Sergei Mozyakin moves to 999 career points, but Traktor gets the win to secure fourth place in the Eastern Conference table.In Wednesday’s other game, Slovan signed off its season with victory over Medvescak in front of 10,000 fans, but neither team will continue into the playoffs.
Sergei Mozyakin is just one point shy of becoming the first man to score 1,000 in Russian or Soviet hockey – but his 48th goal of the season was not enough to win this game for the defending champion.
Instead Traktor came from behind to enjoy a derby triumph that cements fourth place and completes the quartet of seeded teams in the Eastern Conference.
Mozyakin’s magnificent season continued when he opened the scoring in the 29th minute, putting Magnitka in front with a power play goal with assists from his regular partners in crime Chris Lee and Danis Zaripov.
But Traktor was determined to give its fans something to cheer from the last regular-season encounter in Chelyabinsk and rallied in the third period to win the game. Artyom Penkovsky tied it up in the 48th minute, assisted by goalie Pavel Francouz, before Paul Szczechura got the winner with five minutes left.
Mozyakin’s scoring feats left their mark on Alexei Kruchinin, a 25-year-old Traktor forward who recently made his first appearances for the national team during the weekend’s Euro Hockey Tour action.
“It would take me about 90 years to score that many points,” he joked after the game. “It’s incredible. He just keeps scoring and scoring. It’s like he’s found some kind of ‘cheat’ mode where nobody else can play and the puck flies by itself.”
And after helping his team clinch fourth place in the East and claim home ice advantage for the start of the playoffs, Kruchinin felt his team had achieved its first target for the season.
“We’ve got fourth place, we’ll start the playoffs here in Chelyabinsk, so everyone’s happy,” he added. “Right now we’ve got these two games against Metallurg, one at home and one away, so it’s like a mini-rehearsal for the playoffs.”
Slovan made it two wins from two games against Medvescak, ending its season on a high note despite missing out on this year’s playoffs.
After a thrilling overtime win last night, the Slovak team had it easier this evening, taking control of the game in the first period and never relinquishing its grip.
Nick Plastino and Patrik Bacik put Slovan 2-0 up early on, then power play goals either side of the first intermission saw Patrik Lusnak and Pavol Skalicky extend that lead to 4-0. Alexandre Giroux got one back for Medvescak, ending Justin Pogge’s hopes of finishing the season with a shut-out, but Kyle Chipchura was on the mark early in the third to make it 5-1. Medvescak managed a fight-back of sorts – Giroux completed a hat-trick before Lukas Kozak and Nathan Perkovich found the net – but amid those goals Slovan added two more through Michal Hlinka and Tomas Starosta.
These two teams are the first to complete their 60 games in this year’s regular season, and unfortunately neither of them will continue into the playoffs. Slovan’s 85-point tally is good enough for 10th in the West; Medvescak must wait to see if 69 points will be good enough to remain in 11th ahead of Severstal and Spartak.