MOSCOW, January 4 (R-Sport) - A late strike from former Tampa Bay Lightning center Paul Szczechura gave troubled KHL team Dinamo Riga a good start to the new year with a 3-2 win over Dynamo Minsk.
Thursday's win allows Riga to take 12th in the Western Conference and move off the last spot in the Bobrov Division, while Minsk stays ninth in the West, just outside the playoffs.
Szczechura’s goal on 51:35 canceled out ex-Winnipeg Jets forward Tim Stapleton’s equalizer for host team Minsk a minute earlier.
In the first period, Oskars Cibulskis and Alexandre Giroux had given Riga a 2-0 led, before Vladimir Denisov made it a one-goal game again early in the second.
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The main event of the third day of the 11th meeting of the Valdai International Discussion Club in Sochi was the closing session with President Vladimir Putin. The atmosphere was calm and open, despite the current political tensions and the Russia-West confrontation. The Russian president said that it corresponded to the spirit of the Valdai Club.