About the League
St. Petersburg teams were the only ones to have an exciting turn of events in Western Conferences Quarterfinals this day. ‘Army rivalry’ proved to be high-scoring and ended with SKA-1946 comeback. Top teams won in other series – Krasnaya Armiya, Loko and JCH Dynamo St. Peterburg are now one win away from clinching next round.
SKA-1946 St. Petersburg were expected to sweep the opening round series against SKA-Varyagi. The latter were compared to Vegas Golden Knights and FC Leicester by some. However, even their win in Game 1 was seen as a one-off.
Lev Berdichevsky’s side picked up right were there left off in Game 2, which drew a crowd of 1,315. Varyagi didn’t let the opposition create anything on the powerplay and established a 2-goal led by midway through the period. First Grigory Gryaznov sniped it past Nikita Lysenkov off Pavel Kuznetsov’s dish.
Late in the period Ivan Morozov buried the rebound past Dmitry Nikolayev, who had replaced Yaroslav Askarov after Game 1 between the pipes, on Oleg Kholodenin’s shot from the blue line but the goal was waved off after video review.
Alexander Savchenkov’s men managed to get another one past Nikolayev midway through the second period of play. Timur Ibragimov passed it to Alexei Tsyplakov, who wired it top-shelf on the short-side from the left face-off circle. Varyagi were up by three goals by then as early in the frame Alexeyev tucked it home on the rebound on Kirill Basisty’s blast from the blue line. Interestingly, SKA-1946 spend the last moments of the period without Lysenkov – Savchenkov decided to pull his goaltender for the extra-attacker for the final few seconds.
Varyagi collapsed in the third frame. It took Alexei Ozhgikhin just 25 seconds after the intermission to pull his team back to within one. Five minutes later Ivan Morozov brought it back to even, making the visitors pay for Ilya Altybarmakyan’s second consecutive penalty. Halfway through the period SKA-1946 got their first lead of the series – Nikolayev made a few saves in a row but his teammates left Nikita Tsaryuk unattended in the slot and he put it home.
SKA-Varyagi failed to force overtime, despite successfully organizing one final push against Lysnekov’s net. The series will resume in St Petersburg on March 13th.
The teams got physical right out of the gate, combining for a total of 33 hits by the end of the game. First goal of the game came only late in the opening period of play. St. Petersburg defenseman Bogdan Zhilyakov got it past Andrei Skovronsky on a counter-attack.
Just as the day before, Spartak scored midway through the second stanza. This time around Kirill Ustimenko couldn’t stop Yegor Kruzhenkov’s shot, who picked up the puck after a blocked Bogdan Lvutin’s shot and wired it in on the far-side. Notably, Dynamo once again were successfully at neutralizing Junior Hockey League top goal-scorer Mikhail Shalagin, who stayed off the scoresheet for the second consecutive time.
Dynamo’s top players had the last word in this one. First regular season’s top-scorer Anton Vasiliev converted on a powerplay and then his linemate Anton Vasiliev set the final score of the game.
Notably, Pavel Rotenberg, who recently played in Petrov Cup Playoffs, joined Dynamo in the series. Spartak may be joined by Ilya Talaluyev for Game 3, who spent the entire season in the KHL. Vladimir Tyurikov’s side wouldn’t mind this addition either as the red-and-white cannot afford another slip-up in the series.
The game wasn’t rich on scoring chances and home team was more careful with theirs. Dmitry Krasotkin’s men got at least a tally in every period. 17-year-old Timur Akhunov opened up the scoring early in the first period of play for his very first Kharlamov Cup Playoffs goal. Mikhail Belyayev shoved the puck from the scrum in front of the net early in the second period to double the lead for Yaroslavl. Alexander Kalinin converted on a delayed penalty call late in regulation, while Vladislav Chervonenko set the final score.
Vladislav Okoryak was replaced in Loko’s goal by Daniil Isayev who stopped every shot Maxim Bets’ team took against him. Notably, Chekhov outshot Yaroslavl but Isayev made 28 saves.
The series now moves to Chekhov and will resume on March 13th. Notably, Russkie Vityazi also lost two games in Yaroslavl in the opening round of the playoffs but managed to get a win on home ice.
The fans had to wait for over 40 minutes to see the first goal in this one. The teams engaged in cautious hockey and didn’t give either of the goaltenders a lot of work. Home team opened up the scoring two minutes into the last period of play as defenseman Yegor Filin solved Dmitry Shugayev. Six minutes later the visitors allowed two goals in a row – first Albert Leschyov’s men converted on a powerplay and then set the final score a minute later as Danila Khulapov found the back of the net.
Almaz Cherepovets’ leader Igor Geraskin led his team in shots against Dmitry Lozebnikov with five but couldn’t do anything to tie the series. The teams will now travel to Cherepovets where Almaz will have to win to stay alive.