2019 Sirius Junior Club World Cup second semifinal game featured a matchup between Austrian Red Bull and defending champions Loko Yaroslavl. The two faced each other in the semifinal game for the second consecutive year.
Red Bull made the medal round only because Ocelari Trinec defeated Team NAHL, while Loko enjoyed three wins in a row in round robin, gaining a maximum of nine points.
Vladislav Okoryak once again got the nod on Loko after missing the final game of the group stage. Christopher Kolarz was between the pipes for Red Bull.
‘Railway men’ couldn’t convert on their initial powerplay opportunity of the game but when Austria got caught with too many men on the ice, Loko opened up the scoring. A quick passing play led to Grigory Denisenko finding his target from mid-range, while Maxim Denezhkin and Kirill Slepets drew the helpers. Austria responded with a counter-attack as Loko defense collapsed. Samuel Eriksson got in on a breakaway but Okoryak came out on top. Yaroslavl made Salzburg pay for that wasted opportunity right away as Yelisey Minayev fired one home with a long shot.
Less than a minute later Loko extended their lead to 3-0. Daniil Tesanov scored his first goal of the tournament. Coming into the semifinal game he had only a fight in the matchup against Davos and a couple of minor penalties – scoring a goal was a definite progress for the forward. Yaroslavl had no trouble killing off Anton Lukichyov’s penalty and headed to the dressing-room with a comfortable 3-0 lead.
Loko came out hard for the second period but Austria managed to survive down a man this time around. Minayev got a minor penalty seven minutes in and Red Bull made him pay for that. Maximillian Rebernig had the quickest hands in the slot and shoved the puck in. Midway through the period Loko found themselves on a 3-on-5 as Minayev and Kirill Slepets were sent to the box but managed to kill it off. Vladislav Rybakov got a minor and a 10-minute misconduct late in the period, while Pontus Englund also got a minor for roughing on the play.
Austria outshot Loko almost three-to-one in the second period but it changed nothing on the scoreboard. Red Bull controlled the puck more often but created only a handful of good scoring chances. Yegor Manin almost further improved the lead for Loko but he couldn’t beat the goaltender. Red Bull gave it everything they had in the final few minutes but Okoryak stood tall.
Loko win 3-1 and will face Team AJHL in the final. Yaroslavl are yet to lose a game at the tournament.
“We scored just as many goals as our opponent let us. Playoff games are always difficult so we didn’t expect the game to be of round robin caliber,” said Loko assistant coach Maxim Ovchinnikov. “I think tonight’s result was based on the fact that everyone knew that you get eliminated if you lose. The opponent picked up the pace after we went up 3-0. They had nothing to lose. It was difficult to adjust mid-game. Perhaps, we weren’t ready for them to rush down the ice like that. But we managed to pull through and made it to the final. In the final we have to face Canadians. We played against them in the tournament opener. It’s obvious that Team AJHL have improved greatly as the tournament went on but we also didn’t come here to swim in the sea. We also practice and analyze. I think, tomorrow’s game is going to show everything. I like to hope that we can avoid hitting a slump early in the game, like we did in our first game. It would be difficult to overcome a 2-goal deficit in the final. Although, we know it can also happen after last season’s final series. Today Nikolai Kovalenko got to be the captain. He’s a warrior through and through. He’s a true leader on the ice and in the dressing-room. JHL regular season kicks in just a few days, so we keep that in mind. But we have to live for tomorrow and win the World Cup.”
“We weren’t ready to play in the second period mentally,” said Loko forward Daniil Tesanov. “We were up 3-0 and that’s probably what made us soft. We have already faced Canadians at the tournament. Back then they were playing one of their first games together as a team because they are a selects team. They have worked on their chemistry towards the end of the tournament and they will be more dangerous than in round robin. I saw new Kharlamov Cup presentation prior to tonight’s game. I like the new design, although the idea behind the trophy remained the same. So as before I want to hoist the cup in April with my Loko teammates.”
“After last game I said that losing 8-1 was good for my team and it would definitely wake the boys up,” said Red Bull head-coach Teemu Levijoki. “But, unfortunately, it was the same story all over again today. Just as in the games against Team NAHL and Kärpät, one failed period outweighs everything we achieve in the other two. I have to say that it’s personal mistakes that kill us at the tournament. But I’m still proud of my team. They were just as good as the opponent, who have built chemistry a long time ago, in the second and third periods, while we only got together as a team four weeks ago. A year ago we also made it to Junior Club World Cup semifinal and also lost it to Loko. So history has repeated itself. We spoke about it with the boys. We told them that they need to learn from their last year’s mistakes. I hope that tomorrow we can play well for all three periods and do better than a year ago.”
2019 Sirius Junior Club World Cup
August 30th. Sochi, Russia. Shayba Ice Arena
Loko (Russia) – Red Bull (Austria) – 3-1 (3-0, 0-1, 0-0)
1-0 – Denisenko (Slepets, Denezhkin) – 08-13 PPG
2-0 – Minayev (Rybakov, Anokhovsky) – 12-44
3-0 – Tesanov (Gutik, Dyadenkin) – 13-24
3-1 – Rebernig (Tjernström, Eriksson) – 26-36 PPG
Goaltenders: Оkoryak - Kolarz