In Cherepovets, SKA showed courage and determination to hold on against a fired-up HC Severstal side, emerging victorious 2:0 in the 2020/2021 KHL regular season.
Severstal came out with real intent in the opening shifts. Competing with aggression, the hosts tested Magnus Hellberg on a number of occasions, opting to shoot from any possible angle. However, with their first real opportunity of the match, SKA promptly took the lead in the ninth minute as Andrei Kuzmenko lashed a whipped effort beyond Vladislav Podyapolsky with the help of the right post. In the ensuing plays, our players did have two powerplay chances as Severstal began to start fouling, but Podyapolsky shut the door effectively. Hellberg was then the busier goaltender towards the end of the first period as Severstal continued to regularly crash the net.
As expected, Severstal pressured with intent at the start of the second stanza, however they were hit by a sucker punch five minutes after the restart. Connecting with Kuzmenko’s intelligent feed, Miro Aaltonen scored in the third consecutive game, carefully steering the puck over Podyapolsky and into the right corner.
On the front foot, SKA managed to protect the puck in the Severstal zone for long periods in the frame, pulling the opposing defence from side to side with creative attacking ideas. Severstal weren’t about to give us an easy ride, though, and Daniil Vovchenko was denied by the crossbar on the powerplay after Oscar Fantenberg had been found guilty of cross-checking. Hellberg also pulled off a series of top saves as Severstal unleashed several powerful slap shots from the blue line on the man advantage.
SKA had their backs against the wall throughout the entirety of the third period in Vologda Region. Applying overwhelming pressure with all their might, Severstal laid siege to our goal, desperately trying to somehow bundle the puck past Hellberg. Nevertheless, the 29-year-old Swede wasn’t to be beaten, as he stood tall to the challenge to see SKA through to a pulsating 2:0 triumph on the road!
Our team will now prepare to host Salavat Yulaev Ufa in Saint Petersburg on Monday. Puck drop is scheduled for 19:30 local time.
Severstal - SKA - 0:2 (0:1, 0:1, 0:0)
0:1 Kuzmenko (Antipin, Fantenberg), 08.05
0:2 Aaltonen (Kuzmenko, Antipin), 25.36
Goalkeepers: Podyapolsky - Hellberg
Shots on target: 39 - 31
Faceoffs: 21 - 25
Hits: 9 - 5
Penalty minutes: 4 - 4
Referees: Gashilov, Gofman
14.11.2020. Cherepovets Ice Palace, Cherepovets.