Avangard Lose More than a Game
Sunday October 12th 2008, 3:22 am

Avangard Omsk suffered a 4-2 loss to CSKA Moscow on the scoreboard on Saturday — their first regulation defeat in ten tries. But more importantly they may have lost both of their goaltenders to injury. According to Sports.ru, Omsk starter John Graham suffered an injury to his elbow during the pre-game skate, forcing a last-minute substitution by Alexander Fomichov. Fomichov, according to the article, suffered a leg injury in the middle of the first period, but was able to finish the match. There’s no word yet on the severity of either injury or how much time either goalkeeper may miss.

The Hawks once again got off to a quick start, earning their first power play early in the second minute of the game. It took only 17 seconds for Alexei Bondarev to capitalize and give the visitors the 1-0 lead, off assists by Jaromir Jagr and Dmitri Pestunov, who leads the KHL in assists with 16. But sloppy defense cost Avangard the lead, and even strength goals by former NHLer Oleg Saprykin, who skated around 3 Hawks to go in on Formichev alone at 11:26 and Mika Hannula at 17:28 of the period gave the CSKA the lead as the teams headed to the dressing room at the end of one.

Omsk captain Alexander Svitov tied things up with an even strength goal at 7:27 of the second, and the teams went into the 3rd tied at two. Saprykin got his second of the game just prior to the five minute mark of the third to give the home team a lead that would stick. The Hawks pressured for the tying marker through the third, but a penalty by Dmitri Ryabikin with just 1:44 left to play prevented Omsk from getting the extra skater and gave CSKA the power play on which they’d make the final score 4-2 at 19:51.

Ranger prospect Alexei Cherepanov saw his league-leading 9-game point streak come to an end as he and his linemates were held off the scoreboard. He finished a -1 as the result of being on the ice for Saprikhin’s game-winner, and was charged with a high-sticking penalty early in the second period.

Avangard faces Chris Simon and Vityaz Chekhov, who lead the league with 578 penalty minutes — 195 more than the second highest club — on Monday.

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