Ak Bars 1
SKA wins the Gagarin Cup, taking the final series 4-1
The long, long wait is over at last. After 69 years of hockey in Leningrad and St. Petersburg, Russia’s second city can finally claim to be number 1. A devastating first-period performance in Kazan decided the course of game five – and the final series – inside 15 minutes as SKA raced into a 4-0 lead, clinically dismembering the prospects of the most dangerous of the provincial pretenders to Russian hockey’s top honors.
For a team that had never before managed to win a major domestic title – two bronzes in the Soviet championship and two Soviet Cup runner-up medals were as good as it got – lifting the Gagarin Cup for the first time was only the start of a memorable sequence of triumphs. Hot shot Evgeny Dadonov scored his 15th post-season goal, setting a new KHL record as he made it 3-0 in the 11th minute. His line-mate Vadim Shipachyov became the leading point-scorer in this year’s play-off, overtaki ...