About the League
10th Junior Hockey League season continued with two Game 3s in Eastern Conference quarterfinal series. Tolpar played hosts to Avto, while Mamonty Yugry faced Omskie Yastreby. Both series were tied 1-1.
Omskie Yastreby came out hard for their first home of the series against Mamonty Yugry. Midway through the opening period the ‘Hawks’ grabbed the momentum and pitched camp in Ilya Stupin’s end. The goaltender had to make several huge saves, while his counterpart Georgy Romanov also had some work to do and finished the frame wit six stops. 17 minutes in Artyom Dmitrichev stole the puck as Khanty-Mansiysk were skating our from their defensive territory and took a dangerous shot, but the teams remained deadlocked after 20 minutes of play.
Makar Vaulin got the game’s initial penalty. Omsk failed to convert on it but they did open up the scoring at even strength. Dmitrichev passed it to Arseny Gritsyuk, who wired it to the far post for Yegor Chinakhov for a goal. Mamonty Yugry brought the game back to even merely 30 seconds later – Nikita Chusovitin found the back of the net with a long shot that went top-shelf. Romanov wasn’t up for the task. The visitors turned the tables, got the momentum on their side and quickly improved the score in their favor. The ‘Hawks’ collapsed defensively, Kirill Popov stole the puck and roofed it past Romanov.
Omskie Yastreby created several scoring chances earl in the third stanza but lost the momentum with Maxim Melnikov’s minor penalty. Home team had to spend some time in their defensive end midway through the period again as Kirill Spitsenko got another minor for high-sticking. Khanty-Mansiysk were close to scoring their third goal of the game but when Romanov was beaten, goal-posts were there for him. Alexander Belyayev and Alexei Zubov exchanged some fisticuffs in the last minute of play. Romanov was pulled for the extra-attacker but Khanty-Mansiysk pulled through. With this 2-1 win Mamonty Yugry are now one win away from the semifinals.
Tolpar Ufa played hosts to Avto Yekaterinburg in Game 3 of the series. The teams engaged in physical battles right from the get-go, which isn’t usual for Eastern Conference teams. Yekaterinburg got their first chance to open up the scoring only midway through the first period when Ufa got two consecutive minors in a span of just seven seconds. Vitaly Solovyov’s men couldn’t capitalize on the 2-man advantage but when Tolpar got one of their players back on the ice, Maxim Rasseikin whistled one past Dmitry Braginsky. Ufa had a chance to tie it up on an odd-man rush but Vladimir Galkin made a great save. Soon after that Yuri Zhuravlyov was close to increasing the lead for the visitors but the puck landed on top of the net off Braginsky. Home team spent the rest of the period in the offensive end but Galkin made several nice stops for Avto.
Both teams had powerplay opportunities in the second frame and Tolpar brought it back to even. Late in the period Ufa went buzzing around the net in the offensive zone and finally got what they were looking for. A long possession play by Alik Gareyev’s side ended with a long shot by Semyon Chistyakov. Alexei Pustozyorov was first to the rebound and Galkin couldn’t stop him – 1-1. After that Tolpar had to kill off a penalty as Vladimir Yershov shot the puck over the glass.
The teams opted to simplify their game in the final stanza and stoppages of play started to occur more often. It’s not surprising considering the high price of any mistake at that point of the game. Early in the frame Zakhar Bogatyryov got a minor penalty for tripping but Ufa failed to convert on it. Midway through the period Galkin had to stay on his head to make a flurry of saves. As for Yekaterinburg, they patiently waited for their chance and when it came – they capitalized on it. Sergei Sibiryakov kept his eyes on the puck and it paid off. His first shot was blocked by a defenseman, but he still scored on the follow-up chance. Home team rushed down the ice looking for the equalizer but they ran into a penalty problem late in regulation, which prevented them for going for one final push. With this 2-1 win Avto Yekaterinburg are now just one win away from making the semifinals.