Salavat Yulaev Ufa moved one step closer to advancing to the finals of the 2011 Kontinental League Gagarin Cup by defeating Metallurg 4-2 in Magnitogorsk. The win gave Salavat Yulaev a 3-1 lead in the best-of-seven game Eastern Conference final.
The midpoint of the first period saw a flurry of scoring, featuring three goals in four minutes of action with Salavat Yulaev’s Patrick Thoresen (11th minute) and Miroslav Blatak (15th minute) sandwiching Tomas Rolinek’s tally for Metallurg in the 14th minute.
Early in the second period, Metallurg’s Stanislav Chistov tied the game, but just three minutes later Vyacheslav Kozlov scored to give Salavat Yulaev a lead it wouldn’t relinquish. Alexander Svitov added an empty-net insurance goal just before the final horn.
“It was a very tense match, like the previous games of the series,” said Salavat Yulaev coach Vyacheslav Bykov. “It was nice to watch the players from both teams. They are technically gifted and play selflessly. The hockey today was of the highest quality even with the tension that is inherent in this stage of the playoffs.”
The KHL Gagarin Cup playoffs continue tomorrow with the fifth game of the Atlant-Lokomotiv Western Conference final in Yaroslavl. Atlant leads the series 3-1. Salavat Yulaev and Metallurg return to action on Friday in Ufa.