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17 Oct, 2010 11:17

Dynamo Riga upset KHL leaders

KHL leaders Dynamo Moscow slipped to a surprise 2-1 home defeat to Dynamo Riga as the Latvian side claimed their fourth straight victory.

At the start of the season, the smart money would have been on the likes of SKA St. Petersburg, AK Bars or Salavat Yulaev to win the third edition of the Gagarin Cup.

But out of nowhere, Dynamo Moscow, has emerged as a team to watch, as they came into their match with Dynamo Riga, with a healthy lead at the top of the Western Conference.

And they justified their reputation as one of the KHL's hottest teams by playing some scintillating hockey early on, which was enough to give them the lead, after only five minutes. Denis Mosalyov managed to get on the end of a fine pass to give the Muscovites just the start they were hoping for.

The visitors were under immense pressure, and were lucky to be just one goal behind, but against the run of play, they leveled up the game at one apiece two minutes before the end of the first period. Mikelis Redlikis found himself in the right place at the right time, to restore parity.

That goal gave Dynamo Riga renewed confidence, and they went 2-1 in front midway through the second period, following a fine finish from Brook Trotter. The Manitoba native fired a wrist shot over Mike Garnett's shoulder, giving his fellow Canadian no chance.

Both sides had chances to score, with perhaps the best of them falling to Dynamo Moscow's, Grigory Shafigulin. But he was unable to get the puck past the excellent Mikel Telquvist, as the visitors handed the Muscovites, just their second home defeat of the season.

It was a good match to watch, and even at this early stage, both sides look like they are already worthy Gagarin Cup contenders, while the Muscovites, won't have to wait too long to gain revenge, as the teams face-off again in Riga in just over a week.