About the League
Game 5 of the seimifinal series between SKA-1946 St. Petersburg and Avto Yekaterinburg took place on April 8th. The visitors enjoyed a win in hard-fought fashion and for the first time in franchise history made Kharlamov Cup Finals.
Avto Yekaterinburg looked a better team early in the deciding game of the series. ‘Army men’ had trouble moving the play away from Alexei Melnichuk in the opening 15 minutes of play, despite having support of 1,500 fans. However, there weren’t a lot of good scoring chances. Yekaterinburg players tipped the puck a few times on long shots but all of them went wide of the net.
SKA-1946 put their money on counter-attacks and created a few good scoring chances late in the period, forcing Vladimir Galkin to deal with a lot of work. With three minutes remaining to play in the frame Kirill Petkov carried the puck down the wing, managed to slide it through several defensemen’s legs to Pavel Kukshtel, who dangled past the goaltender to put it home from a poor angle.
The teams traded roles in the following period. Home team buzzed around Galkin’s net and wasted quite a few great scoring chances. Vitaly Solovyov’s men managed to get back even as they converted on one of their few counter-attacks – Alexei Melnichuk couldn’t stop Pavel Voronkov’s shot, who roofed it from the slot.
Avto forward Maxim Rasseikin scored the game-winning goal. He gained the zone early in the third stanza and took a quick shot – Alexei Melnichuk made a poor glove-save attempt and the puck ended up in the net. SKA-1946 spent the remainder of the game in the offensive zone but they couldn’t put together anything dangerous. Alexander Savchenkov’s men had several powerplay opportunities but Galkin was up to the task.
Avto Yekaterinburg will play in Kharlamov Cup Finals for the first time in franchise history as they will face reigning champions Loko Yaroslavl. SKA-1946 finish the season and win their first ever Junior Hockey League bronze medals.