About the League
2019 Kharlamov Cup Playoffs kicked off on March 9th. Eastern Conference teams hit the ice first. We take a look at them in this daily review on JHL official website.
Mamonty Yugry, who finished on top of the Eastern Conference, faced Belye Medvedi Chelyabinsk – last team to clinch the playoffs. Junior Hockey League sports department director Igor Romashin presented Khanty-Mansiysk with Eastern Conference Trophy but as the tradition goes, the players opted not to touch it. The ‘Mammoths’ came out hard for this one and soon created their first scoring chance – Alexander Belyayev and Sergei Golodnyuk sprang up for a 2-on-1 rush but the latter whiffed on the shot in the last moment.
Home team did score a few minutes later. A couple of cross-ice passes and Ilya Loza sent it as he was falling down to Golodnyuk, who put it into the back of the net. Shortly after that the visitors got the puck over the goal-line as well but it was waved off after video review. Home team failed to convert on Grigory Nesvetayev’s penalty but when Alexander Podkorytov got a minor, Alexander Belyayev wired it in with a screen-shot to make it a 2-0 hockey game. Late in the perod Belyayev and Nikita Chusovitin played give-and-go, thrashing through Chelyabinsk defense and further improved the lead. But Belye Medvedi weren’t ready to give up just yet and managed to get two goals back before the intermission as Yegor Stepanov and Vladislav Kuliyev found the back of the net.
They brought it back to even in the second period of play – Konstantin Kuzmaul couldn’t return to the net in time, Platon Popov received the puck in the slot and sent it in. With three minutes remaining to play in the period Khanty-Mansiysk got their lead back as Ilya Loza beat Sergei Mylnikov. That goal proved to be the game-winner. Chelyabinsk went for one final push late in regulation but Kuzmaul was in no mood for overtime. Mamonty Yugry win 4-3 in a hard-fought game and take the lead in the series.
Snezhnye Barsy Astana, who began their series in Yekaterinburg, decided not to dwell on defense and had to pay for it just five minutes in. Avto pitched camp in the offensive end, Daniil Valitov faked a shot to get by his defenseman and made a crisp pass to Maxim Rasseikin, who sniped it on the far-side. 17 minutes into the opening period home team got a penalty shot called against them – Artyom Belotsky was caught with throwing his stick. Samat Daniyar went for the attempt but he put it wide of the net with a backhand shot. 1-0 Avto after 20.
Second period featured no goals as both netminders were terrific. Vladimir Galkin made a huge stop on a 2-on-2 rush and then he gloved Yernar Musabayev’s shot. Late in the stanza Kirill Tyutyayev moved the puck up the ice for Ilya Zakharov, who dangled past his defenseman, made Demid Yeremeyev bite but shot it straight at him. Snezhnye Barsy looked better in a 4-on-4 format and Galkin got lucky as Evgeny Shinkaretsky’s shot went wide off the net under his pad.
Yekaterinburg stroke twice early in the third period. Avto went for a counter-attack and Tyutyayev fed Denis Yerkin for a goal. They improved their lead not even a minute later as Maxim Rasseikin received the puck from behind the net and slammed it home past Yeremeyev. Artyom Belotsky set the final score with five minutes remaining to play in regulation as he fired it home just under the bar from the blue line. Galkin stopped 19 shots and Vitaly Solovyov’s men now lead the series 1-0.
Tolpar Ufa faced Reaktor Nizhnekamsk on home ice and seemed to have the game under control but the visitors capitalized on their chance five minutes in. Andrei Chivilyov was left all alone in the slot, received the puck from Maxim Polkin and beat Dmitry Braginsky from in tight. Nizhnekamsk had two powerplay opportunities but couldn’t convert on either of them. Ufa had a chance to tie it up late in the period but Reaktor pulled through and maintained their 1-0 lead.
Second period of play featured two evenly matched teams. Reaktor had a chance to increase their lead on yet another man-advantage but Braginsky dodged a bullet on one occasision as the puck hit the bar. As for the netminder, he made a few huge saves himself. Tolpar responded with a shot by Emmanuil Shafeyev from in tight but Yaroslav Ozolin put his skill on display and made a great save. Late in the frame Ildar Abdeyev got a minor penalty but Nizhnekamsk couldn’t convert on it either.
Home team came out hard for the third stanza. Tolpar top-scorer Anton Pachin, who spent most of his major junior career on Reaktor, did his best to score on his former team. But it was Reaktor who got the next goal. Alexei Puzanov decided to drop form the blue line, beat his defenseman and then buried his own rebound past Braginsky. Home team had a chance to tie it up but Alexei Pustozyorov let his teammates down as he got a game misconduct for checking to the head late in regulation. Ozolin stopped 29 shots to blank the opposition and Nizhnekamsk take the lead in the series with this 2-0 win on the road.
Stalnye Lisy defended the ice against Omskie Yastreby in Magnitogorsk. ‘Steel Foxes’ came out hard for this one but took the first penalty of the game. Having killed it off, Magnitogorsk grabbed the momentum again, while the ‘Hawks’ relied on counter-attacks. Bogdan Denisevich had a good chance to open up the scoring but Nikita Kamyshnikov pulled off even a better save. Magnitogorsk had to kill off another penalty shortly before the intermission but the visitors failed to convert on Yegor Spiridonov’s minor as well.
Stalnye Lisy got on the board three minutes into the second period of play. They stole the puck on the forecheck, set up Zakhar Zakharov for a shot and he slammed it past Georgy Romanov. Omsk got back even fairly soon. They put a few passes together, took several shots on net and Pavel Yelizarov sent it home from some distance. Soon after that Omskie Yastreby got in front – Andrei Migur finished off a nice passing play. Magnitogorsk spent the remainder of the period in the offensive end as Maxim Melnikov got a minor but it changed nothing on the scoreboard. 2-1 Omsk after 40.
German Voloshin scored a fluke goal early in the third period – the puck went into the back of the net off Dmitry Zaitsev’s skate. Midway through the stanza Melnikov made up for his penalty as he converted on a 2-man advantage. Omskie Yastreby allowed a counter-attack right after that and Yegor Spiridinov found the back of the net. However, it didn’t affect the final result. Bogdan Denisevich set the final score as he proved himself a true forward getting in on a breakaway and putting it past the netminder. Omskie Yastreby win 5-2 and take the lead in the series.