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Friendly match. SKA – Torpedo – 2:1 OT

TorpedoFriendly matchSKA - Torpedo - 260222
HC SKA press-service

In a tense battle, SKA just managed to defeat Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod in the concluding friendly match ahead of the upcoming 2021/2022 KHL Gagarin Cup playoffs, earning a narrow 2:1 overtime victory at the Ice Palace.

SKA bossed proceedings throughout the first period. Competing on the front foot, our players successfully protected the puck inside the opposing zone on a regular basis, testing Torpedo goalkeeper Alexei Murygin with a number of dangerous attempts. Clean through, Andrei Kuzmenko could only wrist into the goaltender’s glove, before Nikita Kamalov struck the right post with a slap shot from distance and Mikhail Vorobyov hit the left pad from a fantastic position on the doorstep. At the other end, Lars Johansson didn’t have much work to do in our net at all.

The manner of the match didn’t change in the second stanza.

In truth, the puck barely left the Torpedo zone, with Murygin pulling off several alert stops to keep the visitors level. On the powerplay, Mikko Lehtonen came within an inch of giving SKA the lead, unleashing a fierce wrister which deflected off the crossbar and out of play. Alexander Volkov and Joonas Kemppainen also wasted wonderful opportunities when in space on the slot.

Friendly match. SKA – Torpedo – 2:1 OT

Torpedo thought that they had broken the deadlock midway through the frame, as Kirill Urakov’s attempt from the crease snuck under Johansson’s pads after he had connected with Ivan Chekhovich’s intelligent pass. However, following a lengthy video review after Roman Rotenberg had used his coach’s challenge for SKA, the goal was disallowed as a result of offside.

SKA continued dominating proceedings in the third frame. Finally, with around eight minutes remaining on the clock, our team did strike first blood.

Lurking on the doorstep, Joonas Kemppainen expertly tipped Mat Robinson’s slap shot over Murygin’s right shoulder and into the net.

That looked to be the decisive moment in the game. Nevertheless, Torpedo had other ideas, applying late pressure on SKA with quick, incisive play and tallying their craved equaliser with a mere 53 seconds left to play in the period.

With Murygin having been replaced for the extra skater, the Nizhny Novgorod-based outfit managed to keep the puck deep in our zone, and Johansson was subsequently beaten by Nikolai Demidov’s wrist shot from the blue line which was just too hot for the Swede to handle.

3-on-3 overtime was indeed required. Thankfully, this time SKA did manage to land the decisive blow.

At neutral ice, Nikita Gusev intelligently stole possession, pulled unchallenged to the slot and ruthlessly went top-shelf on Murygin to secure the victory for the hosts.

SKA will now prepare to face Dinamo Minsk in the maiden game of the playoffs on Wednesday. Puck-drop in Saint Petersburg is scheduled for 19:30 local time.

Match protocol:

SKA – Torpedo – 2:1 OT (0:0, 0:0, 1:1, 1:0)

Goals:

1:0 Kemppainen (Robinson, Kuzmenko), 51.23

1:1 Demidov (Goncharuk), 59.07

2:1 Gusev, 61.30

Goalkeepers: Johansson – Murygin

Shots: 65 - 43

Shots on target: 36 - 18

Faceoffs: 21 - 19

Blocked shots: 13 - 12

Hits: 7 - 5

Penalty minutes: 6 - 10

26.02.2022.

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