Magnitogorsk has already seen the cup, but CSKA did not give up! In overtime, everything was decided by the goal of two defenders

Egor Bulchuk

CSKA defeated Metallurg in the fifth match

Magnitogorsk could see the Metallurg championship, but Nesterov and Dalbek were against it.

Before the match, in which CSKA only needed a victory, Sergei Fedorov made noticeable personnel changes. The head coach withdrew defender Bogdan Kiselevich from the squad, reassembled the fourth link, but did not release Alexander Popov.

Give them the cup!  The phenomenal change of Metallurg players brought them closer to the championship
Give them the cup! The phenomenal change of Metallurg players brought them closer to the championship

Fresh blood did not add any advantage to Muscovites in “physics”. Both rivals started the fifth match of the final at exorbitant speeds, as if there had never been a long season behind them. “Magnitogorsk” in this movement relied on the individual potential of the attackers. Due to uncomplicated, but effective actions, the Magnitogorsk residents prepared a whole series of serious counterattacks. Maye went to the target from the left flank, Nekolenko burst into the zone in the center, Chibisov attacked from an acute angle – everything was past.

CSKA, as usual, relied on teamwork. However, sometimes the forwards of the capital club obviously flirted with each other. Extra passes gave the Urals extra time to adjust and level the danger.


By the middle of the period, Metallurg made a sharp attempt to raise the pace to levels close to the maximum. For almost two minutes, the hosts kept the Muscovites in the zone, but they survived and, coming out from under the press, went to open an account. Several insidious shots from afar – from Provolnev, Nesterov, Karnaukhov, Dietz – made the local fans shudder. Threats didn’t look fatal – Vasily Koshechkin’s nondescript performance added drama to the moments. The Magnitogorsk goalkeeper failed to fix the puck three times and gave his opponents a chance to finish.

Even without reaching a goal, the army team created such an advantage that allowed them to go to the break in a good mood. It was spoiled by Yegor Korobkin. The short striker turned out to be, perhaps, the most active and aggressive player of Magnitogorsk in the first period. It is logical that it was he who earned the deletion in the end.

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The steelworkers failed to use the excess, and at the start of the second 20-minute period they themselves had to play four of them. Andrey Svetlakov “exploded” from the red line and would have gone one on one with Koshechkin if his high-speed breakthrough had not been interrupted by Linus Hulström. The violation turned out to be justified: Magnitogorsk did not experience any particular difficulties in the minority.

But CSKA, as soon as the compositions became equal, ran into problems. Metallurg began to draw attacks for every taste – with direct passes and with diagonal ones, with a long draw and with an instant throw. Josh Curry had the best opportunity to hurt opponents. The Canadian picked up the rebound after Yegor Yakovlev’s click and sent the puck down – Fedotov did not see it and reflected it thanks to the correctly chosen position.
At times, CSKA had difficulty even getting out of the zone. But in the 36th minute, two passes were enough for the Muscovites to build an attack from defense. Konstantin Okulov got the puck on the right in front of the opponent’s blue line and, driving behind it, shot from the brushes into the far corner of Koshechkin – 0:1.

The rights to the video belong to KHL LLC. The video can be viewed on the league’s official website.

The missed goal did not cancel the offensive plans of Magnitogorsk. After surviving the setback, they returned to their usual tactics and continued to build up pressure. A minute before the break, first Korobkin and then Videll could restore equality – both times their intentions were destroyed by Fedotov’s trap.

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The influx of the Urals on their gates, the guests stopped the removal. The break tore him in two again. “Magnitogorsk” could have been left without a goal this time, but unexpectedly, the opponent helped her. The transfer from Maxim Karpov from the flank went to the partner, when in front of Fedotov’s nose she found the stick of the army team Svetlakov. The Moscow goalkeeper did not have time to react to the rebound.

The rights to the video belong to KHL LLC. The video can be viewed on the league’s official website.

Inspired by success, Metallurg stepped up the pressure on CSKA, and the second goal was not long in coming. Stubborn Korobkin pursued Gilmour for a long time and eventually took the puck from him, and then broke into the operational space and flashed Fedotov with a strong throw – 2:1.

The rights to the video belong to KHL LLC. The video can be viewed on the league’s official website.

Magnitogorsk has already seen the shine of the cup and, perhaps, that is why the Urals failed to keep a cool head: Nekolenko broke the rules and left teammates in the minority. CSKA invested in these two minutes to the maximum, and several times only centimeters separated the army team from the second puck. However, the majority allowed the Muscovites to gain confidence and properly aim at Koshechkin. Close-ups showed the bright red face of the 39-year-old goalkeeper and his out of breath. Opportunities to reflect the throw of Maxim Sorkin venerable goalkeeper found in himself – 2:2.

The rights to the video belong to KHL LLC. The video can be viewed on the league’s official website.

The rest of the main time the opponents spent in mutual attacks. Magnitogorsk, feeling Fedotov’s confusion, tried to throw from any position, but the army team withstood under a flurry of attacks and turned the game into overtime.

In the first extra period, the teams decided not to close all the bolts. “Steelworkers” acted a little more diverse ahead, CSKA had to rely on counterplay. The fateful moment of the meeting could be the stupid removal of CSKA. Exactly at the equator of overtime, six of the guests took to the ice, but Magnitogorsk did not realize the majority and forgave the opponent.

But the army team turned out to be more decisive. Nikita Nesterov with the puck rolled enough around the Magnitogorsk zone and found the transfer of Klas Dalbek – the legionnaire put a winning point in the fifth match and gave this series the sixth.

However, in the next game, CSKA will not have the right to make a mistake. Magnitogorsk still leads in the confrontation (3-2) and is still one step away from the third Gagarin Cup in its history.


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