About the League
Three regular season games took place in Parimatch Junior Hockey League on March 1st. Two rivals met in Russia’s Far East, while Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk and Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk began their last back-to-back series before the playoffs.
Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk close out their regular season with a back-to-back series against Sarmaty Orenburg. Should the ‘Steel Foxes’ sweep the opposition, there is a chance they can rise as high as fifth place in Eastern Conference standings. The game began with the hosts turning the puck over in their defensive zone but Nikolai Gnezdilov couldn’t beat Gleb Moiseyev from point-blank range. Orenburg struggled to kill off a penalty but Stalnye Lisy still broke the ice right after Sarmaty went back to playing full-strength. Mikhail Gonchar sent it past Timerkhan Fayzulin. Magnitogorsk had several chances to improve their lead as they were spending more time in the offensive zone but to no avail. The visitors took just four shots on Moiseyev in the second period of action.
In the final stanza Sarmaty continued to pile up penalties and they had to pay for one of them. Yegor Martynov could have scored himself but he hit the bar. In the very next shift Danil Gololobov improved the lead for Stalnye Lisy. Last few minutes were worrisome for Magnitogorsk as late in regulation Orenburg got a goal back – Zakhar Lobov found the back of the net. However, the visitors failed to go for one final push as they got an unnecessary penalty for too many men on the ice. Stalnye Lisy Magnitogorsk win the hard-fought game 2-1.
Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk faced Ladiya Togliatti on home ice, eyeing to return to Top-3 of the Eastern Conference table with a win. Togliatti are playing their last games of the season and didn’t feel like giving up without a good fight. They opened up the scoring 10 minutes in – Stepan Steshenko received the puck from Fyodor Svechkov and sent it high past goaltender Artyom Danilov. The hosts responded with a goal on a power play. Notably, it took ‘Polar Bears’ just 12 seconds to capitalize on the opportunity – Valery Sapozhnikov found the back of the net. Chelyabinsk got a bench minor for unsportsmanlike conduct early in the second period of action as their coaching staff disputed Yegor Gorbunov’s penalty. The visitors failed to regain the lead, although Yegor Savikov got close hitting a post.
Belye Medvedi went on to capitalize on a man-advantage of their own. Chelyabinsk leader Danil Zinovyev added another tally to his growing total as he slipped it in from the doorstep. When third stanza was just 30 seconds young, the parity was restored. Steshenko scored his second of the game with Granlund style shot. Several more key events took place midway through the frame. Belye Medvedi got in the lead with a tally by Alexander Polushkin. The visitors got back even right away – Andrei Malinov was first on the rebound after Chelyabinsk turned the puck over in their defensive zone. Nevertheless, it was the hosts who got the win as Dmitry Sheshin scored the deciding marker. The forward broke into the zone off a solo effort, skated to the middle of the ice and sniped one past Ladiya goaltender Anton Vinogradov. Belye Medvedi enjoy a 4-3 win in a hard-fought game, surpass Tolpar Ufa in Eastern Conference standings and land among Top-3 teams.