CHELYABINSK – Dinamo Riga has produced arguably their biggest result of the season, defeating Eastern Conference Leaders Traktor 3-2 on their own ice on Thursday night.
Coming into the match Dinamo Riga were under no illusions as to the massive task that lay ahead of them if they were to skate away with three points and the men in maroon delivered producing a goal in each of the three periods to retain a 15-point buffer between themselves and Western Conference ninth-place holders Spartak.
Putting his hand up highest in the important match was Marcel Hossa, proving just how valuable of an asset he is since resigning with the Latvian club by providing an assist and two goals.
Hossa was shining from the opening face-off, setting up Girts Ankipans to put the visitors ahead in just the second minute of play.
Traktor would do their best to bring the deficit back before the end of the period but back in goal after a one match rest, Chris Holt was showing himself to be up to the task of keeping a clean sheet, seeing off the only six shots that the home team would be able to produce in the opening 20 minutes.
In the second period Traktor would lift their offensive intensity, doubling their shots on goal which would finally produce the desired result with Gennady Razin tying scores in the 26th minute.
With time running down it looked as if that was how scores would remain going into the final 20 minutes but with just 19 seconds to play in the period Hossa would surprise the hosts, sending the puck past Michael Garnett in goal after being set up by Niclas Lucenius.
In the 45th minute scores would be tied again when Vladimir Antipov added the home team's second.
But it would be the last say that Traktor would have in the game with Hossa once more providing the spoils exactly a minute later with his second and what would ultimately prove to be the game-winning goal. Captain Sandis Ozolins and Oskars Cibulskis were attributed with the assist.
In seven games since returning to Riga, Hossa has now produced four goals and two assists.
Dinamo Riga now return home to enjoy the KHL All-Star game at Arena Riga on Saturday before taking to the ice once more on Tuesday for another stern test when they take on the high-flying Torpedo.