8th Junior Hockey League season action resumed on April 9th with two Game 3s of the semifinal round. Kuznetskie Medvedi hosted Krasnaya Armiya Moscow in Novokuznetsk in front of a soldout crowd and with no room for mistake.
Novokuznetsk came out hard for this one, fittingly for the home team. Hometown crowd packed the rink and cheered ‘the Bears’ on. Krasnaya Armiya had no trouble putting a spike into Medvedi’s momentum early in the game and then little by little grabbed it from their hands. Goaltender Ivan Starostin had a lot of work to do. First goal of the game came six minutes in. Captain Ivan Silayev made a no-look tape-to-tape pass to Pavel Karnaukhov and the latter sniped it home from prime real estate to give Krasnaya Armiya a 1-0 lead. Home team had to come up with an answer but they were limited to just five shots on net in the opening period of play.
In the second frame ‘the army men’ increased their offensive zone pressure and scored three more goals. First Krasnaya Armiya captain Ivan Silayev, who had picked up an assist on Karnaukhov’s marker, found the back of the net at 29-20 – this time the forwards divided the points on the play the other way around. Just over a minute later Semyon Koshelev sent it upstairs just inside the crossbar with nifty backhand shot. With 64 seconds remaining to play in the period Yegor Filin finished off a neat passing play as he tapped into the wide-open cage. That put an end to Ivan Starostin’s night and he was replaced by Vladislav Yugov as the teams headed to the dressing-rooms for the second intermission.
Early in the third stanza Kuznetskie Medvedi finally solved Alexander Samoilov as Yegor Zhdanov got a goal back at 43-11. In the very next shift Kirill Zinovyev had the quickest hands in the scrum in front of the net and brought the fans to their feet again as he made it 4-2 with plenty of time remaining on the clock. Nevertheless, all of the effort, including a 4-minute man-advantage, was in vain – home team never got another tally. Kuznetskie Medvedi lose the series and finish the season with bronze medals, while Krasnaya Armiya proceed to Kharlamov Cup Finals for the fourth time in franchise history.
Kuznetskie Medvedi Novokuznetsk – Krasnaya Armiya Moscow – 2-4 (0-1, 0-3, 2-0)
0-1 – Karnaukhov (Silayev) – 05-33
0-2 – Silayev (Karnaukhov) – 29-20
0-3 – Коshelev (Unassisted) – 30-22
0-4 – Filin (Silayev, Мescheryakov) – 38-56
1-4 – Zhdanov (Yemets) – 43-11
2-4 – Zinovyev (Parkhomenko, Utkin) – 44-49
Goaltenders: Starostin, Yugov - Samoilov
Shots on goal: 28-30
Penalty Minutes: 0-6
Krasnaya Armiya Moscow win series 3-0