After surviving a testing first period, SKA simply had too much power for HC Lokomotiv, defeating the hosts 4:0 in the 2018/2019 KHL regular season at the Arena 2000 in Yaroslavl.
The first period suggested it would be a hugely difficult match for SKA, but after settling into proceedings, our players dictated the pace of the game and ran out comfortable winners thanks to four unanswered goals in the second stanza.
In front of a packed home crowd, Lokomotiv came out all guns blazing during the early stages, piling the pressure on a shaky SKA defence. Feeling the heat, our defensemen contrived to commit some sloppy errors at the back, and the team relied on superb goaltending from Igor Shestyorkin to keep the score level. Kirill Slepets was the most lively attacker for Lokomotiv, as he was denied by the goalkeeper at point blank range on several occasions.
Lokomotiv were in their groove, but in the second period, that changed dramatically. On the powerplay, Anton Belov notched the all-important go ahead goal for SKA, as his powerful slapper was inadvertently deflected beyond Ilya Konovalov by a Lokomotiv player. Five minutes later, Andrei Kuzmenko tipped in on the crease to double SKA’s money, before Nail Yakupov powered to the doorstep and caught Ilya Konovalov cold. The Lokomotiv goaltender was then pulled in favour of Daniil Isaev, but in truth, it made little difference. With the period entering its final stages, Nail Yakupov punished Lokomotiv for another defensive lapse, calmly backhanding into the net when completely clean through.
In complete charge of the game, SKA never looked in any danger in the third, calmly keeping Lokomotiv at bay while creating clear opportunities for more goals. When called upon, Igor Shestyorkin refused to be beaten, in turn seeing the team through to a scintillating 4:0 triumph at HC Lokomotiv Yaroslavl!
Lokomotiv – SKA – 0:4 (0:0. 0:4, 0:0)
0:1 Belov (Prokhorkin, Gusev), 22.56
0:2 Kuzmenko (Gavrikov), 27.33
0:3 Yakupov (Prokhorkin), 29.37
0:4 Yakupov (Tikhonov), 38.18
Goalkeepers: Konovalov/Isaev – Shestyorkin
Shots on target: 31 – 32
Faceoffs: 23 – 22
Hits: 29 – 20
Penalty minutes: 8 – 2
10.01.2019. Arena 2000, Yaroslavl.