Gagarin Cup final, Game 4
Dynamo Moscow 1
Avangard Omsk 2 OT
Avangard leads the series 3-1
A dramatic overtime winner from Alexander Perezhogin saw Avangard take a firm grip on the Gagarin Cup final series - and the action returns to Omsk in Saturday with the hosts knowing a victory will deliver the top prize. Perezhogin delivered his fourth goal in four final series games to secure a 2-1 win on the night and a 3-1 series lead for the Siberian side, swivelled onto Alexander Popov's deflected pass and fired through the five-hole to settle the issue on 68:15.
A dramatic overtime winner from saw Avangard take a firm grip on the Gagarin Cup final series - and the action returns to Omsk in Saturday with the hosts knowing a victory will deliver the top prize. Perezhogin delivered his fourth goal in four final series games to secure a 2-1 win on the night and a 3-1 series lead for the Siberian side, swivelled onto 's deflected pass and fired through the five-hole to settle the issue on 68:15.
It was the first time in this series that a game had gone to overtime, and Avangard ensured it was also the first time a team had come from behind to prevail. But initially it looked as if Dynamo had found an unlikely hero to finally find a way past visiting goaltender Karri Ramo.
Artyom Chernov, making his first appearance in this season's play-offs, wasted no time in making an impact as grabbed the opener for the hosts on 5:22. He slotted home a rebound from two meters out after Janne Jalasvaara's powerful shot from the left-hand circle was parried across the crease. The relief among the home crowd was immediately apparent: after more than 100 minutes, Ramo's dry streak was over at last.
However, the Finnish wall was not about to crumble. While Avangard struggled to get its attacking game into gear - save for a half-chance for Igor Volkov on the powerplay - Ramo remained a daunting opponent between the piping. And his reaction stop to deny Dmitry Pestunov, stretching out a glove to turn away a shot from the slot in the last seconds of the first period, showed just why Ramo has become the hottest stopper in the competition.
At the other end, Perezhogin has been a key player throughout this series for Avangard, and he continued his record of a point in every game when he carved open the Dynamo defense to set up Alexander Popov for the equalizer midway through the second period. Perezhogin's thrilling burst down the right met the perfect answer as Popov powered an unstoppable wrist shot past Yeryomenko to leave the home side ruing its failure to convert a 5v3 powerplay.
A scoreless third period underlined how little separates these two sides: both goaltenders were called into action, but the most dramatic save came in the 58th minute with Yeryomenko - and most people in the arena - knowing little of how the puck stayed out. Alexander Nesterov's close range effort hit the post and bounced onto the goalie's back . After an almighty scramble Maxim Solovyov hacked it to safety, but Dynamo's reprieve was only temporary.