In Ufa, the capital of the Republic of Bashkortostan, SKA produced a memorable comeback to defeat HC Salavat Yulaev 3:2 on penalties in a scintillating battle in the 2020/2021 KHL regular season.
It turned out to be a forgettable first period for SKA. Flying out of the blocks, Salavat immediately took the game to our players, getting on the board within three minutes as Markus Granlund tapped the loose puck over the line after Alexander Samonov had made the initial save. In the box seat, the Bashkir hosts went on to dominate the majority of the opening frame, crashing our net at any given opportunity. Midway through the period, Salavat smacked the right post after a wicked ricochet on the crease, but they did tally their second in the 18th minute as Rodion Amirov took advantage of a defensive lapse to whip a wrister past Samonov.
Nevertheless, SKA reacted well in the second period, halving the deficit in the 24th minute as Anton Burdasov lashed an unstoppable wrist shot over Daniil Tarasov’s blocker from a tight angle on the right flank. Moments later, Stepan Starkov was presented with a golden opportunity to get on the scoreboard on his debut for the main SKA team, however he failed to lift the puck over the left pad when clean through.
In what was a well-balanced second stanza, Salavat did also have their chances, with Alexander Samonov regularly being called into action with the home team continuing to apply plenty of pressure on the SKA defence.
SKA turned up the heat further in the third period.
Keeping the puck in the Salavat zone for the majority of the frame, our team pressed with intensity and urgency, impressive play which resulted in a vital equaliser with 50 minutes on the clock. Alone on the doorstep, Joonas Kemppainen made full use of a powerplay, beating Tarasov with a thunderous attempt.
All of a sudden, SKA were dictating the play and not allowing Salavat to get out of their zone, but a late holding penalty from Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi turned the game on its head in the closing minutes.
SKA then had to cope with a two-man Salavat advantage in the ensuing overtime period after a cheap tripping foul by Vladimir Tkachyov and too many of our players being witnessed on the ice.
However, with Kemppainen in particular displaying wonderful penalty-killing skills, SKA heroically held on and were rewarded with a dramatic shootout triumph as Linden Vey and Kirill Marchenko rendered Dmitry Kugryshev’s effort worthless! Samonov stopped Teemu Hartikainen’s final shot to secure the victory.
SKA will now prepare to face Jokerit Helsinki in Saint Petersburg on Monday. Puck drop is scheduled for 19:30 local time.
Salavat Yulaev - SKA - 2:3 SO (2:0, 0:1, 0:1, 0:0 - 0:1)
1:0 Granlund (Hartikainen, Manninen), 02.44
2:0 Amirov (Vorobyov), 17.03
2:1 Burdasov (Galenyuk), 23.24
2:2 Kemppainen (Ozhiganov, Tkachyov), 49.15
2:3 Marchenko, 65.00 SO
Goalkeepers: Tarasov - Samonov
Shots on target: 24 - 29
Faceoffs: 18 - 32
Hits: 14 - 16
Penalty minutes: 6 - 8
Referees: Oskirko, Belov
28.11.2020. Ufa Arena, Ufa, Bashkortostan.