Friday’s games in the Chelyabinsk Governor’s Cup proved to be a dress rehearsal for tomorrow’s medal games. Salavat Yulaev convincingly beat Traktor before the teams meet again for gold, while Avangard’s win over Metallurg sets up a bronze-medal match-up between those two. In Pardubice, Slovan lost heavily to Eisbaren Berlin.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk 0 Avangard Omsk 3 (0-1, 0-0, 0-2)
Igor Bobkov got his first shut-out since joining Avangard from Admiral to help his new team to victory over Metallurg. The win lifted the Omsk team to third place in the standings in Chelyabinsk, but these two teams meet again on Saturday in the bronze-medal game.
The opening goal came from defenseman Nikita Pivtsakin, an unassisted effort that saw him beat an opponent before firing into the open corner of the net from the face-off circle. The second period was goalless, but that owed much to the efforts of Artyom Zagidulin, goaltending understudy to Vasily Koshechkin, who made several big saves to keep the game alive. Zagidullin had no answers, though, when Avangard got a big power play chance in the third and Sergei Shirokov added a second. Ilya Mikheyev wrapped up with an empty-net goal to send Magnitka to the foot of the four-team group.
Traktor Chelyabinsk 1 Salavat Yulaev Ufa 5 (0-0, 0-4, 1-1)
Vladimir Tkachyov was Salavat Yulaev’s star in a crushing 5-1 victory over Traktor. The forward had a hand in four of his team’s five goals, playing a key role as the men from Ufa took control in the second period.
The opening exchanges were tight and there were no goals in the first period. But that all changed in the middle frame. Tkachyov began with an assist on Vyacheslav Osnovin’s goal 39 seconds after the restart. Then he found the net himself a couple of minutes later on the power play. Another assist followed as Philip Larsen added a third before the session ended with a rarity: Pyotr Khokhryakov scored off an Anton Burdasov assist with no involvement from the livewire Tkachyov.
With Salavat leading 4-0 at the second intermission, it was clear that the teams would meet again in the gold medal game on Saturday. Traktor therefore needed to rebuild some confidence in the third period. Anton Glinkin pulled one back for the host, but Grigory Panin added a fifth – off yet another Tkachyov helper – to wrap up a convincing win.
Eisbaren Berlin 4 Slovan Bratislava 0 (1-0, 2-0, 1-0)
For the second day running the Germans enjoyed victory over KHL opposition. Yesterday, Eisbaren overcame Amur and today it was Slovan’s turn to suffer. Mark Olver, who once played for HC Sochi but saw his KHL career wrecked by injury, was the difference maker. He had two goals and an assist as Berlin eased to victory.