This Eastern Conference semi-final continues to be a feast of goals – but game two was a far more competitive affair than the first. Although Avangard once again powered into a big lead early on, Metallurg hit back this time and almost wiped out a four-goal deficit before allowing a last-minute empty net goal.

Metallurg Magnitogorsk 5 Avangard Omsk 7 (1-4, 4-2, 0-1)

(Avangard leads the series 2-0)

Much like game one, Avangard made a flying start to this one. The Hawks jumped to a 4-1 lead in the first period, echoing the 4-0 advantage they held after 20 minutes of the opening game. Vladimir Bryukvin got things moving in the fifth minute, but Metallurg hit back quickly through Josh Currie – the Canadian going some way to atoning for his first-minute ejection last time that contributed to his team’s 1-8 loss.

However, Avangard was not to be deflected from its purpose in the early stages. The visitor’s aggressive forecheck caused constant problems for the home defense and resulted in several more scoring chances. Artyom Minulin was harried into a turnover in the corner, enabling Vladimir Zharkov to set up Pavel Dedunov for 2-1. Then a Metallurg attack fell apart due to a misplaced pass on the blue line and Arseny Gritsyuk sprinted away to make it 3-1. Finally, Mikhail Pashnin lost possession in center ice and play went to the Magnitka end where Damir Sharipzyanov potted his third goal of the series.

For a while, it seemed that the second period would follow a similar pattern. Sharipzyanov’s point shot dropped kindly for Kirill Semyonov to add a fifth, chasing Vasily Koshechkin from his net for the second game in a row. Nikita Korostelyov pulled one back for the home team, but then took a penalty that saw Alexei Bereglazov make it 6-2 with a deflected shot from the blue line in the 30th minute.

But then things began to change. Faced with another heavy loss on home ice, Metallurg found a way back into contention. An interference call on Bereglazov opened the door, and Andrei Chibisov produced a fantastic diagonal feed for Brendan Leipsic to score at the back door. Korostelyov got his second of the game 36 seconds later and suddenly Avangard’s procession was getting bogged down. Seconds before the intermission, Nikolai Goldobin burst through the middle and set up Maxim Karpov, who deked his way round the defenseman and found Simon Hrubec’s top corner. And even before the hooter, Metallurg was close to tying the scores when Linus Videll’s speculative shot from a tight angle flashed against the back of the Czech goalie and hit the crossbar before dropping to safety. It was close enough for the video judge to initiate a review, but not close enough to make it 6-6.

Koshechkin returned to the Metallurg net for the third period and after 40 minutes of free-scoring action, the game changed character. The next goal – one that would likely determine the destiny of the game – had to wait until the last minute, the longest spell without scoring all afternoon. Both teams saw a power play come and go without finding a way through and Magnitka called Koshechkin back to the bench with 1:46 left to play. However, the extra attacker did not help; Avangard won possession and Gritsyuk fired into the empty net from his own zone to seal the win and send the series to Balashikha with the Hawks up 2-0.


Related clubs

Avangard (Omsk) Avangard (Omsk)
Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)
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