The carnival of abandoned puck, the plot swing and the exceptional courage of the winners – KHL.ru sums up the series “Metallurgist” – “Vanguard”, which became the decoration of the Gagarin Cup-2022.
How the series turned out
The first two games were left for the away team. Avangard managed to level the advantage of the home field of Magnitka, giving two successful games in a row, first defeating the opponent 8: 1, and then winning 7: 5. And this despite the fact that Omsk, having lost two main defenders of the Legionnaires, had previously fought six games against Ak Bars. “I am proud that we took two away games. Am I surprised? No! ” – admitted Bob Hartley before returning to Balashikha.
Indeed, the Canadian specialist lost at the start of the series Ilya Vorobyov. Less than a minute after the start of the series, “Magnitka” ran into a big fine and lost Josh Curry – one of the leading center forwards. The bet on the advantage in the power struggle did not work, “Vanguard” scored everything that was possible and made a real defeat – 8: 1. The first period of the second game seemed to be a continuation of this nightmare.
But in the second third, “Magnitka” woke up and showed that it is too early to write off. Probably don’t hit the bar Linus Widell a few moments before the second break and make the score 6: 6 in a seemingly hopelessly lost match, you see, and “Vanguard” would not have escaped.
This series, among other things, is a duel of coaching thoughts. And Hartleyand Sparrows the teams rotated minimally during the semifinals of the East. But at the same time from match to match they changed the content of hockey of their teams. And in the long run Ilya Petrovich managed to outwit the Canadian.
“Metallurg” won three in a row, and each time threw five. In part, this was similar to the confrontation between “Magnitka” and CSKA in the final of 2016, when, receiving a slap 1: 5 in the first meeting, Sparrows managed to completely rebuild the Ural model and eventually deprived the army of the cup.
In the sixth match, Avangard, being on the edge of the abyss, managed to deprive the opponent of his main trump card – effectiveness, bringing the case to the seventh, decisive game. But there the tactics worked again Sparrow: multiplied by the exceptional courage and dedication of Metallurg players, a brilliant game Vasily Koshechkinshe left no chances and forced to resign as reigning champion.
The key moment of the series
There are several of them. First, the work and flexibility of the coaching staff of “Magnitka”. Ilya Vorobyov changed players very precisely, and did it very productively. Egor Korobkin helped the team great in the fourth and fifth matches, then was in reserve again. He was returned to the seventh game, and she became the best in his career right now: a brilliant pass from the goal, blocked shots, four power moves. A clear example of how these substitutions helped Metallurg to rebuild, find their game and impose it on the opponent.
Secondly, it is the exceptional dedication of hockey players. Before the third match, as the players admitted, a meeting was held, at which everyone said what they see as a way out of the difficult 0-2 in the series. And in the next meeting Mikhail Pashnin his head blocked the throw Alexey Bereglazov, and then came out and finished the match. And a feat Alexey Maklyukov in the seventh game it is a repetition of heroism Vladislav Bulin model of the spring of 2007, when he also stopped the throw of the player in the “Vanguard” Kirill Koltsov. By the way, it happened exactly 15 years ago, day in and day out!
And in the course of this series, “Metallurg” in some places really resembled the team that became the champion of the 2007 Super League. Once “Magnitka” won the “gold” in two and a half defenders, Omsk in four could not go further this spring. And this, too, is one of the key moments of the East semifinals.
Heroes of the series
There are things that will always be behind the brackets of sports. Defending his goal, Alexei was seriously injured – the most powerful shot came to mind. It looked very scary. And at the post-match press conference Ilya Vorobyov reassured journalists: “Alexei’s life is not in danger.” But you think about those words. Alexei really risked his life for the team, its fans, the city. And his feat will inspire “Metallurgist”, no doubt.
During the seven matches of the semifinals of the conference, the goalkeeper angrily broke two clubs – there were games that failed, they had to end early. But all the victories of “Metallurg” in this confrontation – in many respects the merit of Koshechkin, who in the course of the series turned 39 years old. And in the seventh match he played “zero”. The goalkeeper and the goalkeeper win the cups, and in the matches with Avangard, Magnitka had everything in order with this formula.
Yes, the Canadian Legionnaires did the result. Yes, from match to match they took turns Nikolai Goldobin and Denis Zernov. But there was one hockey player who scored one point in each (!) Game, assisting his partners, and never left the ice with a negative usefulness. The captain of “Metallurg” is a reinforced concrete stability and a real leader who led the whole team in this series.
“When he was taken to the Olympics, I doubted – did they do it right? Yes, he left a good impression after four games with Omsk in the regular season. But now, when we disassembled the opponent to every cell, I can say for sure – a very good guy is growing up, “ – so responded about Arseniy Gritsyuk after the series Ilya Vorobyov. And this assessment is expensive. In the games against Metallurg, he twice scored a double, scoring a total of 6 points (5 + 1). But he had just turned twenty-one!
Avangard returned to Balashikha. Players will have a couple of days to exhale and come to their senses. After that, a general team meeting will be held. A Canadian specialist Bob Hartley the contract expires, and his future at the club has not yet been determined. Then, on April 2, “Avangard” says goodbye to Balashikha – it is planned to close the season with various activities for fans. Well, in the summer according to the plan – return to Omsk, where the “hawks” should start a new season.
Metallurg is preparing for the final of the East – the first in five years. South Ural derby, the legendary confrontation between Magnitogorsk and Chelyabinsk. The matches will start in the city of metallurgists this Sunday.