Saint Petersburg (17:00)
Nizhny Novgorod (18:00)
Saint Petersburg (19:30)
The home team welcomed back Rihards Bukarts from injury while Sibir recalled Oleg Li to the fray after he sat out Wednesday’s defeat at Amur. Li made an immediate impact, assisting on Nick Shore’s fourth-minute opener. Shore learned yesterday that he will be representing Team USA in Beijing next month and celebrated that news with his 10th goal of the season. However, the lead was shortlived and Admiral tied it up a minute later thanks to Mark Verba.
Late in the opening frame, that pattern repeated itself. Alexander Sharov restored Sibir’s lead on the power play, only for Dmitry Sayustov to tie it up once more with a goal on his former club. Sayustov’s goal came at the very moment that Vyacheslav Litovchenko left the penalty box for the visitor.
Although the scores were level, Sibir dominated the opening frame and continued to press in the second period. However, Nikita Serebryakov was in imposing form in the Admiral net and his defense produced a hard-working display, blocking 21 shots in the first 40 minutes.
Sibir also made the better start in the third period, but with Admiral well aware that defeat would effectively end its season, the home team steadily got back into the game. The breakthrough came on the power play after Yegor Morozov took a tripping call. The Sailors’ power play needed just 17 seconds to grab the winning goal, with Artyom Gareyev getting the all-important tally. The home team still had to kill a penalty of its own but managed to keep Sibir at bay and can continue to dream of post season as the hockey world switches its focus to the Olympics.