The Astana Barys hockey team recently wrapped up a tour of the North-Western countries of the Continental Hockey League (KHL), which included matches against Finland’s Jokerit, Latvia’s Dinamo Riga and St. Petersburg’s SKA hockey teams. The tour produced mixed results and three tour points.
The Barys’ match against Jokeritfrom Helsinki drew much media attention and was one of Jokerit’s highest attended games in recent memory. News about defender Kevin Dallman returning to Astana was published as a separate story. A young man also proposed to his girlfriend during a commercial break in front of 10,000 spectators.
After the game, n coach Erkka Westerlund said his club was able to successfully neutralise the Barys first line.
The game was attended by Ambassador of Kazakhstan to Finland Galymzhan Koishybayev, who was seen with Jokerit General Manager Jari Kurri and First Ambassador of Finland Mikko Kinnunen in the VIP box.
“Not bad, it will not be easy to win,” said Kurri after the first period. Ultimately, the home team prevailed over the visiting Barys.
After Finland, Barys traveled to the Latvian capital Riga where they were able to beat the home team Dinamo Riga. Dinamo coach Artis Ābols later said his team is undergoing a generational shift among coaches, who are all young. He also said he would like to see the top five Barys players play for Dinamo.
The club then traveled to St. Petersburg, Russia to play SKA. The home team took an early 4-1 lead, but the Barys quickly battled back and within five minutes had tied the score. SKA, however, was later able to regain the lead for good.
In related news, after the game SKA player Patrick Thoresen was asked about Oslo’s decision to pull out of the running to host the 2022 Winter Olympics.
“Of course, I supported the idea of holding the games in Norway, but the majority has decided otherwise. Almaty is probably a better candidate in this case,”said Thoresen.