Fedorov’s army nullified the sensation. CSKA played 0:2 and defeated Severstal
In KHL history, the two-time defending champion has not taken the starting barrier in the playoffs. In 2009, the winner of the regular season “Salavat Yulaev” could not cope with the 16th place “Avangard” (1-3). The Ufa club launched the “falcons” with Jaromir Jagr in the playoffs and paid the price for a fair fight. But they could lose at the finish line in Cherepovets and slam the doors in front of the Omsk team, led by Igor Nikitin.
In 2014, the fate of the Yulaevites was shared by Dynamo Moscow, which also excelled in the regular season. The blue-and-whites lost 3-4 to Lokomotiv, who barely made it to the playoffs. The farewell of Oleg Znark, who led the national team, with the blue-and-whites came with tears in his eyes. His team won the first two games of the series and the third, but did not maintain the lead.
If “Salavat” and “Dynamo” were opposed by experienced cup fighters with strong lineups, now nameless young people from Cherepovets are competing with CSKA. True, they are fast, they do not take their hats off to the authorities. The exception is goalkeeper Alexander Samonov, who was traded during the season from SKA. At the 2021 World Cup in Riga, he was the first number before the playoffs (until the arrival of Sergey Bobrovsky from the NHL), he was called the best at the Eurotour stages.
In Severstal, Samonov made a very modest debut and started the playoffs on the bench. However, then he turned into a stumbling block for Sergei Fedorov’s team, winning three games and not missing in the last one. For the first time since the beginning of the season, the Army team left the ice without a goal (0:3).
The champions were reprimanded for playing arrogantly. Especially in match number 6. At one time, the successful football coach Valery Gazzaev called his wards “academics with sticks”. Academics with clubs did not take the “lynxes” seriously until the last moment. Especially after the 9:3 defeat in Cherepovets in the fourth meeting. Even after defeating Severstal 4: 3, Fedorov admitted that sometimes he did not understand what his team was doing.
At first, the capital’s fans did not respect the Cherepovets team. How else to explain the record low attendance of the opening match – 3,500 spectators came to the CSKA Arena. Then the fans came to their senses and filled the stands to capacity.
Fedorov’s opponent – Andrei Razin feels his team. He complains about personnel losses, envying his opponent, who has been playing with the same formation since the end of the regular season. Adam Lischka, one of the leaders of the Lynx offense, returned in game seven, having missed two previous games.
It seemed that from the initial throw-in the hosts would fly to the gates of Samonov. But the army squad began cautiously, making sharp counterattacks. Which neutralized the goalkeeper who took courage. And the home goalkeeper Adam Reideborn capitulated twice in a row. Moreover, the first goal was on his conscience: the puck bounced from the Swede’s trap to the pass, where forward David Dumbadze was waiting for it. And the second – Alexander Petunin scored in the majority, having worked with a stick, like a tennis racket.
In KHL playoff history, 0-2 in game seven is a verdict. 1:3 is not. An hour earlier, Magnitogorsk proved it, burning Avtomobilist in the third period by the same score, but snatched a 4:3 victory in overtime.
The army side were helped by a quick return goal from Sergey Plotnikov’s life saver. After the break, Vladislav Kamenev leveled the score in a positional attack. At that moment, in the zone of the hosts lay and writhing in pain attacking guests Yegor Morozov, who had suffered a leg injury.
Razin was indignant, stepped on the edge of the side with both feet and bored with the eyes of the judges who did not stop the game.
At the same time, the champions did not dominate at all. The “Lynxes” owned the thicker puck and fully loaded Reideborn.
After the second break, Morozov returned to the ice, and Fedorov’s barriers flew out like gorillas from a cage. And in 27 seconds they sent two pucks to the gates of Samonov. First, ex-Severstal defender Vladislav Provolnev gave the hosts the lead with a one-touch click from the blue line, then two Maxims: Sorkin and Mamin effectively turned the 2-on-1 exit into a goal.
Razin answered with a timeout. And when his team got the majority “4 against 3”, he replaced the goalkeeper with a field player. But in vain.
The intrigue did not let … Provolnev die, who, together with the unreliable Reideborn, helped the guests with the third goal.
Yet the samples nullified the beer sensation. As in the 2022 playoffs, Severstal failed to win game seven in Moscow. A year ago – at Dynamo, now – at CSKA.
CSKA (2) – Severstal (7) – 5:3 (score in the series 4-3), Avtomobilist (4) – Metallurg (5) – 3:4 OT (3-4).
In the second round they will meet:
SKA (1) – Torpedo (4) March 16, 18 (both St. Petersburg), 20, 22 (both Nizhny Novgorod), 24* (St. Petersburg), 26* (NN), 28* (St. Petersburg)
CSKA (2) – Lokomotiv (3) 17, 19 (both – Moscow), 21, 23 (both – Yaroslavl), 25* (Moscow time), 27* (Yar), 29* (Moscow time)
Ak Bars (1) – Admiral (7) 16, 18 (both Kazan), 20, 22 (both Vladivostok), 24* (Kzn), 26* (Vld), 28* (Kzn)
Avangard (3) – Metallurg (5) 17, 19 (both Omsk), 21, 23 (both Magnitogorsk), 25* (Om), 27* (Mg), 29* (Om)
* If necessary.