About the League
2019 Kharlamov Cup Quarterfinals kicked off on March 20th in the Western Conference. Loko Yaroslavl won their fourth consecutive playoff game as they topped JHC Dynamo in St. Petersburg. As for another St. Petersburg team, SKA-1946 couldn’t defeat Almaz Cherepovets in regulation but edged the opposition in the shootout.
Despite the fact that JHC Dynamo St. Petersburg finished higher in the Western Conference standings than Loko Yaroslavl, beating the ‘railway men’ three times in the regular season, the pundits saw Yaroslavl as the favorite in the series. Dmitry Krasotkin’s men lived up to the expectations in Game 1 of the quarterfinals.
Over a thousand fans came to Yubileynyi to watch the game, including several VIP guests from VHL’s Dynamo – Maxim Dzhioshvili, who recently won the gold medal at Universiade, and Nikita Dynyak, who captained Dynamo just a year ago.
First goal of the game came midway through the opening period of play – Loko forward Ilya Nikolayev one-timed it top-shelf. The score remained unchanged till the first intermission, even though both teams created scoring chances – Dynamo leader Anton Vasiliev hit the post, while Loko players couldn’t capitalize on several Dynamo’s defensive collapses.
Dynamo captain Alexander Zhabreyev sent one past Daniil Isayev early in the second frame to tie it up. The teams were even on the scoreboard for just five minutes. Nikolayev went on to score his second of the game to give Yaroslavl their second lead of the game. Yegor Manin got one past Kirill Ustimenko before the intermission as well to improve the lead for the visitors.
Loko defensemen had little trouble keeping Dynamo forwards at bay. For instance, top-scorer of the regular season Anton Vasiliev took just one shot on net and added a dirty hit to it late in the game. Nevertheless, Dynamo managed to get another goal. Maxim Mikhailov converted on a powerplay to bring the intrigue back to the table. Late in regulation Dynamo picked up the pace and gave Isayev a lot of work to do but the ‘railway men’ had the last word in this one – first Vladislav Chervonenko hit the twine and then Alexander Daryin scored on the empty net to seal the deal.
Dynamo lose their first game of this Kharlamov Cup run and lose their home ice advantage in the quarterfinal series. They will have a chance to get it back tomorrow.
SKA-1946 St. Petersburg made serious adjustments to their roster for Round 2. First of all, Alexander Savchenkov’s side was joined by SKA-Varyagi players, whose season came to an end as they lost to the 46’s in the opening round of the playoffs. For instance, Yaroslav Askarov was listed as the backup goaltender for the game.
Aside from him, St. Petersburg got heavy reinforcements from SKA-Neva – defenseman Evgeny Kalabushkin returned to action after a minor injury; Danila Galenyuk and Artyom Nikolayev re-joined the team from Petrov Cup Playoffs, right after they eliminated Sokol Krasnoyarsk; while 2019 World Juniors bronze medalists Kirill Marchenko, Ivan Morozov and Vasily Podkolzin also joined SKA-1946.
Despite adding extra punch to their offense, SKA-1946 took just four shots against Konstantin Shostak in the opening period of play, while Nikita Lysenkov had to make 12 saves. First goal of the game came only midway through the second frame – Kirill Marchenko tapped it home off Ivan Morozov’s assist. However, it took the visitors just 24 seconds to find the equalizer as Yegor Zaplatnikov tipped German Grachyov’s shot into the back of the net on a powerplay.
SKA-1946 also managed to capitalize on a powerplay – shortly before the intermission Oleg Kholodenin converted on Vladimir Sychushkin’s minor with a powerful drive from the blue line. German Grachyov tied it up again for Cherepovets as he found himself at the far post and buried the rebound on Igor Geraskin’s shot. The goal sent the game to overtime.
Both teams created several good scoring chances in the extra period of play and yet still went to the first shootout of this post-season. It lasted nine rounds and Kirill Marchenko finally scored the winner to give SKA-1946 the lead in the series.