Thanks to a single goal from Anton Belov in the first period, SKA defeated HC Spartak Moscow 1:0 on the road in the concluding KHL game before the upcoming international break.
Hungry to gain revenge on Spartak for previous defeats in the regular season, SKA immediately came flying out of the blocks at the CSKA Arena, with Nail Yakupov having a great chance in the very first shift. Dominating proceedings, our players regularly pinned Spartak in their own zone with intense, powerful play, and the opening goal arrived in the ninth minute as Belov successfully connected with Kirill Marchenko’s intelligent pass. As Spartak began to lose discipline, SKA subsequently had a 5 on 3 powerplay chance, however Julius Hudacek kept his side in the team with alert saves. Jarno Koskiranta then hit the crossbar in the closing stages of a period in which SKA outshot Spartak 16-2.
SKA continued dominating proceedings in the second period. Bombarding the Spartak goal with attempts from all possible angles, our players registered another 16 shots on target, but the stubborn Hudacek stood firm for the Moscow-based organisation. On two occasions, Artyom Shvets-Rogovoy was presented with clear openings, but both of his efforts were brilliantly saved by the Slovakian goalkeeper. At the other end, Spartak did begin to attack with more intensity as time wore on, and the left post once came to SKA’s rescue when an opposing forward took aim on the doorstep.
Spartak, requiring goals, turned the game on its head during the third frame of play.
All of a sudden, the Muscovites started dictating the pace of the match, with SKA solely focused on protecting the slender advantage. Pressing for an equaliser with all their might, Spartak did manage to carve out a handful of glorious chances in the SKA zone, and only a combination of committed defending and superb Samonov goalkeeping kept the lead intact. In the final two minutes, Spartak did swap Hudacek for the extra skater, but SKA, without conceding a single penalty over the course of the entire game, heroically held on to secure a dramatic 1:0 triumph at the CSKA Arena!
SKA return to competitive action on February 11 against Amur Khabarovsk at the Saint Petersburg Ice Palace.
Spartak - SKA - 0:1 (0:1, 0:0, 0:0)
0:1 Belov (Marchenko, Podkolzin), 08.22
Goalkeepers: Hudacek - Samonov
Shots on target: 21 - 38
Faceoffs: 27 - 27
Hits: 12 - 8
Penalty minutes: 6 - 0
Referees: Belyaev, Fateev
Linesmen: Shelyanin, Chernyshyov
03.02.2020. CSKA Arena, Moscow.