On Sunday, SKA-1946 secured qualification for the second round of the 2019/2020 MHL Kharlamov Cup playoffs, defeating MHC Spartak 4:1 in Moscow to clinch the series 3-1.
Spartak, requiring a victory at the Minor CSKA Arena, regularly tested the SKA defence during the first period with their dangerous counter-attacking play. Nevertheless, with the stanza drawing to a close, Ivan Ivanov received a pass from Artur Demidov, cleverly beat the Spartak defence with superb skill and subsequently arrowed an accurate wrist shot under the goalkeeper's glove to give SKA the lead.
A lead which was doubled in the opening stages of the second period.
Collecting a loose puck on the crease, Alexei Tsyplakov calmly slotted his attempt into the empty net, with Spartak goaltender Matvei Botov caught out of position.
As the period progressed, Spartak gradually increased their intensity with SKA opting for a cautious approach. Eventually, the hosts' pressure took its toll with a little over a minute remaining, as Yegor Kravchenko turned the puck beyond Dmitry Nikolaev after a defensive error.
SKA, however, conjured up the perfect response at the start of the third frame.
Escaping his marker on the right flank, Tsyplakov created a shooting lane for himself, before whipping an unstoppable wrister into the left corner to give SKA breathing space again.
Spartak threw everything at SKA with their season on the line. Nevertheless, largely thanks to solid defending and superb goalkeeper from Nikolaev, our players calmly held on and iced the series in the final minute as Ivanov grabbed his second with the Spartak goalkeeper having been replaced for the extra skater.
SKA-1946 will now prepare to face Dynamo Saint Petersburg in the second round. The first match is scheduled to take place at the Hockey City complex on Saturday at 13:00 local time.
MHC Spartak - SKA-1946 - 1:4 (0:1, 1:1, 0:2)
0:1 Ivanov (Brinkman, Demidov), 19.34
0:2 Tsyplakov (Manin, Ivanov), 23.01
1:2 Kravchenko (Shablovsky, Kruzhenkov), 38.55
1:3 Tsyplakov (Barinov), 43.02
1:4 Ivanov (Manin), 59.57
Goalkeepers: Botov - Nikolaev
Shots on target: 37 - 27
Faceoffs: 28 - 41
Hits: 5 -1
Penalty minutes: 14 - 6
Referees: Svetilov, Zabolotnev
15.03.2020. Minor CSKA Arena, Moscow.