CSKA is the 2022 Gagarin Cup winner, completing victory in game seven of the final series thanks to a 3-1 success in Magnitogorsk. It’s the second time the Muscovites have won the trophy, and it avenges a game seven loss against Metallurg in the 2016 final. CSKA also rallied from 1-3 down in the series to win, matching the achievement of cross-town rival Dynamo Moscow in the 2012 final against Avangard.

Metallurg Magnitogorsk 1 CSKA Moscow 4 (0-2, 1-1, 0-1)

(CSKA wins the Gagarin Cup final 4-3)

Game seven saw an enforced change for Metallurg, with the suspended Josh Currie out of the top line. In the event, Ilya Vorobyov partnered Andrei Chibisov with Arkhip Nekolenko and Yegor Korobkin. The Magnitogorsk head coach also brought back Yaroslav Khabarov, who played in that 2016 triumph, after he missed game six.

Sergei Fedorov, looking to complete his first season as head coach with the trophy, was able to bring back Alexander Popov after injury.

CSKA took control of this game in the first period. Two quick goals midway through the session did the damage, while Metallurg endured one of its worst first periods in any KHL playoff game. The Steelmen managed just five shots on goal: only twice has Magnitka managed less, when suffering heavy losses against Avangard last season.

For CSKA, there was no such difficulty. The Muscovites found their range in the ninth minute when Konstantin Okulov brought the puck away from the boards and advanced down the wing. His pass to the center found Pavel Karnaukhov, who swivelled to shoot home the opening goal.

A minute later, it was 2-0. Andrei Svetlakov won his battle against Andrei Chibisov and got the puck out of the corner for the evergreen Popov to beat Vasily Koshechkin from close range.

Metallurg called a time-out as Ilya Vorobyov looked to rebuild his team. However, the host was unable to make any impact in the first period and the first intermission had CSKA within touching distance of the trophy.

Early in the second, Magnitka began to test Ivan Fedotov in the visitor’s net. Chibisov’s low shot rebounded into the danger zone, but Artyom Minulin was unable to slide it home from a tight angle. Moments later, Brendan Leipsic fired the puck to the slot where Philippe Maillet was all alone. However, the previously lethal Canadian forwards have lost their way in the last few games of the series; Maillet was denied here by Fedotov.

It set the tone for a frame that saw Metallurg dominate the play ... but struggle to score. Despite outshooting CSKA 18-3, the home team fell further behind late the session when Okulov punished a turnover to make it 3-0. Only in the final seconds did Magnitka get on the scoreboard, with Maillet racing onto a Chibisov feed to pot a power play tally.

In the third, Metallurg adopted a shoot-on-sight policy, firing in 20 efforts at Fedotov but failing to reduce the deficit. All too often, the home was guilty of banging in the puck without seeking more testing options to solve Fedotov. Perhaps tellingly, the most dangerous moment came from a Yegor Yakovlev piledriver, with CSKA working hard to disrupt any interplay from the home team.

Finally, Vorobyov had to gamble. Koshechkin came out of his net with four minutes still to play, time enough to score the necessary goals but also time enough for CSKA to finish the job. And Vladislav Kamenev did exactly that, finding the empty net 55 seconds after Metallurg rolled the dice. Metallurg continued with six skaters, but could not find a way to Fedotov’s net as CSKA closed out the game and celebrated as the cup returns to Moscow.


Related clubs

Metallurg (Magnitogorsk) Metallurg (Magnitogorsk)
CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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