About the League
10th Junior Hockey League season continued with four quarterfinal games on March 21st. In the East Avto once again faced Tolpar, while Mamonty Yugry went up against Omskie Yastreby. The visitors won the initial games of both series.
Avto Yekaterinburg grabbed the momentum early in Game 2. After all, home side failed to get anything past Dmitry Braginsky the day before. Tolpar Ufa responded with a several offensive rushes and then got a powerplay as Artyom Belotsky got a minor for slashing. A little later Belotsky had a great chance to open up the coring but Braginsky stopped him from point-blank range. Vladimir Galkin also had a fair share of work – on one occasion he made two consecutive saves on Alexei Pustozyorov. First period of play ended with another huge save – this time around Braginsky didn’t let Alexander Pavlenko hit the twine.
Second frame began with Sergei Varlov’s penalty but Yekaterinburg couldn’t create a single scoring chance on the ensuing man-advantage. However, Braginsky had a lot of work to do once the game went back to 5-on-5 format. He made two great saves on Pavel Voronkov and Denis Yerkin. Home team couldn’t convert on a 2-on-1 rush either. Alexander Pashin couldn’t score for the visitors on one of their rare offensive rushes as Galkin stopped him on the rebound. Late in the period Braginsky was in the spotlight again as he made a stellar save in tight.
The teams opted for caution in the third stanza as the price for every mistake had sky-rocketed. Ufa ended the serenity and went buzzing. Another great scoring chance came midway through the period as Galkin made a blocker-save on Danil Bashkirov. The score remained unchanged fro the remainder of the frame. Yekaterinburg netminder made yet another huge save on Pustozyorov and the game spilled into overtime. Extra 10 minutes of play solved nothing either, even though Ufa got really close to finally burying one on a powerplay.
Tolpar got in the lead in the shootout as Nikolai Sytyi scored on his attempt. However, no one else managed to beat Galkin. Maxim Sedov tied it up and then scored another one in sudden death round, while Sytyi couldn’t match the feat. With this shootout win Avto level the series, which now moves to Ufa.
Omskie Yastreby had beaten Mamonty Yugry in a hard-fought game the day before and were looking to build on the success. As for Khanty-Mansiysk, they wanted to avoid losing on home ice for the second consecutive time. Nobody wants to trail 2-0 in the series and go on the road with no room for mistake. That’s why home team time began buzzing around Georgy Romanov’s net right from the get-go. The ‘Mammoths’ failed to convert on their initial powerplay, which came just two minutes into the opening period of play, but they did get on the board soon after that with a goal at even strength. Sergei Golodnyuk found himself in a prime shooting area and dropped it for Ilya Loza, who was skating behind him. The latter picked low corner to make it a 1-0 game. Khanty-Mansiysk got their first lead of the series.
The ‘Mammoths’ came out hard for the second frame but failed to convert on yet another man-advantage. Home team found themselves in their defensive end midway through the stanza and had to work hard after Daniil Galeyev got a minor penalty. Omskie Yastreby created a few good scoring chances and Ilya Stupin, who had replaced Konstantin Kuzmaul in goal for Game 2, had to stand on his head. However, Khanty-Mansiysk still had the advantage on the shot-clock.
In the end the score remained unchanged, despite the fact that Khanty-Mansiysk could have easily increased their lead but they couldn’t capitalize on Nikita Chusovitin’s minor. The ‘Hawks’ didn’t manage to go for one final push as Khanty-Mansiysk cleared the puck from their end in the dying seconds of regulation. Mamonty Yugry take it 1-0 in Game 2 and tie the series as Ilya Stupin earns a shutout with 20 saves.