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Going the distance

17 March 2012, 22:00

Western Conference semi-finals, Day 3
In play-off hockey little can be taken for granted - after two heavy defeats Atlant recovered to take SKA to overtime, while Dynamo and Torpedo once again needed an extra session to separate them.

Thornberg at the double
(3) Dynamo Moscow 3
(2) Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 4 OT
Torpedo lead the series 2-1
Another entertaining clash between Dynamo and Torpedo was finally settled by Martin Thornberg whose overtime winner gave Torpedo a 2-1 lead in the series.

Dynamo might have felt the game should have been settled in the first period, when Torpedo mustered just one shot on Alexander Yeryomenko’s goal. But the hosts could not add to Jakub Klepis’s early effort, and that advantage was cancelled out in the second period by Dmitry Makarov.

Dynamo grabbed the lead once again in dramatic fashion on 39:58 thanks to man-of-the-moment Mikhail Anisin’s fine solo goal, but the final period saw Torpedo tie the game at 3-3. First Makarov turned provider for Thornberg, then both sides tasted joy and despair in short order in the closing minutes: Dynamo inched in front once again through Konstantin Gorovikov on 54:50, but Torpedo leveled almost immediately through Robert Nilsson.

Atlant battles back
(4) Atlant Moscow Region 2 OT
(1) SKA St. Petersburg 1
SKA lead the series 2-1
An overtime winner from Janne Niskala got Atlant off the mark in its series with SKA, and reawakened the seven-game sequence. Niskala drilled home a one-timer on 65:38 to give his side a hard-fought win following a 1-1 tie in regulation time.

It seemed for a moment as if the Atlant vs SKA series was set to continue along familiar lines. Barely 10 minutes played and a deft exchange of passes between Fyodor Fedorov and Ivan Nepryayev sent the former slicing through Atlant’s defense to open the scoring. With Eduard Lewandowski missing a penalty shot for Atlant soon afterwards, it seemed that the Mytishchi team was in for another tough day.

But, roared on by a packed home arena, Atlant dug in and despite being out-shot by the visitors, it was Patrick Zackrisson who finally tied the game on 45:10. For the first time in the series, SKA had yielded a lead, and that led us to overtime. There was controversy almost straight away - Petr Prucha deflected Dmitry Kalinin’s blue-liner into the Atlant net, only for the video official to rule it out for a raised stick.

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