A spectacular match at Megasport ended with an outsider’s victory over Spartak, which is fighting for a ticket to the playoffs. And the rojiblancos’ rival, Severstal, beat Magnitogorsk and knocked the rojiblancos out of the eighth cup.
Spartacists were dropped for early eliminations before the end of the game by defender Keane for a stinging strike and goalkeeper Krasikov for playing with the high stick. Backup Kulikov came out on the ice, a real mouse hunter.
In the first period, the Leopardos dominated – 3:0 on score, 20-5 on shots (plus 11 blocks for the rojiblancos), 5:18 – 2:29 on attack time. The third goal was scored by the child prodigy Michkov, who, after the departure of Sergei Svetlov, began to fade.
After the break, the hosts came to their senses and had the honor of turning around: they tied the score, pulling the guests 27-3, the time in attack was 7:48 – 1:08. Spartak could have scored a fourth goal, but goalkeeper Berdin came to the rescue.
It seemed that in the third half the Muscovites would squeeze the outsiders. But, apparently, he splashed all the forces in the second third. The guests punished the rojiblancos for an error when changing the composition in the third minute: Kulikov did not react to a decent shot from midrange. Let’s name him after the late great Canadian, the first millionaire hockey player Bobby Hull.
There was a wagon and a cart left for a turning point, but the Spartak team failed to score. The Leopards selflessly fought back and defended victory. The first under the new head coach Dmitry Kokorev.
His father is a general defender for the Spartak soccer team from the 1970s. I remember him with a penalty converted in the cup game for the rojiblancos, who were relegated to the first league, with the champion Torpedo. It was in June 1977 at the Luzhniki Stadium. After zeroes in 120 minutes, they beat 11 meters. Spartacus sold only one and lost 1:3.
And Dmitry Kokorev himself graduated from the Dynamo Moscow hockey school, but in 2001 he was transferred to the struggling CSKA PHC. He knows firsthand the feeling of a perennial loser. The army team then played quite well and flew out of the Super League. Now the KHL is a closed league, parting with it does not threaten anyone, but in vain.
In any case, congratulations to the Leopards on such a rare win this season! Yes, and about a motivated opponent who has no right to waste points, like, for example, Magnitogorsk.
The 2022 playoff finalist lost 1:4 in Cherepovets. And let the head coach of Severstal Andre Razin admitted that his team treated scoring opportunities carefully, unlike the guests. Consistently beating the champion and runner-up with the same score 4:1 is worth a lot.
Other teams holding on to the playoffs also picked up victories: Neftekhimik and Traktor. But Chelyabinsk is still at the bottom of the Eastern standings and it is not a fact that they will rise and enter the eighth cup.
Spartak – HC Sochi – 3:4, Traktor – Dynamo M – 2:1, Severstal – Metallurg – 4:1, Neftekhimik – Avtomobilist – 4:3 OT.