About the League
2019 Kharlamov Cup Semifinals continued on April 4th. Since both series were tied 1-1, Game 3s were extra important.
SKA-1946 St. Petersburg got some serious reinforcements from SKA-Neva for their first ever game in Yekaterinburg. Neva lost to Saryarka Karaganda the day before and got eliminated from Petrov Cup Playoffs. Alexander Savchenkov’s side was joined by as many as six players, including Artyom Nikolayev, Vladislav Tsitsyura, Pavel Kukshtel and Danila Galenyuk.
The game began with some fast-paced hockey and neither of the teams was spending much time in the neutral zone. After a few scoring chances SKA-1946 opened up the scoring – Dmitry Ovechkin made a stretch chip pass to Vladislav Tsitsyura, who wristed it past Vladimir Galkin.
Despite the fact that St. Petersburg had a narrow lead after 20 minutes of play, Tsitsyura called the period ‘terrible’ for his team in his intermission interview as he believed the SKA-1946 had trouble controlling the puck and breaking out of the defensive end. Avto did grab the momentum in the following frame and gave Nikita Lysenkov a lot of work to do. Home team also outshot the opposition but to no avail. SKA-1946 put their money on counter-attacks and managed to improve their lead. Danila Galenyuk passed it to Nikolai Polyakov, who gained the zone at full speed, blazed past defensemen and sent it upstairs on the far-side.
Yekaterinburg came out hard for the third stanza. Alexander Derbenyov tipped Daniil Valitov’s shot from the blue line past Lysenkov less than a minute in. In the very next shift SKA-1946 forward Kirill Marchenko handed Vitaly Solovyov’s men their second powerplay opportunity of the game. When the penalty was about to expire, Kirill Tyutyayev won the battle for the puck in the corner, passed it to Ilya Zakharov, who was left all alone in the middle of the ice, and the forward roofed it home.
The teams went on to play their second overtime of the series. Special teams were a key factor in the extra period of play. Arseny Brinkman left SKA-1946 down a man and Avto converted on the ensuing powerplay. Nikita Lysenkov stopped Maxim Rasseikin’s shot from a poor angle, the puck bounced to the slot and no other but Rasseikin pounced on the rebound and buried it for the win. St. Petersburg coaching staff asked for the play to be reviewed for goaltender interference, but game officials stood by their on-ice call after video review.
Avto Yekaterinburg get their first lead of the series, while SKA-1946 will face elimination for the first time in this post-season campaign – one more loss will render St. Petersburg out of cup contention.