The Kontinental League Gagarin Cup final continues on after Dynamo Moscow pulled off a 3-2 win at Avangard Omsk to deny the Siberian team the Cup – at least for now. The road victory narrows series score to 3-2 in favor of Avangard, but ensures that the Moscow team has the chance to tie it up on home ice on Monday.
And it was a day of firsts for the Blue-and-Whites – leading playoff scorer Mikhail Anisin ended his drought to get his first goal of the final series, while captain Yury Babenko got his first playoff goal.
With Dynamo knowing that only victory could keep the series alive, the visitors started the game on the attack and grabbed the lead at 3:44. Anisin opened the proceedings, firing one home from the right-hand circle after collecting a pass from Konstantin Gorovikov. Then, Babenko doubled the advantage, albeit with a large slice of luck: Although Karri Ramo blocked Babenko’s initial effort, the luckless goalie accidently pushed the puck over the line himself.
No team has recovered from a two-goal deficit in this series and if the stats were already against Avangard the task got even harder in the second period. Gorovikov made it 3-0 in the 25th minute – the first time in this tight final series that any team had scored three goals in a game – before Avangard finally got on the scoreboard thanks to Anton Kuryanov. He cut in from the left, along the goalline, and with Dynamo’s defense in disarray his slap shot deflected home off a skate. With 20 seconds remaining Yury Alexandrov made it 3-2 as Avangard pulled Ramo to blitz the Moscow goal, but it was too late to force overtime and clinch the Cup on home ice.