About the League
Top teams of the Eastern Conference enjoyed wins in their Game 2’s, putting their opposition up against a wall, while the series is now tied in two other matchups. On top of that, the fans got to see the most high-scoring and most penalized games of the the 2019 Kharlamov Cup Playoffs.
Home team established a comfortable lead in the opening six minutes of play as they scored two unanswered goals – first Kirill Kozhevnikov got one past Ilya Gorbunov and a few minutes later Denis Latyshevich improved the lead.
Despite the start, next goal of the game came only 40 minutes later. Mamonty Yugry failed to convert on either of their five powerplay opportunities, even though Belye Medvedi were down 2-man at one point.
Maxim Smelnitsky’s men woke up only when there were ten minutes remaining to play in regulation and began creating scoring chances. With eight minutes on the clock Arkady Aksyonov caught the puck on a rebound and backhanded it past Konstantin Kuzmaul. It looked as if home team was losing their handle on the game – a few minutes later the ‘Mammoths’ got a minor penalty.
However, Belye Medvedi failed to use the confusion to their advantage. Late in regulation ‘Polar Bears’ also lost to injury forward Vladislav Kuliyev, who leads the team in goals, assists and points. Without their leader, the visitors couldn’t force overtime, despite swapping their goaltender for the extra-attacker.
Notably, Mamonty Yugry began their last post-season run with two wins on home ice as well, which was followed by two losses on the road.
Snezhnye Barsy Astana were looking to turn the series around as they opted for aggressive brand of hockey. Sergei Starygin’s men out-muscled the opposition with 28 hits against 17, while Maxim Rasseikin, who scored twice against Demid Yeremeyev in Game 1, could certainly feel as if there was a price on his head. The emotions peaked early in the second period of play when as many as four players got penalties for fighting. Overall the teams combined for 148 penalty minutes.
Avto and Snezhnye Barsy created about an equal number of scoring chances but home team better capitalized on theirs. Maxim Sedov opened up the scoring late in the first period, while Pavel Voronkov doubled the lead for Yekaterinburg just 28 seconds after the play resumed in the next frame.
Snezhnye Barsy’s goal-drought lasted five periods (seven if you include the regular season). Astana managed to get their first tally past Vladislav Galkin only in the third stanza. Sayan Daniyar, who was selected as top Junior Hockey League defenseman in February, sent it in on a powerplay with a long shot.
It looked as if Vitaly Solovyov’s men were losing their grip on the game. The visitors were aggressive on the forecheck and forced Avto take another penalty. However, Yekaterinburg didn’t allow any goals after that and then made the opposition pay for over-committing to the offense. First Maxim Rasseikin converted on a powerplay as he sent it just inside the bar and a few minutes later Denis Yerkin beat Yeremeyev from in tight, ending the night for the latter. Snezhnye Barsy delegated Vilen Prokofyev between the pipes but he got scored on as well – Semyon Perelyayev capitalized on yet another powerplay to set the final score.
The teams will now travel to Astana. Down 2-0 in the series Snezhnye Barsy have no room for mistake.
Just as the day before, the teams didn’t treat the fans to a goal-fest. Home team took 40 shots against Yaroslav Ozolin but he let in just one – midway through the opening period of play Tolpar forward Anton Pachin converted on a powerplay. That goal proved to be the winner in this one. Tolpar netminder Dmitry Braginsky stopped 29 shots for a shutout. The teams are tied 1-1 in the series as it moves to Nizhnekamsk
The most high-scoring game of this post-season yet took place in Magnitogorsk. The teams were scoring a goal on average every five minutes of play, combining for 11 tallies. Home team had the momentum almost throughout the game. Dmitry Stulov’s men had the lead twice in the opening period but Omskie Yastreby found a way to tie it on both occasions.
Early minutes of the third stanza were key in the game. It took Stalnye Lisy just four minutes to score twice against Georgy Romanov. First Andrei Oleinikov skated from the area behind the net and sent it in on the far-side from a poor angle. Soon after that Yegor Spiridonov buried the rebound on Dmitry Sheshin’s shot.
Home team ran into a penalty problem. Arseny Gritsyuk converted on Sheshin’s minor and a few minutes later the ‘Hawks’ brought it back to even – Alexei Zubov sent another one past Nikita Kamyshnikov, who had replaced Alexei Schetilin between the pipes in the second period. Yuri Panov’s men got in the lead two minutes later as they made the opposition pay for Ilya Nikolayev’s penalty.
That was a blow Stalnye Lisy never recovered from. They failed to capitalize on German Voloshin’s penalty. Pulling goaltender for the extra-attacker also led to nothing and Magnitogorsk lose Game 2 on home ice.