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Avangard - SKA - 1:5

Match reportAvangardAvangard - SKA - 251021
HC SKA press-service

In Balashikha, SKA were on top form against Avangard Omsk, romping to an emphatic 5:1 victory on the road in the 2021/2022 KHL regular season.

An early penalty for too many men from SKA allowed Avangard to start the game with the initiative. To their credit, our players did kill that ensuing Avangard powerplay, but the home team subsequently made the breakthrough at equal strength in the fourth minute as Arseniy Gritsyuk converted when bursting past our defence with a sharp turn of pace.

In truth, it was a closed, rather uneventful first period, with the teams not willing to take any unnecessary risks. At the blue line, Igor Ozhiganov had one good chance for SKA, as his deflected attempt struck the tip of Simon Hrubec’s right pad.

SKA went on to take firm control of proceedings in what turned out to be an excellent second period.

On two powerplays in quick succession, Finnish defenseman Mikko Lehtonen marked his SKA debut by thumping a clattering one-timer into the right corner, before he dished out an assist for Marat Khusnutdinov to hit the jackpot from the right faceoff circle. Fired up and playing with the momentum, SKA tallied a third marker in the 27th minute, as Andrei Kuzmenko lashed an unstoppable wrister over the glove.

Avangard - SKA - 1:5

Towards the end of the stanza, two tripping fouls from Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi and Lehtonen allowed gifted Avangard two powerplay opportunities, but SKA protected Johansson effectively when shorthanded.

Playing with confidence and calmness, SKA produced a third-period masterclass. Despite taking another penalty when Joonas Kemppainen tripped midway through the frame, SKA didn’t allow Avangard to create prolonged spells of pressure, blocking plenty of shots and moving out of the defensive zone in the correct manner.

SKA rounded off proceedings with flair. Unmarked on the doorstep, Valentin Zykov connected with an awkward bounce, catching Hrubec off-guard. The visitors weren’t finished there, either, as Kuzmenko iced it when scoring his second from the right wing after receiving an unexpected pass from behind the net.

Our next game will take place against Dinamo Riga in Latvia on Wednesday. Puck-drop is scheduled for 19:30 local time.

Match protocol:

Avangard - SKA - 1:5 (1:0, 0:3, 0:2)

Goals:

1:0 Gritsyuk (Zharkov, Dergachyov), 03.42

1:1 Lehtonen (Gusev, Kuzmenko), 21.21

1:2 Khusnutdinov (Lehtonen, Gusev), 24.15

1:3 Kuzmenko (Kemppainen, Shvets-Rogovoi), 26.15

1:4 Zykov (Lehtonen, Robinson), 58.01

1:5 Kuzmenko (Kemppainen), 58.51

Goalkeepers: Hrubec - Johansson

Shots on target: 29 - 25

Faceoffs: 20 - 30

Hits: 12 - 12

Penalty minutes: 4 - 8

Referees: Olenin, Ravodin

25.10.2021. Arena Balashikha, Balashikha.

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