Friendly match. SKA – Avtomobilist – 4:2
In a tense, hard-fought duel, SKA battled back to defeat Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 4:2 in a friendly match at the Saint Petersburg Ice Palace.
SKA immediately started on the front foot. At point-blank range, Anton Burdasov should really have opened the scoring in the maiden shift of the day, wristing into Avtomobilist goalkeeper Dmitry Shikin’s glove.
The visitors subsequently tallied the opening marker midway through the first period.
Initially, Dmitry Nikolaev had made a couple of tough saves, but our goaltender was powerless to stop Alexander Shchemerov’s wrister which crashed through traffic.
Nikolaev was forced into a series of excellent stops during an ensuing Avtomobilist powerplay. Nevertheless, our players once again took the initiative as the frame approached its completion, protecting the puck inside the attacking zone and testing Shikin on a regular basis.
The SKA coaching staff made the decision to swap Nikolaev in net in favour of Alexander Samonov after the first period.
Our team continued to press Avtomobilist in the second stanza. After Avtomobilist had wasted their second powerplay, SKA did indeed deservedly get back on level terms in the 30th minute on a man advantage of their own, as Marat Khusnutdinov twisted quickly on the doorstep and carefully knocked the puck under Shikin.
Avtomobilist regained their advantage with around three minutes remaining in an entertaining period, though, with Anatoly Golyshev hitting the jackpot on the powerplay at the third attempt with a rasping wrister from the left faceoff circle.
It looked as though the Yekaterinburg-based outfit would hold on to their lead going into the third period. However, with 16 seconds remaining in the stanza, Danila Moiseev cleverly deflected Stepan Falkovsky’s effort past Shikin. The goal was given following a video review concerning a possible high stick.
In the opening shifts of the third period, Avtomobilist pressed SKA and tested Samonov with strong wrist shots, but our goaltender stood tall to the challenge and the home team promptly took the lead for the first time in the 44th minute.
On the left faceoff circle, Nikita Kamalov gave a flowing play the finish it deserved, getting the better of Shikin with the Avtomobilist goalkeeper slightly out of position.
The period was littered with penalties as the two teams continued to compete with intensity and aggression. When competing on a 4-on-3 powerplay, Ryan Spooner came close to a third goal for the Ural outfit, wristing against the right post. Samonov also came to the rescue when coming under severe pressure.
In the concluding minutes, Avtomobilist decided to pull Shikin for the extra skater, a move which only resulted in SKA forward Artyom Shvets-Rogovoi calmly icing it with an empty-netter.
SKA will now prepare to host Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod on Saturday. Puck-drop is scheduled for 17:00 local time.
SKA – Avtomobilist – 4:2 (0:1, 2:1, 2:0)
0:1 Shchemerov, 04.08
1:1 Khusnutdinov (Kuzmenko), 29.46 PPG
1:2 Golyshev (Belousov, Spooner), 36.42 PPG
2:2 Moiseev (Falkovsky, Vorobyov), 39.44
3:2 Kamalov (Moiseev, Volkov), 43.36
4:2 Shvets-Rogovoi (Moiseev, Robinson), 57.59 EN
Goalkeepers: Nikolaev/Samonov – Shikin
Shots: 52 - 58
Shots on target: 33 - 31
Faceoffs: 22 - 28
Blocked shots: 12 - 8
Hits: 7 - 15
Penalty minutes: 10 - 6