About the League
Five key moments of the game with comments from both head-coaches.
After the first two games of the semifinal series both Western Conference teams are up 2-0. Tolpar Ufa got very close to bringing East the first win over West as the game in Moscow went to the shootout.
Strong start by Tolpar
After Game 1, which JHC Dynamo Moscow took 4-1, Tolpar Ufa head-coach Igor Grishin was optimistic looking at his team’s chances.
“Hopefully, today was a reconnaissance and the boys are going to bounce back to show their best qualities,” said Grishin.
Early in Game 2 Tolpar proved their coach was right. Ufa won the opening frame and spent a lot of time in the offensive territory.
“The players had to feel the rhythm and tempo in Game 1. They face a Western Conference team for the first time,” explains Grishin. “They boys adapted and showed a more exciting play.”
“We expected Tolpar to play in a completely different way,” shares JHC Dynamo Moscow head-coach Yaroslav Lyuzenkov. “We spoke about it and we warned the boys that the opposition will come out hard and will try to impose their brand of hockey on us. We couldn’t get through to our players.”
Amirov and Bashkirov swap
Yegor Suchkov scored the lone goal of the firs period. He played his second game on the line with Alexander Pashin and Daniil Alalykin. On Saturday he played on the line with Danil Bashkirov and Rodion Amirov. The two latter were put on a line with Timur Valeyev. As a result, Valeyev scored the game-tying goal off assists by their linemates.
“After an unfortunate game every coach is looking for something to fix,” states Grishin. “I believe, that today’s lines were more exciting than the day before. At least, judging by their play.”
Tolpar stayed out of the box for over 110 minutes – from second period of their last game of the series against Chayka Nizhny Novgorod up till 25th minute in Sunday’s game in Moscow. That’s over five periods.
Dynamo converted on their initial power play opportunity of the game to tie it up. A minute later Dmitry Rashevsky put the blue-and-white in the lead. Five minutes after that Bogdan Trineyev improved the lead to 3-1.
At the moment it seemed that Tolpar may break down. Dynamoe were very close to score a few more goals but they didn’t and Yaroslav Lyuzenkov knows exactly why.
“It happens when players focus not on scoring goals but on making pretty plays,” he says. “They do it when all they need to do is put the puck on net, get the screen in front, and shove it in for a garbage goal. But that’s what youth is like. In Junior Hockey League they want to make pretty plays and that leads to mistakes.”
Ufa scored their second goal of the game late in the second period and Dynamo gave them a chance to bring it back to even. Vladislav Mikhailov got a double-minor for high-sticking. Tolpar couldn’t convert on the ensuing man-advantage. Ufa evened it up a little later, switching to playing three lines.
“We felt that our top lines have an upper hand over Dynamo and when our fourth line was on the ice, the game balanced out,” noted Grishin. “With 15 minutes remaining to play in the third frame we made a decision to switch to rotating three lines. That’s why the intensity went up. More skilled players were on the ice more often and that allowed us to get the momentum on our side.”
Beauty by Rashevsky
The teams played with caution in the 10-minute overtime combining for just three shots. Rodion Amirov scored for Tolpar in the shootout, but the most beautiful – and game-clinching attempt – belonged to Dmitry Rashevsky. It’s something you just have to see.