Ex-recruits shoot down SKA
Metallurg Magnitogorsk 2:1 SKA St. Petersburg (0-0, 0-1, 2-0)
Historically, SKA has been a thorn in Metallurg’s side. The Petersburg team’s last four visits to Magnitogorsk have ended in road wins and today the visitor arrived with a point to prove after its four-game streak was abruptly halted by a shoot-out loss against Jokerit. Magnitka, though, arrived with a three-game winning run to defend — and several former SKA players out to undermine their former club.
Apart from head coach Ilya Vorobyov, who sandwiched a stint at SKA between his two shifts with Magnitka, Thursday’s line-up included Sergei Plotnikov, Maxim Karpov, Nikolai Prokhorkin, Yegor Yakovlev and Artyom Zemchyonok, all of whom had previously represented the Army Men. Several of those names were involved in the goals that ultimately won this one for the host, but before that Magnitka needed to come from behind.
In an evenly-poised encounter, we had a long wait for the opening goal. Eventually, though, SKA took the lead in the 39th minute through Igor Ozhiganov. The play started with Vladimir Tkachyov chasing the puck down in the corner and sending a feed to the back door. Metallurg’s Harri Pesonen was caught out of position, and did not see Ozhiganov behind him, waiting to rifle home a one-timer.
In the third period, Anton Burdasov had a good chance to extend SKA’s lead, but was closed down by Juho Olkinuora. Then the Finnish goalie collected an assist as the home team tied the scores on a power play. He gave the puck to Yakovlev, whose long pass released Plotnikov into the SKA zone. The Army Men’s former captain fired over Alexander Samonov’s glove to tie the scores.
The game winner came with barely a minute to play and, once again, there was a strong helping of ex-SKA involvement. A prolonged siege of the Petersburg net ended when Zemchyonok fired home through traffic. Plotnikov was among the assists, as was Andrei Chibisov, whose current streak is now worth 9 (6+3) points from four games. SKA was undone — and its former comrades did much of the damage.