Dinamo Riga moved to within a point of the playoff places after recording back-to-back wins for the first time since November 15 – but had to survive a late scare when Dinamo Minsk tied this game with three seconds left on the clock.
Alexei Tereshchenko made it 2-2 with that late, late play, forcing the game into overtime. Then the Belarusians killed a penalty in the extras to take the game to a shoot-out and leave many home fans wondering if the fates were against their team this evening. In the end, though, shoot-out goals from Mikelis Redlihs and Mathew Maione were enough to give Riga the verdict.
It had seemed that a Lauris Darzins goal midway through the third period would be decisive. The forward, a two-goal hero in Tuesday’s hard-fought victory over Slovan, started the scoring play by battling to keep the puck in the Minsk end. Then, after Maione and Redlihs brought the puck behind the visitor’s net, Darzins returned to fire home a one-timer that put Riga up for the first time in the game.
Earlier, Minsk grabbed an early lead when David Booth opened the scoring after 74 seconds. But the Latvians levelled the game in the second period thanks to a Brandon McMillan goal.