MOSCOW, May 2 (RIA Novosti)
This past KHL season has seen a slight rise stadium attendances but a drop in the average number of goals per game, statistics released Wednesday showed.
League officials keen to export the competition to as many European nations as possible will be scrutinizing the numbers to try to gauge whether the nascent Russian-based competition is hitting growth targets in its fourth season.
Figures posted on the KHL website showed 4.32 million people visited the 704 matches of the 2011-12 season, a modest rise of 30,000 from last season. That translates to an average of 6,136 fans per match, up from 5,200 in the KHL's inaugural 2008-09 season but far less than half the NHL's averages.
Those fans see less goals than they did when the league started, indicating a rise in competitiveness, the KHL said.
They got 5.5 goals per game in 2008-09, but now see 5.2, a tad less than the 5.3 goals per game in North America this season.
Backing up the league's increased-competition claim is the number of games going to overtime, up from 169 four seasons ago to 188 this season.
Dynamo Moscow won this year's Gagarin Cup by defeating Avangard Omsk 4-3 in the best-of-seven series. It was overshadowed by a doping scandal involving Avangard defenseman Anton Belov.
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