Junior Hockey League presents the finalists of 2017 Kharlamov Cup Playoffs. Krasnaya Armiya Moscow beat Kuznetskie Medvedi Novokuznetsk in three games in the semifinal series and went on to face Reaktor Nizhnekamsk, who took one extra game to eliminate Almaz Cherepovets.
‘Army men’ improve their game with every round. Boris Mironov’s men didn’t encounter stiff opposition in the series against either Russkie Vityazi Moscow Region in the quarterfinals, or Kunetskie Medvedi in the semifinals. The toughest series the red-and-blue had to go through was against MHC Dinamo St. Petersburg, which went on for all five games. At a certain point Krasnaya Armiya was on the brink of elimination but they got a win on the road in St. Petersburg and then beat Dinamo by the same count in deciding Game 5 – 6-3.
Despite Kuznetskie Medvedi’s commitment and effort, Krasnaya Armiya always seemed to be a step ahead of their opponents. They had no trouble coming back from behind, and their top players brought their game to another level just when their team needed it the most. At times Krasnaya Armiya fans were biting their nails but everything ended well for their team in the end. Novokuznetsk were down 4-0 in Game 3, scored two goals but that wasn’t enough.
Аlexander Samoilov is without a doubt Krasnaya Armiya’s starting goaltender once again. Although, Artyom Korepanov can replace him any minute if something goes wrong. Semyon Koshelev put his skill on display as he scored five goals in three games of the series and added two assists to that for five points. The 21-year-old forward really made an impact in Game 1 as he scored a hat-trick. Andrei Kuzmenko continues to top the team in playoff scoring and he racked a number of points again in the series against Kuznetskie Medvedi. Kuzmenko currently has seven goals, nine assists and 16 points. Danila Kvartalnov has 13 points, while captain Ivan Silayev has 10.
Reaktor had to play four games in the series against Almaz. They had beat Avto Yekaterinburg 3-1 in the opening round of the playoffs as well. Alexander Sokolov’s men had to go the distance in the series against Sibirskie Snaipery Novosibirsk Region as the quarterfinal matchup went on for five games. After that tiresome series Nizhnekamsk not only played well against the Western Conference team but also for the first time in franchise history made Kharlamov Cup Finals.
Reaktor hit the ground running only in the first game in Cherepovets – Almaz, led by the most productive defenseman of the playoffs and bronze medalist at the 2017 World Juniors Vadim Kudako, won 5-2. Nizhnekamsk learned from their mistakes and the very next day they enjoyed a win, eliminating Almaz from the playoffs. Cherepovets finished the season with bronze medals.
Up front Reaktor rely on Marat Khairullin and Pavel Poryadin, who tops the league in post-season scoring. The two almost never leave the ice without a point. They are followed closely by two other leaders – Igor Ugolnikov and Rafael Bikmullin, who currently captains Nizhnekamsk team. Defenseman Yegor Sorokin has just one less point than Ugolnikov. As for goaltending, Reaktor still like to shake it up. For example, Alexander Yenyushin didn’t play in Game 4 in Cherepovets. He was replaced by Roman Golovanov, who has played four games this post-season.
January 21st, 2011, Moscow, Russia. Krasnaya Armiya 9, Reaktor 2
December 1st, 2011, Moscow, Russia. Krasnaya Armiya 15, Reaktor 4
In the 2016-17 playoffs: 13 games, 7 regulation wins, 1 shootout win, 1 overtime win, 4 regulation losses.
Goals For – 48
Goals Against – 28
Top-scorer: Pavel Poryadin – 20 points (7 goals, 13 assists)
Top goal-scorer: Marat Khairullin – 10 goals
Top defenseman: Yegor Sorokin – 9 points (1 goal, 8 assists), plus-1
Starting goaltender: Alexander Yenyushin – 10 games, 5 wins, Goals Against Average – 2.23, average save percentage - .887 per game.
Krasnaya Armiya Moscow
In the 2016-17 playoffs: 11 games, 8 regulation wins, 1 shootout win, 2 regulation losses.
Goals For – 41
Goals Against – 28
Top-scorer: Andrei Kuzmenko – 16 points (7 goals, 9 assists)
Top goal-scorer: Andrei Kuzmenko – 7 goals
Top defenseman: Artyom Chmykhov – 7 points (1 goal, 6 assists), plus-3
Starting goaltender: Alexandr Samoilov – 7 games, 5 wins, Goals Against Average – 2.45, average save percentage - .897 per game.
The games will be played on April 17th, 18th, 21st, 22nd and – if necessary – 25th, 27th and 29th. The first two games of the best-of-seven series will take place in Nizhnekamsk.