A terrific display of defensive hockey helped Avangard Omsk silence Dynamo’s offensive weapons – and quell a raucous Moscow crowd – in a thrilling 1-0 win at Luzhniki Arena. The victory, thanks to Alexander Perezhogin’s third goal in this final, was a tribute to a disciplined and resilient roster that did everything possible to frustrate the hosts and claim a 2-1 advantage in the Kontinental League Gagarin Cup final.
Goaltender Karri Ramo made 31 saves for his third playoff shutout of 2012. Dynamo’s dangerous power play, a key factor in the team’s playoff progress, was shut down: seven times the home team had the advantage and seven times Avangard stood firm.
The game’s lone goal came in the first period when, unable to clear their zone, Dynamo made the error of leaving Perezhogin alone. Roman Cervenka threaded a pass to his teammate and the Perezhogin’s finish left Alexander Yeryomenko with no chance.
With Avangard sensing a third 1-0 victory of the playoffs, the team tightened the screws in the third period: forwards worked hard to close off all angles, making it impossible for Dynamo’s forwards to slice through the defense. In front of Ramo, fellow Finn Anssi Salmela gave a clinic on controlling the slot and Dynamo was left waiting for a moment of individual magic that never materialized, giving Avangard the edge in this hard-fought series.