In the second semifinal game Loko Yaroslavl, who had finished on top of Group A, faced Red Bull from Salzburg, Austria, who had gotten six points in round robin to finish second in their pool.
Coaching staffs of both teams didn’t do any goaltending changes – Loko delegated Ilya Konovalov to the cage, while Leevi Laakso started for Red Bull.
Very early in the game Austrians got two unnecessary penalties and had to kill off a 5-on-3 for over a minute. Red Bull survived it and then created a few scoring chances themselves making Konovalov work. The play saw almost no stoppages. ‘Railway men’ had more chances but Red Bull kept up with them in terms of speed. First goal of the game was almost a fluke. Artur Kayumov shot it from mid-range but the puck found an opening in Laakso’s equipment and slided into the net. Austrians took just a few shots before the time ran out in the period, while Laakso had to stand on his head, as he was being peppered from all over the ice. Ivan Lisin got a late penalty in the period.
Just as the giant forward returned to the ice, Loko sent another one past Laakso – Kirill Slepets beat him with an excellent wrist-shot on the short-side. Red Bull failed to convert on a great scoring chance to get back to within one and Yaroslavl improved their lead on the following counter-attack – captain Georgy Ivanov clipped it off the post past Laakso. Four minutes later Maxim Afanasyev scored another one off assist by Nikolai Kovalenko. Late in the period Red Bull created a few good scoring chances but Konovalov stopped all of them, making it look easy. The teams finished the frame in 4-on-3 format. Loko had Nikita Gromov and Grigory Denisenko in the penalty box, while Salzburg had Justin Schütz.
Early in the 3rd stanza ‘railway men’ had to kill off another penalty – Denisenko got his second minor in a row. After that the game continued on its course – Laakso had to do all the work, while his counterpart Konovalov rarely saw any action. However, Red Bull managed to solve him. Oliver Nordberg passed it Justin Schütz on a 2-on-1 rush and the German forward sent it in. In the very next shift Loko restored the 4-goal margin – their top-line went for a passing play and Nikolai Kovalenko finished it off. With five minutes remaining on the clock, Yaroslavl scored twice – first Igor Zenchikov and Danil Gizatullin scored off a neat play, and just ten seconds later Vladislav Chervonenko outmuscled his defenseman and beat Laakso. Soon after that Red Bull scored their second of the game – Valtteri Meisaari took a shot from the point and beat screened Konovalov. Chervonenko set the final score of the game with his second marker of the night. With this 8-2 win Loko are now just one step away from their second Junior Club World Cup.
"Semifinal games are never easy. There was some tough hockey in the game against Red Bull. Our opponents skated and hit a lot. We were obviously more skilled but after we have had established a big lead, the boys relaxed and lost control of the game," said Loko Yaroslavl head-coach Dmitry Krasotkin. "I warned my players that Austrians will play tough. We pulled through but we did lose the physical aspect of the game to them. HV71 is our next opponent. It’s a disciplined team and they are yet to lose a game. They play great hockey. It’s going to be really difficult. It’s going to be a very exciting game."
"It was a tough game for our goaltender Ilya Konovalov. The puck was often in our defensive end. Hopefully, we’re going to get our first shutout of the tournament in the final game," said Loko Yaroslavl assistant coach Yegor Podomatsky. "We haven’t really gone into detail study of HV71 game. We saw just bits and pieces of their games. We’re going to watch all their games on the night before the final. We’re going to know how they play. We figured early into the tournament that HV71 will be our most serious opponent here. We gradually made our way to face them."
2018 Junior Club World Cup
August 25th. Sochi, Russia
Shaiba Ice Arena
Red Bull (Austria) – Loko (Russia) – 2-8 (0-1, 0-3, 2-4)
0-1 – Kayumov (Ivanov) – 09-48
0-2 – Slepets (Misyul) – 21-40 PPG
0-3 – Ivanov (Slepets) – 24-14
0-4 – Afanasyev (Kovalenko) – 28-20
1-4 – Schütz (Nordberg) – 46-54
1-5 – Kovalenko (Anokhovsky, Rybakov) – 47-16
1-6 – Gizatullin (Zenchikov) – 55-00
1-7 – Chervonenko (Denezhkin) – 55-09
2-7 – Meisaari (Unassisted) – 57:25
2-8 – Chervonenko (Zhukov, Afanasyev) – 59-43
Goaltenders: Laakso - Konovalov
Shots on goal: 18-43
Penalty Minutes: 16-10