North Stars 6, Khimik 4
BLOOMINGTON, Minn. (AP) _ Ilkka Sinisalo’s penalty-shot goal ignited a rally in a 2:45 span of the second period, leading the Minnesota North Stars to a 6-4 exhibition victory over the touring Soviet Khimik team.
Mitch Messier scored twice for Minnesota, and Dave Gagner, Pat MacLeod and Ulf Dahlen each added a goal. The game was part of the NHL Super Series, in which one of three Soviet teams will play in each NHL city. Minnesota’s victory evened the NHL’s combined record thus far at 3-3-1.
Sinisalo was awarded the penalty shot 14:01 into the second period when Khimik’s Leonid Trukhno threw his stick in an attempt to stop a two-man break by Sinisalo and Dave Gagner.
Sinisalo beat Khimik goalie Alexei Chervyakov with a wrist shot low on the glove side to tie the game at 2-2. Dahlen tipped in Jim Johnson’s shot from the right point 12 seconds later, and Messier made it 4-2 by converting a feed from Mike Modano with 3:12 left in the period.
Valeri Zelepukin, Oleg Yashin, Roman Oksyuta and Trukhno scored for Khimik.
The victory was just the second for Minnesota in 10 games against Soviet teams dating back to 1978 (2-8-0), and its first at home. The North Stars beat Khimik during Minnesota’s four-game preseason tour of the Soviet Union in September.
Three Soviet teams are playing seven games each in the Series, the second straight season in which every NHL city has hosted a Soviet visitor. Tuesday’s game was Khimik’s last in the U.S.; the Central Red Army begins its series Dec. 26 at Detroit and Dynamo Riga opens its tour Jan. 1 at Toronto.
The Series has met with a degree of success this season, drawing crowds of more than 10,000 in four cities (including 16,245 in Montreal, and less than 3,000 for games against the Bruins and Islanders.
The North Stars, last in NHL attendance for the fourth straight year with an average 6,844, drew just 4,250 for Tuesday’s game.
Four of the North Stars’ top six scorers - Neal Broten, Brian Propp, Brian Bellows and Bobby Smith - sat out the game and the team called up five players from its Kalamazoo, Mich. farm team.