Atlant skated past Salavat Yulaev Ufa 4-0 today in the fourth game of the Kontinental League Gagarin Cup final in Mytischi for their first win in the best-of-seven game series, which Salavat Yulaev now leads 3-1.
After a scoreless first period, Atlant netted a pair of goals in both the second and third periods to account for all of the scoring, as Salavat Yulaev’s offense never got in gear.
“In the first period the visitors had their moments, but then we took the game into our own hands and played great,” said Atlant head coach Milos Riha. “We deserved the victory and will prepare for the next match. There is nothing else to say.”
Igor Musalov got Atlant on the board with a goal in the 26th minute, with Jan Marek doubling up the lead in the 36th minute. In the third period, Dmitry Upper added to the score with a goal in the 42nd minute to make it 3-0, with Ilya Gorokhov closing out the scoring in the 53rd minute.
“They say the last step is very difficult, but we have nowhere to retreat,” said Gorokhov. “Ufa was too relaxed (today). The psychological advantage was on our side. The playoffs are not very forgiving.”
The fifth game of the series will be Saturday in Ufa. It will be broadcast in the United States live at 7:00 A.M. EST on ESPN3.com.
The Gagarin Cup, the KHL’s post-season tournament, named for famed Russian cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, features sixteen teams consisting of the top eight teams from the KHL’s Eastern and Western Conferences. Each round of the KHL’s Gagarin Cup playoffs is best-of-seven games.