ARENA RIGA – Team Federov has dominated the 2012 KHL All Star weekend in Riga, winning the skills challenge 5-4 before following it up by winning the main show 15-11.
The day's entertainment began with the traditional skills challenge that saw players from each team participate in a number of activities from the hardest hit puck to the faster skater.
Trailing 3-0 following the first three challenges Team Federov fought back to tie the ledger at four-apiece before winning the deciding ninth challenge that pitted five members of each team against each other in a relay.
Over the course of the skills challenge two new records would be broken with Mikelis Redlihs breaking the KHL record for the fastest lap around the rink, completing the loop in 13.86 seconds whilst Team Federov's Alexander Ryazantsev would break the record for the fastest puck with the Traktor defenseman clocked hitting the rubber disc at 183.67km/hr.
When the game proper got underway Martins Karsums gave the partisan crowd exactly what they had come to see, opening the scoring fest in the 10th minute. Sandis Ozolins then got involved in the action, providing the assists on his team's second and third goals. Helping Ozolins with the assist on his team's third goal was his Dinamo Riga teammate Mikelis Redlihs.
When the opening twenty minutes came to a close it was Team Ozolins leading 4-3.
Following on from his goal in the opening frame Karsums would follow it up with an assist to put his team up 6-4 in the 28th minute.
Perhaps the biggest cheer of the night however would come two minutes later when Chris Holt was put into Team Ozolins' goal for the final 30 minutes.
Much was the nature of the game Holt stood little chance of maintaining a clean slate, eventually allowing 10 goals to go by him. However he would redeem himself to some extent, blocking Evgeny Medvedev's penalty shot with just over two and a half minutes remaining.
At the end of the second period the teams would be tied at eight but it was Team Federov charging ahead in the final 10 minutes, scoring four quick goals to go up 12-8 with 15 minutes remaining.
Team Ozolins would manage to bring the deficit back down to two goals but with Team Federov scoring consistently at the other end of the ice, their lead would never come under threat.
Despite Team Ozolins losing, their captain would allow his home town fans to go home with smiles on their faces with the 39-year-old sending a penalty shot past Michael Garnett with 90 seconds left on the clock.