Which brings us to our game in Orsk. Lokomotiv coach Vorobiev said before the game: “ We arrived in Orsk on the eve of the match. Did not even see the city, just rested from the road. The match at Chelyabinsk was very heavy, we had time to recover. The mood of the team, battle. The guys are working, trying, but they are not used to playing against adult players.” The three game losing streak was endangering their seeding in the upcoming tournament, and they desperately needed a win to close their road trip.
Orsk, for its part, is hockey crazy; Not only did they sell out the 4,600 seat arena, but sold almost 1,000 SRO tickets at the door at game time! Special pricing made the tickets cost ($ equivalent) 1.88 to 3.76. The pricing was explained by officials as, “it’s about the prestige of the full stands. By the time we pay everyone, we don’t make any money.”
The game opened with Orsk’s Anton Buhanko (which, amusingly enough, comes through google translate as “ a loaf of Anton”) scoring at 3:41 of the first for a 1-0 home team lead. But at the 14-15 minute mark, two skaters from Orsk drew penalties, and Egor Martynov scored on a shot from the blue line to even things at 1-1 at 15:50. Still, Orsk escaped from the first with a lead when the league’s leading goal scorer, Roman Muzychko, beat Pavel Shegala while lying at the side of the goal for his 22nd and a 2-1 lead.
|How do you stop a guy who scores from HERE?|
The second period was scoreless, with Orsk goalie Sergei Magarilov stopping Daniel Romantsev on a penalty shot.
The third, however, belonged to Emil Galimov. His 5th of the year came at 5:13 of the final stanza and tied the game 2-2; his second, on a shot from way out where he was hoping to set up a rebound but Magarilov whiffed on it, came at 13:37 and gave the kids a 3-2 win.
Afterwards, Vorobiev said, “We played well in Chelyabinsk, but had no luck. Tonight, we were lucky.”
The kids now have 9 days off before they return home to play Lada Togliatti, who played in the KHL the first season before being demoted.