SKA-Neftyanik were facing Syktyvkar Stroitel, the team that currently tops the list of surprises in the Russian Bandy League. With having no ice of their own and using an alternative bandy rink in Ulyanovsk, they were off to the best start ever in their history to steamroll Volga, 11-2 and to down a very strong Kazan AK Bars Dynamo, 5-1. So the game against our hometown team were to become sort of reality check for the visitors, which landed up with 6-2 in SKA favor.
SKA, with Pavel Ryazantsev back to the line-up, came out really good right from the start. Five minutes into the game Artyom Bondarenko gracefully opened the scoring with a first halftime tally in a mishmash flocking in front of the opponent's net. Then it came a no fruitful passage with few opportunities for the both parties throughout the half time. Closer to the intermission Dmitriy Sidorov fired a stroke from out of the radius for Tuomas Mattaa to score off the rebound to give SKA a 2-0 lead. Stroitel managed to trim the deficit with an excellent execution of the corner stroke, 2-1, with a few seconds into the break.
As the contest went on in the second half, it was clear SKA were not satisfied with the going-on situation. They kept bypassing the press and created attacking opportunities that resulted in a off the corner goal by Yuriy Shardakov, 3-1. That didn’t mean that our hometown team stopped coming, though. The one and only Pavel Ryazantsev contributed after a long-lasting attack midway through the second half, 4-1. This encounter ended up with a 6 - 2 scoreline. Congratulations on his 300th game in the League to Dmitriy Starikov!