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2019 Kharlamov Cup Playoffs continued on March 14th with five opening round games. In the Western Conference Almaz blanked Krasnaya Armiya in Cherepovets, tying the series, while SKA-1946 secured a berth in the next round in St. Petersburg. We take a look at these games in this daily review on JHL official website.
Almaz Cherepovets came out hard for Game 4 against Krasnaya Armiya Moscow and neither team played with caution in the opening few minutes as they put together a streak of penalties. However, there was no scoring in the period.
The teams continued to trade offensive rushes in the second period of play but to no avail. Only with three minutes remaining to play in the stanza Igor Geraskin finally put Cherepovets in the lead with a goal in a 4-on-3 format. A few minutes later Almaz captain said with a smile in his intermission interview that he lacked accuracy and luck for a long time. Geraskin pounced on the rebound and sent it into the back of the net.
That goal pumped Cherepovets tires. Almaz looked like a much better team in the final period scoring three unanswered goals – all of them due to the great work of their special units. First Maxim Nevolin fired it home past Dmitry Lozebnikov on a powerplay – game officials had to review the play to confirm the goal. A little later Nevolin got another one in on the man advantage, sending Lozebnikov to the bench as he got replaced by Vsevolod Skotnikov between the pipes. The latter got scored on soon enough as well – German Grachyov sprang up for a breakaway and didn’t let that chance go to waste.
With this 4-0 win Almaz tie the series and will travel back to Moscow to face Krasnaya Armiya in deciding Game 5.
At the same time SKA-Varyagi faced their rivals SKA-1946 in St. Petersburg. Just as in Cherepovets, the teams didn’t start with feeling each other out first. Varyagi were down by three midway through the opening period of play. In a span of just a few shifts Arseny Brinkman, Oleg Kholodenin and Kirill Marchenko scored on Yaroslav Askarov. Late in the period the 46’s had a great chance to improve their lead to 4-0 as Ivan Morozov and Alexei Ozhgikhin put together a neat passing play but this time around they couldn’t convert on it. However, Alexander Savchenkov’s men certainly couldn’t complain about the lead they’d established as they were up 3-0 after 20 minutes of play.
Second period of the ‘army rivalry’ turned out to be dynamic and featured very few stoppages of play. Midway through the frame the teams added more oil to the fire as a brawl broke out. Both teams found the back of the net in the stanza – Vyacheslav Alexeyev solved Nikita Lysenkov, while Timur Ibragimov restored the 3-goal margin. Ozhgikhin improved the lead with a great wrist-shot, while Artyom Gradovich essentially put it out of reach.
After two high-scoring periods the fans didn’t see a single goal in the final frame. SKA-1946 worked the clock, won the game and thus clinched the series. ‘Army men’ proceed to quarterfinals and set up its first matchup – JHC Dynamo St. Petersburg will face Loko Yaroslavl.