About the League
Second last day of the Junior Hockey League regular season took place on March 4th and 12 Western Conference teams hit the ice. We take a look at it in this daily review on JHL official website.
SKA-Varyagi had to defeat Chayka Nizhny Novgorod on home ice and hope that JHC Spartak Moscow would beat Russkie Vityazi in regulation to clinch the last available playoff spot. Spartak enjoyed a solid win, while the ‘army men’ had to work hard. The teams traded goals in the opening period of play. First Alexander Gordin buried the rebound on Kirill Basisty’s shot from the blue line. Nizhny Novgorod responded with a massive rush on Yaroslav Askarov’s net and Denis Vengryzhanovsky shoved it in.
Second frame featured wild and offensive-minded hockey and yet the score remained unchanged. Home team dominated early in the third stanza – Nikita Zorkin got one in on a powerplay, while Nikolai Polyakov netted another one at even strength to give SKA-Varyagi a 3-1 lead. Andrei Bednyakov brought Chayka back to within one, but St. Petersburg went on to score two more goals. Nikita Kiryanov found his target with a long shot and Grigory Gryaznov put one into the empty net to seal the deal. With this 5-2 win SKA-Varaygi become the last team to clinch the playoffs.
JHC Spartak Moscow got a great sparring partner on the eve of the post-season. Russkie Vityazi can be a serious problem for any team that meets them right now as they got on a bit of a roll late in the regular season. However, one could say the same regarding the red-and-white as they show a fantastic conversion on their scoring chances. Home team had to kill off two penalties in the first period of play to go on and open up the scoring – Evgeny Belov got the marker.
Maxim Tsyplakov doubled Spartak’s lead in the second frame. Dennis Miller got the only penalty of the stanza but he made up for it shortly before the intermission as he sent another one past Kirill Cherepanov. Daniil Chechelev took the place between the pipes for Russkie Vityazi in the third period. The score remained unchanged as the visitors shot themselves in the foot running into a penalty problem. In the end Dmitry Kulikov finished the game with 40 saves and JHC Spartak Moscow enjoyed a 3-0 win on home ice.
Amurskie Tigry Khabarovsk visited Moscow to wrap up their season and faced 2-time Kharlamov Cup champions Krasnaya Armiya. It was a perfect chance for the ‘Tigers’ to make some noise before going on early vacation. However, the red-and-blue showed their superiority in class already in the opening period of play as they scored two unanswered goals – Yegor Korbit got the first tally, while Alexander Chyorny beat Artyom Martynov with just 30 seconds remaining to play in the frame.
Second stanza featured a lot of penalties and Khabarovsk managed to slove Dmitry Lozebnikov in the final minutes – Alexander Gopiyenko scored in a 4-on-4 format. Leonid Klimov improved Moscow’s lead to 3-1 late in regulation but Amurskie Tigry had the last word in this one – Yuri Kramarenko set the final score at 3-2. Khabarovsk failed to get any points in this one.
Krylia Sovetov Moscow, who lost their last hope of making the playoffs after SKA-Varyagi’s win, played for their pride in front of their fans against HC Kapitan Stupino. The visitors won the first period of play. Ivan Kazakov and Georgy Merkulov scored for Stupino, while ‘Soviet Wings’ got a marker from Sergei Odinokov. There was no scoring in the second frame, but Krylia Sovetov kept the pressure on and finally got what they wanted – Vadim Sivchuk brought it all back to even.
That didn’t faze Kapitan one bit. Alexei Zhilin pit the visitors back in the lead and Georgy Merkulov sealed the deal as he scored his second of the game on the empty net. Kapitan win 4-2 in Setun.
Just as Amurskie Tigry Khabarovsk, Taifun Primorie Region went to Moscow and its vicinity for their final games of the season. Admiral’s major junior team faced JHC Dynamo Moscow in Dmitrov. Home team got on the board just 35 seconds in – Mikhail Bitsadze got the tally. Second frame proved to be rather eventful. First the teams traded goals – Yuri Zholobov scored for Taifun, while Ilya Kruglov got one for Dynamo.
12 minutes into the period Dmitry Grischenko converted on a powerplay but the teams headed to the dressing-rooms with home team leading by a goal – Daniil Kuptsov scored for Primorie Region. The visitors managed to force overtime with a tally late in regulation – Maxim Dontsov scored the equalizer. Taifun went on to finish the job in the extra period. Alexei Drobin scored the game-winning goal.
HK Riga played hosts to Atlanty Moscow Region in the final game of the day. Home team won the high-scoring first period of play 3-2 as Daniels Berzins scored a pair and Karlis Bucenieks chipped in another tally. Nikita Khristov and Artyom Shakirov got a marker each for the visitors. The team went on to trade goals in the second stanza. Kristaps Rokis scored for Riga, while Nikolai Tsaryov found the back of the net for Moscow Region team.
Early minutes of the third frame featured a lot of penalties. Patrik Zabusov was in the spotlight but for the wrong reason as he got a game-misconduct for checking to the head. However, that didn’t become a problem for Riga as not only they won the game but also scored another goal before the final buzzer – Rudolfs Polcs got one in on a powerplay. HK Riga win 5-3 on home ice.