Traktor Chelyabinsk reignited its shot at the Gagarin Cup with an impressive 3-1 win on home ice over Dynamo Moscow, which cut the series deficit to 2-1.
Traktor took control of the game in the second period with two goals. They opened the scoring on a counter-attack that caught Dynamo’s defense napping in the neutral zone. Anton Glinkin’s shot was pushed away by Alexander Yeryomenko’s outstretched glove, but Maxim Karpov followed up for the simplest of finishes into an empty net. It was the first time Traktor had scored when the teams were at even strength, but it took barely 10 minutes for the team to repeat the trick.
This time it was Deron Quint who swept up the rebound from a Yegor Dugin shot and swirled behind the goal before surprising Yeryomenko with a shot into the far corner.
Dynamo has enjoyed some big third-period comebacks in this season’s playoffs, and when Michael Garnett was penalized early in the final period the defending champions had hopes of launching another one. But the power play offered little, and soon after Traktor returned to full strength Dugin made it 3-0. There was a flicker of hope left for Moscow when Denis Kokarev finally got his first goal of the playoffs, but on this occasion there was no way back.
The Gagarin Cup final continues Friday when Traktor hosts Dynamo for Game 4.