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All tied up

15 April 2012, 18:24

Gagarin Cup Final, Game 2
Avangard Omsk 1
Dynamo Moscow 2 
Series tied 1-1


Dynamo Moscow withstood a third period siege to clinch a 2-1 victory over Avangard Omsk and square the Gagarin Cup final at one game all before the action switches to the capital. But after opening up a 2-0 first period lead thanks to Denis Kokarev and Leonid Komarov, the Moscow team was left clinging on at the end, facing the final 24 seconds with four men against six, while goalie Alexander Yeryomenko pulled off 16 saves in a dramatic final session.

The game began at a frantic pace, with both sides creating chances. But while Avangard's players swarmed menacingly around the Dynamo goal, it was the visitors who found the cutting edge and turned counter-attacks into clear chances. Two of those proved decisive: Kokarev opened the scoring on 7:57, wriggling away from the flat-footed Anton Belov before prodding the puck beyond Karri Ramo. Then in the last minute before the hooter, Dynamo converted the first powerplay of the game when Ilya Gorokhov's blue-liner was deflected into the net by Komarov. The forward forced the puck home as he and Belov crashed to the ice, and his second goal of the series was confirmed by the video official.

For its part, Avangard found itself close to scoring on several occasions - Yegor Averin pinged one off Yeryomenko's right-hand post in the 11th minute; Alexander Perezhogin twice fired tantalizingly wide, but there was no way through. And that pattern continued in the second period, when even a powerplay for the hosts could not see them get on the scoresheet.

It took less than a minute, however, for Avangard to cut the deficit in the third. Perezhogin, who had scored the winner in Friday's series opener, got the all-important goal after a flowing move which saw Sergei Kalinin and Martin Skoula swiftly bring play down the left and pick out the unattended forward. That unleashed an even greater storm on the Dynamo goal: by the midway point in the third session Avangard had created 17 opportunities to the opposition's two, and none were better than the clear sight of goal spurned by Alexander Frolov on 49:30. But the intense pressure could not force overtime, and Dynamo will feel that it has a slight edge going into Tuesday's game in Moscow.

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