Photo: HC Slovan
Metallurg Magnitogorsk continued their western road trip traveling from Helsinki, Finland to Bratislava, Slovakia to play Slovan Bratislava on January 9. Slovan Bratislava was in fifth place in the Bobrov Division and had the second worst record in the Western Conference. As had been the case for the previous two games, Vasily Koshechkin started in goal for Magnitka. Jakub Stepanek started for Slovan.
The first period did not start out well for the visitors. They were down 1-0 and outshot 13-9. For Magnitka, the period was characterized by mistakes, including turnovers. The goal for Slovan came when Colby Genoway of Slovan fired a shot which bounced off Oscar Osala of Magnitka to the stick of Jurai Mikus who shot and scored.
Just over six minutes into the second period, at 6:36, Slovan scored again, this time by Nick Ebert, putting them ahead 2-0. Just over a minute later, at 27:59, former Capital Wojtek Wolski scored a power play goal, putting Magnitka within one goal, 2-1. But, unfortunately, for Magnitka, Marek Sloboda scored only 23 seconds later – at 8:22, so Slovan regained its two-goal lead and led 3-1.
At that point, Head Coach Viktor Kozlov decided it was time for a goalie change, swapping out Koshechkin and replacing him with Ilya Samsonov who last appeared in the game of January 3.
Slovan added another goal to their lead at 17:21 in the period on a power play goal by Zach Boychuk, and now lead 4-1, which remained the score at the end of two periods.
Metallurg Magnitogorsk attempted to come back in the third period. They scored just over halfway through the period, at 10:18, when Nikita Bobroshov scored. Just over four minutes later, at 14:32, they scored again, this time on a power play goal from Matt Ellison, with assists from Sergei Mozyakin and Wojtek Wolski. But despite their best efforts, they could not score anymore. Near the end of the game, two of their main scoring forwards, Wolski and Ellison, were in the penalty box, with coincidental minors at the same time as two member of the opposing team, which also decreased their chances of scoring. Hence, they fell 4-3. They had 17 shots that period, compared to 9 for Slovan.
For the game, Samsonov faced 17 shots and saved 16 of them, for a in-game save percentage of .941. He was charged with the loss as he gave up the fourth goal for Slovan. His save percentage for the season is now .917. In other words, his performance today could be described as a great performance in relief of Koshechkin, but with no reward since the only goal he gave up was the one that ultimately won it for Slovan.
By Diane Doyle