On Thursday, November 2, 2017, KHL’s Metallurg Magnitogorsk, the team in which Capitals’ goalie prospect Ilya Samsonov plays for, lost to Lada Togliatti by a 3-1 score at home. This was their second loss in succession and their fourth loss in five games. But that wouldn’t be the headline to come from this game.
The game started off with Magnitka having numerous shots on goal early in the first period. However, Metallurg would ultimately give up the game’s first goal. Soon after that, former Washington Capitals player, Oscar Osala earned a 10-minute misconduct penalty which scrambled the team’s second line for the period.
Lada would add another goal about five minutes into the second period, putting Magnitka down 2-0. Two minutes later, Osala took an elbowing penalty for Magnitka, which resulted in a game misconduct and an ejection from the game. Lada scored on the ensuing power play, putting Magnitka in a 3-0 hole.
The early deficit would prompt Metallurg Head Coach, Ilya Vorobiov, to replace starting goalie Vasily Koshechkin with Capitals Prospect Ilya Samsonov. About three minutes later, Evgeny Timkin scored to put Magnitka on the board.
However, two minutes later, during a defensive breakdown by Magnitka, a Lada player, Kirill Kapustin, collided with Ilya Samsonov, kneeing Samsonov in the head. Samsonov ultimately had to be helped off the ice. In his post game press conference, then Head Coach Ilya Vorobiov announced that Samsonov suffered a concussion as a result of the collision. Metallurg would lose the game 3-1.
Losing two games in succession and four games out of five, Metallurg Magnitogorsk was sitting seventh in the Eastern Conference and barely in the playoff picture. So far this season, Magnitka has won only half of their games (11 regulation wins and 3 shootout wins out of 28 scheduled games).
The dismal start prompted Team President, Viktor Rashnikov, to fire Head Coach Ilya Vorobiov, and appoint Viktor Kozlov as Acting Head Coach in his place. The firing occurred after Vorobiov concluded his post-game press conference.
Kozlov had been an assistant coach for Metallurg since September, 2016. Kozlov is also a former Washington Capital, having played for them during the 2007-2008 and 2008-2009 seasons, his last two years in the NHL.
Vorobiov had coached Metallurg Magnitogorsk since October 2015, when he came in as an mid-season replacement for Mike Keenan, ultimately leading Magnitka to the Gagarin Cup in 2016 and to the Gagarin Cup Finals in 2017.
By Diane Doyle