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2019 Kharlamov Cup Semifinals continued on April 1st. Hockey players had no time for jokes – Avto followed Mamonty Yugry’s example and tied the series against SKA-1946 with a win in overtime.
Both teams made minor adjustments to their rosters for Game 2 – SKA-1946’s forward Artyom Zhuk was called up to SKA-Neva for VHL Semifinals to face Saryarka Karaganda, and Kirill Tankov took his place on the fourth line. The latter spent most of the season with SKA-Varyagi. As for starting netminders, Nikita Lysenkov and Vladimir Galkin for this one as well.
The game wasn’t rich on scoring chances. SKA-1946 put their money on individual rushes. Ivan Morozov, Alexei Ozhgikhin and Kirill Marchenko were responsible for most of them. It was no other but Ozhgikhin, who streamed down the wing and set up Dmitry Ovechkin for a one-timer – Galkin couldn’t do anything about it. That goal remained the only one in the game for a long time. The momentum shifted from one team to another but most of the shots were blocked by defensemen, while goaltenders stopped the rest. With every passing minute the game was growing more physical and brawls were not a rare occurrence.
Yekaterinburg had just eight minutes to find the equalizer when Morozov got a minor for boarding. Avto almost conceded another goal first – defenseman Arseny Brinkman, who had been selected as the top defenseman of the quarterfinal round, cut Vladimir Galkin’s inaccurate pass and fired it from center ice but the puck whistled wide of the net. After that mistake Vitaly Solovyov’s men played with more focus and managed to bring the game back to even. Maxim Rasseikin finally solved Nikita Lysenkov and forced overtime. Home team had their chance to end the game in regulation but even though the spent the remainder of the period in Avto’s end, they still couldn’t convert on a powerplay.
Home team began the extra period down a man – Timur Ibragimov got a minor for delay of game right at the final buzzer. That penalty proved to be crucial – Maxim Rasseikin sniped one from the blue line on the ensuing powerplay for his second of the game and tied the series.
SKA-1946 will travel to Yekaterinburg for the first time in franchise history and are guaranteed to play two games there. Avto became just the second team this post-season to beat ‘army men’ in St. Petersburg.