Game five between HC Metallurg and SKA took place in Magnitogorsk. Head coach Oleg Znarok didn’t make any major changes to the winning line-up from Saint Petersburg, keeping Mikko Koskinen in net. Vasily Koshechkin was Metallurg’s starting goalkeeper.
Facing elimination in front of their home fans, Metallurg made a bright start. Unfortunately. they managed to make the breakthrough midway through the period. Speeding down the left wing, Oskar Osala wristed under Mikko Koskinen’s glove. That was a setback for SKA, but our players responded well. As the period wore on, SKA spent more time inside Metallurg’s zone, testing Vasily Koshechkin from all angles. Evgeny Dadonov came the closest, shaving the crossbar from an excellent position.
Metallurg doubled their money four minutes into the second stanza. Viktor Antipin wound up for a slap shot, fooling the surprised Mikko Koskinen. Our players had their backs up against the wall, but a powerplay gave us the perfect opportunity to get something going. To our delight, the players made full use of the chance. Nikita Gusev wriggled free at the high slot, lashing a one timer beyond Vasily Koshechkin. That goal was just what SKA needed. Alexander Barabanov made it a tied game moments later, going five hole on the doorstep. The home fans were in shock, and it was about to get worse for them. Metallurg’s defence went missing, Vadim Shipachyov fed the open Evgeny Dadonov, and the latter scored with ease. The Magnitogorsk outfit could have equalised before the break, but Chris Lee’s powerful wrister struck the pipe.
Ilya Kovalchuk scored SKA’s fourth in the first shift of the third, thumping a slapper in blocker side. However, Metallurg weren’t prepared to give in easily. Yaroslav Kosov immediately reduced Metallurg’s deficit, arrowing a pinpoint effort in on the left flank. Predictably, Metallurg set about throwing everything at SKA, but we had Mikko Koskinen in net. Mikko made a number of huge saves, and when Sergei Plotnikov sealed it with an empty netter in the final minutes, there wasn’t any doubt. SKA beat HC Metallurg Magnitogorsk 5:3, make it 4:1 in the series and are the 2016/2017 KHL Gagarin Cup champions!
Metallurg Magnitogorsk – SKA – 3:5 (1:0, 1:3, 1:2)
1:0 Osala (Santala, Khabarov), 08.49
2:0 Antipin (Kovar), 23.56
2:1 Gusev (Dadonov, Shipachyov), 27.00
2:2 Barabanov (Kovalchuk), 29.23
2:3 Dadonov (Shipachov, Gusev), 34.29
2:4 Kovalchuk (Hersley), 40.09
3:4 Kosov, 40.55
3:5 Plotnikov (Prokhorkin). 58.54
Goalkeepers: Koshechkin – Koskinen
Shots on target: 45 – 31
Penalty minutes: 10 – 6
Faceoffs: 47 – 23
Hits: 25 – 14
Referees: Olenin, Buturlin
16.04.2017. Arena Metallurg, Magnitogorsk.