Coming of age

18 March 2012, 21:34

Eastern Conference semi-finals, Day 3
(3) Metallurg Magnitogorsk 1
(2) Avangard Omsk 3
Avangard leads the series 2-1
Avangard defenseman Nikita Pivtsakin doesn’t turn 21 until July, but on the ice he put on a performance beyond his years to give his team a turnaround win at Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Pivtsakin struck twice to cancel out Dmitry Obukhov’s opening goal for Magnitka, and in the process he recorded his first ever game-winning goal and doubled his career goal tally in the KHL.

Anton Kuryanov completed the scoring for Avangard in a 3-1 win which gives the Omsk side a 2-1 lead in its semi-final series, despite Metallurg’s success in the opening game of the sequence.

Peaking too soon
(4) Ak Bars Kazan 2 OT
(1)Traktor Chelyabinsk 1
Traktor leads the series 2-1
In the Ak Bars vs Traktor series, it doesn’t pay to get off the mark too quickly: in all three games so far the team which has opened the scoring has ended up losing.

This time it was Traktor which peaked too early in Kazan, with Evgeny Kuznetsov’s penalty shot opening the scoring early in the second period. That lead did not last long, however, with Evgeny Skachkov tying things up inside two minutes.

After that it was cagey stuff, with neither side really forging a clear advantage in the third session and for the first time in the series we went to overtime before Niko Kapanen gave Ak Bars the verdict on 61:55.

After two wins in Chelyabinsk, Traktor still leads the best-of-seven series, but its advantage has been trimmed to 2-1 ahead of Tuesday’s game in Kazan.

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