HC Dinamo Minsk (KHL) earned a 2-1 win over Ak Bars Kazan (KHL) in the match for the 5th place at the international ice hockey tournament in Riga, the Latvian Railways Cup. The victory became the first for Dinamo Minsk against a KHL team in the current off-season.
Despite the fact that no trophies and tournament prospects were at stake in the match, the teams did not decide to make it “a goals open day”. The teams could not create real scoring chances until almost the end of the first period when the score was opened on a goal by Dinamo forward Aleksei Yefimenko. Ak Bars tied the game early in the second stanza on a goal by forward Chris Burk, assisted by former Dinamo player and Minsk fans’ favorite Tim Stapleton. The 1-1 deadlock until almost the end of the game was broken by Dinamo forward Dmitry Meleshko who raced one-on-one with Kazan goaltender Konstantin Barulin to score what turned to be the winner at 58:13. The time-out and the sixth attacker on the ice did not help Ak Bars take the game into overtime.
Goalies Kevin Lalande and Konstantin Barulin were voted MVP of the match.
The Riga tournament is over for the Minsk club. 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 settled for the third place at Ruslan Salei Memorial in Minsk with two losses against HC Khabarovsk Amur (1:2) and HC Spartak Moscow (1:5), and one win over HC Grodno Neman (3:1). Today's win in Riga was the first one for HC Dinamo Minsk over a KHL club before the start of the KHL Season 6. On 5 September, Dinamo Minsk will take to the ice in Riga again to take on HC Dinamo Riga for the first match of the KHL championship. Perhaps a new player will appear on the Minsk roster. According to head coach Alexander Andrievski, on the return from Latvia the club expects an answer from Belarus national team forward Alexei Kalyuzhny.