About the League
Junior Hockey League 10th season ended with Game 7 of the Kharlamov Cup Finals on April 24th. Reigning champions Loko Yaroslavl beat Avto in Yekaterinburg by the narrow margin at CEC Uralets and won their third championship title.
After a miraculous salvation in Game 6 Loko Yaroslavl travelled to Yekaterinburg with their heads up. However, local Avto didn’t feel like giving up the series despite the devastating loss, especially in front of the sold-out home crowd at CEC Uralets. All tickets went sold long before the puckdrop and home team was certain to get a loud support.
Loko delegated Daniil Isayev between the pipes instead of Vladislav Okoryak, while Vladimir Galkin have long cemented his right to be Avto’s starting netminder. The teams were feeling each other out in the opening minutes of play, opting for cautious hockey and ‘no net’ brand of hockey. Maxim Sedov took the first dangerous shot of the night, testing Isayev. Yaroslavl responded with a shot by Grigory Denisenko, which went wide of the net, and a drive from Danila Dyadyenkin, but Galkin stopped it with his glove. Daniil Valitov put the puck on net shortly after that but Isayev was on guard and deflected it back into play. Artur Kayumov, who had a goal in Game 6, also took his initial shot of the game. ‘Railway men’ got the game’s first powerplay – Maxim Sedov got a minor for tripping.
Yekaterinburg survived it but soon after that they had to kill off another penalty as Sedov was sent off for a deuce once again. Home team locked up the opposition in their defensive territory as they caught Yaroslavl on a bad line change and gave Isayev plenty off work to do. First period of play ended with a scoring chance – Maxim Rasseikin tried to beat Isayev on the short-side but Yaroslavl netminder was up to the task.
Second frame began with Yekaterinburg’s offensive rushes. Kirill Tyutyayev took a backhand shot but Isayev stopped it as well. Yaroslavl answered with a long passing play and managed to open up the scoring on it. Galkin made several saves but then Maxim Denezhkin found himself at the right place at the right time and tipped home a shot from the blue line. Uralets fans cranked it up a notched, forcing their favorites to attack with renewed force. Avto’s top line buzzed around the net and Yaroslavl dodged a bullet on quite a few occasions, while Dyadyenkin got a minor for tripping. Home team spent almost entire two minutes in Loko’s territory and yet failed to score once again.
The game calmed down a bit but it seemed that the visitors were just waited for the right moment to strike. They locked up Yekaterinburg in the zone for a whole minute and Avto defensemen had to ice the puck after Galkin made a few huge saves. The teams went to the dressing-rooms for the second intermission with Yaroslavl leading by a goal.
Home team picked up the pace and got one of their last chances as Maxim Denezhkin got a minor penalty. Yekaterinburg were really close to tying the game and yet Yaroslavl survived it. Nikolai Kovalenko came close to scoring another goal for Loko but Galkin came out on top. Vitaly Solovyov’s men couldn’t go for one final push because they couldn’t pitch camp in the offensive zone. Denezhkin’s marker proved to be the winner and Dmitry Krasotkin became the first coach to lead Loko Yaroslavl to their third Kharlamov Cup in franchise history.