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SKA scored less than Spartak, but goes further. You can’t play like that in the semifinals with CSKA – Sport – News of St. Petersburg

author photo Andrey Bok / “Fontanka.ru”
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The fifth game of the quarterfinal series of SKA – “Spartak” was decisive. The army from the Neva after the initial defeat won three matches in a row. To reach the third round of the playoffs, St. Petersburg needed to win only one victory. At first glance, the task is simple. At the same time, SKA won all three matches by one goal. Each of them was very difficult for the army. In each of them, “Spartacus” did not have enough to win. Boris Mironov’s team, strengthened by the head coach of the Russian national team Alexei Zhamnov, was only slightly inferior to the St. Petersburg team in skill, but certainly not in desire and dedication. As the two-time Olympic champion Alexander Kozhevnikov noted, the Spartak players created moments, but there was no one to score. At the same time, Roman Rotenberg, after the third victory, also noted the abundance of moments at SKA and their poor implementation. Fortunately, by the end of the series, the team leaders still played.

In SKA before the fifth game there were again cosmetic changes. Georgy Solyannikov from the fourth link replaced Vasily Tokranov in the third pair of defenders, and instead of Eugene Timkin, also from the fourth link came Maxim Groshev. “Spartak” kept the composition unchanged.

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In terms of the plot of the fifth game, too, did not expect something new. Both teams in the first period chose the same viscous, heavy hockey with a minimum of risk. At the start, “Spartak” looked a little more active. The Muscovites tried to throw more often and in the 8th minute it brought them success. The guests established control in the opponent’s zone, arranging a rematch, which the army could not stop. The moment ended with an accurate shot by Dmitry Kagarlitsky. In the 17th minute, the red and whites could add, but could not remove Andrei Kuzmenko for a push with a stick.

The second period in all senses remained for SKA. In the 24th minute, Jakub Erzabek left for a delay with a stick and SKA almost immediately realized a numerical advantage. Leonid Komarov excelled.

This goal unexpectedly affected the army. They seemed to turn on the hyper mode and created a real nightmare for guests from the capital. The speeds increased sharply, the throws were strewn with hail. Spartak stopped having time and began to foul. After leaving twice in a row, they remained three against five, but Nikita Gusev’s annoying violation (step) allowed them to reduce the advantage of SKA to one person. Even after the expiration of the penalty time, SKA did not reduce the pressure on the visitors’ goal. The puck miraculously missed the goal of Spartak goalkeeper Oscar Dansk several times. Following the results of the period, SKA shot the opponent twice (14–7). For comparison, in the first half of the game, the army made only four shots on goal at Dansk.

This goal unexpectedly affected the army. They seemed to turn on the hyper mode and created a real nightmare for guests from the capital. The speeds increased sharply, the throws were strewn with hail. Spartak stopped having time and began to foul. After leaving twice in a row, they remained three against five, but Nikita Gusev’s annoying violation (step) allowed them to reduce the advantage of SKA to one person. Even after the expiration of the penalty time, SKA did not reduce the pressure on the visitors’ goal. The puck miraculously missed the goal of Spartak goalkeeper Oscar Dansk several times. Following the results of the period, SKA shot the opponent twice (14–7). For comparison, in the first half of the game, the army made only four shots on goal at Dansk.

The third period began with the second goal of SKA. Nikita Gusev finally showed his class. Not only closed the pass, as in the previous match, but successfully opened under the long pass of defender Oscar Fantenberg from his zone, and skillfully outplayed the goalkeeper.

In the end, the meeting ended with a score of 2: 1 in favor of SKA, although in this game the army was close to finally scoring more than two goals. The most ridiculous thing is that Spartak beat SKA 10: 9 in terms of the number of goals scored in the entire series.

– It was a good, difficult series, which, unfortunately, did not end well for us, – summed up the head coach of “Spartak” Boris Mironov. – I want to say one thing: we did not lose in character or anger. In fact, we didn’t lose anything, except for one thing: we didn’t have enough composure to finish our moments. But it comes with experience. I want to thank my team. They fought to the end. For me, this is also a huge experience. After all, the first playoff in his career at this level. I also have something to work on. I understand that I did not reach the guys somewhere.

Mironov admitted that after the first game, which “Spartak” unexpectedly won with a score of 6: 1, the team was euphoric. He tried to calm the players, but apparently did not succeed.

SKA head coach Roman Rotenberg paid tribute to the opponent, admitting that Spartak created big problems for his team.

– From the point of view of preparation for the next series, it was important for us to play with such a strong opponent, so I want to thank Spartak for this series, – said Rothenberg. – Each game dictates its own scenario. We need to be tactically flexible, we need to score more. We continue to work on our system. But this does not mean that we will play the same. Our leaders in this series were under personal protection, but they withstood the blow.

author photo Andrey Bok /
author photo Andrey Bok / “Fontanka.ru”
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St. Petersburg reached the semifinals of the playoffs, where they will play against CSKA as usual. However, unlike in previous years, the army teams will start fighting for a place in the finals in St. Petersburg. The first match will take place on April 2.

Artem Kuzmin, Fontanka.ru

author photo Andrey Bok /
author photo Andrey Bok / “Fontanka.ru”
author photo Andrey Bok /
author photo Andrey Bok / “Fontanka.ru”

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