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Yashin secures SKA victory in exhibition against Carolina

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Uploaded on Oct 22, 2010

NHL and former USSR clubs are getting the chance to battle it out once again after a 20-year break. The Carolina Hurricanes and Phoenix Coyotes play SKA St. Petersburg and Dinamo Riga respectively this week.

The game in Russia is already over.

"Blast From the Past" would be a perfect description for this day, as thousands of hockey fans will become witnesses to a revival of a tradition that ceased to exist along with the Soviet Union around 20 years ago. The NHL is back in the post Soviet space, hopefully to stay.

Exhibition matches between Russian and North American hockey teams have always been special for players and fans alike. Despite having a friendly status, these games have always been full of intensity and the venue would have been sold out long before the match.

2006 Stanley Cup winners Carolina Hurricanes and SKA St. Petersburg were first on display in Russia.

It was the last match for Carolina before the team starts its regular season in the NHL, while the KHL season is already underway.

It was difficult to predict how the game would shape up, keeping in mind the fact that the Russian team has former NHL stars of its own -- Maksim Afinogenov, Evgeny Nabokov, Aleksey Yashin and Maksim Sushinsky are just a few of those players from Ivan Zanatta's roster.

The head coach was pleased, to say the least, witnessing his team's convincing 5-3 win against Carolina.

SKA scored two goals in the first period, showing their serious intent from the get go. Carolina replied with two of their own in the second.

And it was right about time for the eternal rivals to show some fans what they had been waiting for -- some serious man-on-man combat action between Tim Gleason and Aleksey Petrov. The result: a match penalty for both involved.

In the third period, it was all but a Yashin-Sushinsky game. The first claimed two assists, and together with a goal in the second period became the Man of the Match, while the later claimed a so-important brace.

SKA won the main battle on ice, 5-3, however, it was no walk in the park for them or their opponents.

One more NHL-KHL match will take place in Latvia on Wednesday, as local outfit Dinamo takes on Phoenix.

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