At the start of the new season of the Estonian Hokiliiga 2020-21, champion HK Välk 494 loses at HC Everest 5-6 in a penalty-shoot-out – league newcomer HC Panter wins at Narva PSK 4-2.
Five teams have named for the Estonian Hokiliiga for the new 2020-21 season: in addition to Champion Välk 494, HC Everest, Narva PSK, HC Panter and HC Vipers from Tallinn. The Vikings Tallinn are no longer in the league. The games took place under strict health regulations due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
Champion Välk 494 traveled to HC Everest for the opening game. It was to be an extraordinary game with 291 spectators. HC Välk 494 took the lead according to the program, Danil Galimulin scored 1-0 for the reigning champion (5.) in a power play. But Everest played along and Michael Tugo scored the goal to equalize 1-1 (13.). However, just before the end of the first period, Välk came to another power play and Fedor Gusynin scores 2-1 (19.).
The second period was followed by a good, fast game, but also with some penalties on both sides. Andrei Rozinko (Everest) and Alexander Krivosheev (Välk) each had to sit in the penalty box for four minutes. Almost three minutes before the second break, Välk had one of the many power-play opportunities, and Vassili Titarenko, after assisting Danil Galimulin, scores 3-1 (27.). With this score it went into the second break and into a turbulent third period.
Everest had to start this third period with one player less as Mihhail Lupanov was still in the penalty box. It took only 15 seconds and Fedor Gusynin scored, with his second goal, the 4-1 for Välk (41.). Anyone who now thought the game was in favor of the champion was wrong. Everest once again mobilized all forces and launched a real offensive. After a pass from Michael Tugo, Andrei Parshin scored the connecting goal to 2-4 (44.). The Välk team was getting nervous and Everest knew how to use it. Just 52 seconds later, Andrei Rozinko hits the 3-4 (45.). In the 52nd minute, Everest came to a power play. Everest coach Anatoli Dubkov takes a time-out to discuss the next steps, he saw the chance. This measure was rewarded, because just a minute later Nikolai Len equalized 4-4 (54.). After this goal, Välk coach Alexei Bogdanov also took a time-out to interrupt the flow of Everest. Välk’s team came together again and Vassili Titarenko made it 5-4 (58.) just two minutes before the end. But Everst didn’t give up and risked everything again. With just a second to go, Välk defender Nikita Tsyganov brought down Everest attacker Mihail Lupanov and the underdog received a penalty. Lupanov knew how to use this opportunity and scored the 5-5 with his penalty in the last second.
An over-time followed in which there were some chances, but no more goals were scored and the penalty shoot-out had to be decided. This fell in the first round because only Maksim Tsaltsev scored the goal to win with the fourth penalty. With this success, HC Everest ensured a perfect start to the new season.
HC Everest vs HK Välk 494 6-5 SO (1-2, 0-1, 4-2, 0-0. 1-0)
In the second game of the new season, the HC Panter visited Narva PSK. After a goalless first period, the first goals were scored in period two. David Baranek (11th) and Mikhel Vorang (13th) put Panter in the front 2-0. In the third period Daniel Baranek scored 3-1 (42nd) in a power play for Panter. Only after this goal was Narva more active and Pavel Kulakov scored the connecting goal to 1-3 (48th). NArva continued and when Jegor Novzorov scored for 2-3 shortly before the end, hope arose. This was destroyed, however, because Daniel Barane scored the decisive 4-2 for Panter, twenty seconds before the end. With this Panter celebrates its first victory of the new current season.
Narva PSK vs HC Panter 2-4 (0-0,0-2, 2-2)