In the second match of the 2021 Nikolai Puchkov Memorial Tournament, SKA confidently dealt with the challenge offered by Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod, claiming a 4:1 triumph.
SKA made the breakthrough a mere 43 seconds after the start of the first period. Competing on the powerplay after Torpedo forward Artur Tyanulin had taken a hooking penalty, Marat Khusnutdinov was presented with an odd-man rush, he picked out the onrushing Jooonas Kemppainen on the opposite left flank, and the latter expertly knocked the puck into the near corner.
Torpedo goaltender Andrei Tikhomirov was forced into a handful of difficult saves as SKA tried to play on the front foot. Nevertheless, the quick, aggressive visitors did indeed have opportunities of their own on the counter-attack, and Alexander Samonov had to be alert to stop all 11 shots he faced in the opening frame.
The visitors did tally their equaliser in the second minute of the second stanza.
Shorthanded, Sergei Goncharuk carefully aimed his effort over Alexander Samonov’s glove when completely clean through, with the Torpedo forward having received the opportunity after a wicked ricochet.
The remainder of the period saw SKA lay siege to the Torpedo goal. In excellent form, Tikhomirov was making life seriously difficult for the home team, pulling off plenty of fantastic saves to keep his team level. However, SKA’s overwhelming pressure did eventually result in the go-ahead goal in the 32nd minute, as Khusnutdinov ruthlessly went top-shelf on Tikhomirov on the break-away.
SKA went on to firmly put the game to bed in the ensuing third period.
On the powerplay, Nikita Chibrikov pounced on a big rebound to put SKA up by two for the first time, before Anton Burdasov unleashed a rocket from the left faceoff circle to virtually end the match as a contest.
In the closing two minutes, Torpedo were gifted with a two-man advantage as SKA ran into late penalty trouble, but Samonov simply refused to be beaten - even after the visiting team had pulled Tikhomirov for the extra skater.
In accordance with the regulations for the competition, an overtime period was played, a stanza which saw Torpedo forward Artur Tyanulin go five-hole on Samonov in the third minute. A penalty shootout was still played, though, and SKA claimed that by a score of 2:1 with Ivan Morozov and Chibrikov scoring for the hosts and Mikhail Varnakov for Torpedo.
SKA will now prepare to play against Severstal Cherepovets at the Saint Petersburg Ice Palace on Friday. Puck-drop is scheduled for 15:00 local time.
SKA - Torpedo - 4:1 (1:0, 1:1, 2:0)
1:0 Kemppainen (Khusnutdinov), 00.43
1:1 Goncharuk (Mikheev), 21.13
2:1 Khusnutdinov (Vey, Kuzmenko), 31.15
3:1 Chibrikov (Tokranov, Marchenko), 44.44
4:1 Burdasov (Khusnutdinov, Vey), 51.53
Goalkeepers: Samonov - Tikhomirov
Shots on target: 41 - 23
Faceoffs: 41 - 19
Hits: 14 - 22
Penalty minutes: 14 - 14
Referees: Kochetov, Oskirko
25.08.2021. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.