Western Conference quarterfinal, Game 7
(2) Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 2
(7) Dinamo Riga 0
Torpedo win the series 4-3
The line-up for the Western Conference semi-finals is complete after Torpedo finally edged out brave Dinamo Riga in a tense encounter. Torpedo’s 2-0 win secured a 4-3 series success, and means the Nizhny Novgorod side will face Dynamo Moscow in the next stage of the competition when it gets underway on Tuesday.
Ruslan Zainullin got the game-winning goal in front of a capacity crowd in Nizhny Novgorod, taking advantage of the first powerplay of the game to tuck away the rebound from Vladimir Malenkikh’s long-range effort. But after that it was the Vitaly Koval show as the home goaltender faced down a flurry of shots on his goal as the Latvians desperately looked for a way back into the game. In the end he pulled off 33 saves to secure the clean sheet before Mikhail Varnakov wrapped it up with an empty netter for his sixth play-off goal.
Torpedo’s success means that the Western Conference has gone according to the form book, with the top four sides all making progress to the second play-off phase. In the other series regular season conference winner SKA St. Petersburg will face last year’s Gagarin Cup runner-up Atlant Moscow Region.