About the League
2019 Kharlamov Cup Finals resumed on April 16th in Yaroslavl. Loko came home as the series favorite and yet failed to win their third consecutive game. Avto blanked the opposition, while Aleander Derbenyov scored the only goal of the game to win it for Yekaterinburg.
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl forward Yegor Fateyev was among honorary guests at the game, which took place at Arena-2000. Fateyev won Kharlamov Cup twice with Dmitry Krasotkin.
“It was the good times. Other boys and I often look back at 2016 when we won the cup for the first time and also last year,” said Fateyev, while signing autographs for the fans. “This season I often went to junior team’s home games. I rooted for them and even sweated in the stands. It felt like I was back with the team on the bench. Loko still play the same brand of hockey – there’s still a lot of passion and battles on the ice.”
Toronto Maple Leafs scouts were also at the game.
Teams played with more caution than in previous games. Avto Yekaterinburg essentially lost their right for mistake and that’s why Vitaly Solovyov’s men tried to play calmly and with no pinching. Nevertheless, Vladimir Galkin had to deal with more scoring chances than his counterpart. Midway through the period Igor Zenchikov skated to the slot and took a shot from point-blank range but Galkin made a flashy save with his glove on the far-side. A few minutes later Daniil Tesanov skated from the corner and went for the backhand shot but the puck rattled back into play off the bar.
Vladislav Okoryak, who had replaced Daniil Isayev in goal for Loko, had much less work on his plate. Avto’s best scoring chance in the opening period of play was Konstantin Suslov’s shot from the scrum but the puck went just a few inches wide of the net. The visitors looked more solid in the second frame. Daniil Tesanov got a minor penalty on the forecheck and Alexander Derebenyov opened up the scoring on the ensuing powerplay. Avto forward found himself all alone in front of Okoryak and tapped it home on the centering pass from the corner by Semyon Perelyayev.
Having allowed the goal, ‘railway men’ picked up the pace and created several great scoring chances, regularly forcing the opposition take penalties. However, Avto learned their lesson after losing both games in Yekaterinburg – the visitors were spreading themselves well and killed off a 5-on-3 and then a couple of other minors. Galkin was in the zone, while his teammates blocked a lot of shots.
Loko struggled in the offensive end in the third period. Yaroslavl took over 50 shots on net and yet nothing went past Vladimir Galkin, who stopped Grigory Denisenko one on occasion and then made another key save on the follow-up chance. Avto played their safest hockey possible until the final buzzer, then stopped Loko’s final push and became the first team in this Kharlamov Cup campaign to blank Yaroslavl. On top of that, Yekaterinburg handed Yaroslavl their first loss on home ice this post-season. Avto are now down 2-1 in the series and are guaranteed to play at least another game at CEC Uralets.