Riga suffered yet another loss at home this time - 0:4 against the Lokomotiv team. The main key of the game was special teams.
Andrei Skabelka congratulated his players with a well deserved victory noting the special teams. “Our special teams did well, both power-play and playing and penalty kill worked well. That’s what ultimately brought us the victory.”
Sergei Zubov was visibly disappointed in the result but kept a positive thought. “We didn’t play bad, we just started actually playing way too late, only in the second period when the game had already gone their way. We will once again have to analyse things and start working on taking advantage of our scoring chances.”
Just 10 days ago Dinamo Riga played against Lokomotiv on the road - now places are switched and Yaroslavl side are now visitors at the Arena Riga. Both sides have been off to a slow start - hosts are 1-3-0 so far this season while Loko hold a 1-2-1 record and have arrived in Riga with three straight loses. In their previous meeting Dinamo showed that they can play against anybody and put up a fight, however the tale of holding down their fort showed instantly - they were able to go up 2:0 but dropped the game in the closing stages, when Lokomotiv switched gears and began applying strong pressure to eventually take a 3:2 victory. Latvian side hasn’t been able to beat the train for eight straight games.
Early on you could see some similarities to the previous game, penalties were meant to happen - Gints Meija was sent to the box for holding just a minute and 40 seconds into the first period. Lokomotiv created a hurricane generating chances but Matej Machovsky stood tall in the net negating opposing attacks. However, the guest struck first shortly after - Max Shalunov found Artur Kayumov and that was enough to give Lokomotiv a 1:0 lead. Shortly after it was 2:0 already and yet another penalty kill. Nothing seemed to go for the home side in the first five minutes of the game as the lamp lit up for the third time, this time it was Georgy Ivanov with the goal. Coach Zubov had to make something happen and after using his time-out earlier, he decided that it was time to change the goalies. Machkovsky headed to the bench as Johan Mattson took his place. Riga finally managed to create some momentum and earned their own opportunity to play 5-on-4 hockey but Edward Pasquale stopped everything that reached him. Practice makes perfect - Lokomotiv goalie tripped Gunars Skvorcovs to give Riga back-to-back man advantages but still no goals. Meanwhile Pavel Kraskovsy demonstrated how it’s done and made it 4:0 and he did it on powerplay. 4:0 after twenty minutes of hockey.
The undisciplined game carried over into the second period as well. This time Dinamo’s Lukas Radil was sent to the box for a high-sticking penalty. This time with the help of steady defence Riga managed to keep the puck out of the net. Riga needed a spark but the tension had raised so much that after an incident next to Dinamo’s net a line brawl wasn’t far from happening. Refs immediately calmed things down and assigned Ceverny and Misyul to serve roughing penalties. Eventually the home side began playing harder and even managed to generate some scoring chances, however the opposing counter attacks were far more dangerous. The score remained the same after two periods.
At the start of the third Lokomotiv kept pressuring as they didn’t seem to be switching a gear down. They were hungry and they were looking to add more but couldn’t manage to find the back of the net while Riga kept looking for their first one. Late in the third that opportunity presented itself, power-play usually worked well for Dinamo but this time around it wasn’t meant to be and Riga suffered a 4:0 loss at home.