacks very dangerous. Lada didn’t attack at all, they were just holding the puck in Dinamos’ zone. Only in the middle of the period the guests finally managed to take roots in the offence zone and their shots weren’t the easiest. Dinamo players took the puck away after all and got a power-play, which didn’t bring any dividends; what’s more – Dinamo almost got a goal in their net and Galvins had to break the rules in order to save the team. Being short-handed Cipulis had a moment, but Koshechkin was in his place. Nothing interesting happened in the rest time of the period. As Matt Ellison said in the interview – Dinamo has everything right now, except a goal, it’s all the team needs and “we will make it”.

Nizivijs had a solo raid in the beginning of the third period – without any result. Just like Dinamos’ next attacks. By the way, clashes happened from time to time; the game was getting more strained. Dinamos’ pressure was also getting stronger. After one of Riga’s attacks Westcott and Mikhnov almost had a fight, but they were parted in time and both went in the penalty box, living the teams to play 4x4. When the score-board showed 54:34 Chernikov and Mikhnov carried out a very beautiful attack – Mikhnov laid the goalie down, gave the puck to Chernikov, who hit the top of the empty net! The score was finally opened! After the goal Lada tried to score again, Dinamo tried to tie the result and a good chance was given when Riga got a PP. Dinamo shot and shot, but Koshechkin was great. And in the last minute Lada did everything right – controlled the puck, not giving Dinamo any chances to pull the goalkeeper out. Ellison wasn't right, alas.

Well… Dinamo lost again. And Dinamo couldn’t score for the second game in a row, which makes 6 periods or 120 minutes without goals. Maybe Dinamo was a little better here and there today, but just a little, it’s not enough for scoring and winning. This game was quite fluent and borring, in my opinion. Dinamo still wasn’t so good, it can do better; Lada, however, played it’s hockey and I think won deservingly. The team maybe stands lower than Dinamo, but it’s still more experienced and qualified. Besides Lada is in one divison with Riga, which means these teams will have two more games between one another. And two matches, which already have been played, showed that the club from Tolyatti is a very inconvenient opponent for Dinamo, but it still possible to win it. And Dinamo must do that. Dinamo must not only win Lada in the next matches, but it also must win the next match, just to feel, that it’s possible, to gain confidence in its strength. But first of all Dinamo must, of course, score.

Whit hopes for all of this, with hopes that “we will make it” awaiting the next game, which will be on November 26, with Traktor. The first match between Riga and Chelyabinsk ended 4:3 for Traktor.

Dinamo - Lada 0:1 (0:0, 0:0, 0:1)

Goal: 54:34 Chernikov(Mikhnov) 0:1
Penalties: 8-8.

Download video (torrent) from this game here.

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