Janne Jalasvaara smashed home a late winner to give Dynamo Moscow a 3-2 victory over Traktor and a 2-0 lead in the 2013 Kontinental League Gagarin Cup Final, an advantage they now take to Chelyabinsk for Thursday’s pivotal third game.
The game winning goal was something of a smash-and-grab raid from Dynamo, which trailed after 40 minutes only to produce another final period comeback which was sealed by the Finnish defenseman at 57:18. Denis Mosalyov battled behind the goal and picked up the unmarked Jalavaara skating in to launch a one-timer from mid-range which left Michael Garnett with no chance in the Traktor goal.
Traktor had controlled the opening exchanges, as Dynamo turned over possession with too many inaccurate passes. Yet it was the home team which opened the scoring midway through the first period. Denis Kokarev’s reverse pass along the blueline released Alexei Tsvetkov down the left side. He dropped the puck off for Jakub Petruzalek, and Dynamo’s leading post-season goal-scorer took his tally to seven with a rising wrist shot.
A penalty on Dynamo’s Dmitry Pestunov allowed Traktor to show why it is the leading post-season power play team. Two minutes of controlled offense kept Dynamo penned into its zone, and finally another thunderbolt from Dmitry Ryabykin was turned in by Jan Bulis to level the score.
In the second period Traktor dominated for long periods, particularly around the neutral zone – and this led to the visitors taking the lead. With Dynamo pegged back it was no great surprise to see a penalty called against an increasingly anxious defense. And, when a second penalty handed Traktor a two-man advantage, it took barely 20 seconds for Andrei Kostitsyn to slam home the puck after Yeryomenko blocked Ryabykin’s effort.
Trailing at the second intermission, Dynamo took the opportunity to rally the fans for one final assault, recalling how the team had recovered hopeless games in the past (such as the recent comeback win over SKA) and even hopeless series (such as clawing back from a 3-1 deficit in last season’s Gagarin Cup Final against Avangard). Dynamo tied the game at 43:34 on a Marek Kvapil goal, setting the stage for Jalasvaara's winner.
The Gagarin Cup final continues Thursday when Traktor hosts Dynamo for Game 3.