SKA outlasted HC Avangard Omsk at the Saint Petersburg Ice Palace, claiming a pulsating 1:0 victory in overtime.
Making an energetic start, SKA immediately drew a penalty out of Avangard, with Nail Yakupov subsequently firing a powerful effort into the extended glove of Igor Bobkov. Competing with energy and enthusiasm, the hosts created several opportunities in the opposing zone, registering 11 shots on target during the opening 10 minutes as Jarno Koskiranta, Ivan Morozov and Kirill Marchenko all tested the reactions of Bobkov with efforts from great positions. Nevertheless, as the period progressed, Avangard gradually found their feet and Alexander Samonov was forced into a couple of tricky saves in the SKA net.
The match followed much the same pattern in the second period. Applying heavy pressure on Avangard, SKA were the more ambitious team in Saint Petersburg, and Vladimir Tkachyov almost opened the scoring midway through the frame as he lashed a rasping wrist shot over the bar. Avangard, though, prevented SKA from having a large amount of chances in their zone, and the Omsk club proved to be dangerous on the break as Samonov was tested more regularly towards the end of the stanza.
Avangard, slowly becoming more aggressive, started protecting possession better, preventing SKA from continuing to press. With time rapidly running out, Sven Andrighetto almost snatched a potentially winning goal for Avangard, thumping a wrister inches past the right corner with Samonov helpless. SKA, however, suddenly took the intensity up a level in the final minutes, and Igor Ozhiganov was denied at point blank range before Andrei Kuzmenko couldn’t force his wraparound over the line.
The away team, having held on for overtime, should have won it in the extra frame. Bursting clean through, Taylor Beck only had Samonov to beat, but our goalkeeper conjured up a stunning glove save to keep SKA alive.
A save which proved vital.
In the next play, Tkachyov held the puck, moved to the doorstep, took aim and fired his attempt beyond Bobkov to earn a thrilling 1:0 triumph over Avangard Omsk!
SKA return to KHL action on Monday against HC Spartak Moscow in the Russian capital.
SKA - Avangard - 1:0 OT (0:0, 0:0, 0:0, 1:0)
1:0 Tkachyov (Karpov, Zub), 64.39
Goalkeepers: Samonov - Bobkov
Shots on target: 28 - 20
Faceoffs: 24 - 27
Hits: 18 - 25
Penalty minutes: 4 - 14
Referees: Odins, Sidorenko
Linesmen: Sivov, Shalagin
30.01.2020. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.