In recent games Dinamo Riga have had Lady Luck on their side but unfortunately she completely evaded the home side last night. On numerous occasions, particularly in the last period, fans and players alike were left scratching their heads as to how the puck was not going into the back of the net.
Plenty was on the line for Latvia’s players with the middle Baltic state’s national coach Oleg Znarok is also coaching MVD. With a friendly game coming up against Denmark next month, not to mention the Olympics in February, the mainly Latvian team were using the game as a trial of sorts as they attempted to impress Znarok.
The game ebbed and flowed through out the opening exhanges as both teams tried to stamp their authority on the game. In the end it was the visitors who went ahead first through Denis Kokarev in the 17th minute.
Into the second period and again neither team was willing to give an inch with Dinamo Riga having their fair share of opportunities only to come up agonisingly short every time. At the other end however, MVD were having somewhat more luck as they extended the lead to two through Denis Mosalev in the eighth minute.
Finally the 8,230 strong crowd were given something to cheer about just after the half-time mark in the game when Mārtiņš Cipulis connected perfectly on to a well timed pass from Ņiživijs. Cipulis made no mistake at firing the puck home past a defenseless Garnett. As the end of the period approached Dinamo Riga again had an opportunity to score against a power play but again the finishing touch evaded them.
The final period provided more action than the previous two combined without actually producing a goal. The crowd spent as much time out of their seats as they did in them as their beloved Dinamo Riga kept coming agonizingly close to finding the equalizer. Back to back power-plays late in the game were also not enough to assist Dinamo Riga with the puck simply refusing to find its way into the back of the net.
Juliuss Suplers acknowledged that the tight game could be attributed to the two teams employing similar game plans but with the result remaining an uncertainty until the dying end. Znarok was complimentary in his evaluation of the Dinamo Riga performance acknowledging they had played well. He felt that the KHL is good preparation ground for the players who will be involved in his national team in just over two weeks time.
Dinamo Riga now travel to St. Petersburg to meet with SKA on Thursday evening.