With the Olympic break over, Metallurg Magnitogorsk returned to KHL action on February 27, 2018 with a home tilt against the Ugra Hockey Club of Khanty-Mansiysk. Many of Magnikta’s Olympic participants were back including Wojtek Wolski and Chris Lee who had won Bronze Medals for Canada, and Jan Kovar, and Oscar Osala. Wolski and Osala are both former members of the Washington Capitals. However, there remained two conspicuous absences; i.e. star forward Sergei Mozyakin and goaltender Vasily Koshechkin who had won Gold Medals for the Olympic Athletes from Russia (OAR) team. Both were in Moscow to visit with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
With Koshechkin not available, Washington Capitals goalie prospect, Ilya Samsonov, drew the start for Metallurg. The first period ended scoreless with Ugra outshooting Magnitka 14-11 for the opening frame.
The deadlock was broken just over six minutes into the second period. Less than a minute after exiting the penalty box, Denis Kazionov had two scoring chances. The first one did not result in a goal but the next one did. Metallurg now led 1-0.
Kazionov scored again just three minutes later on the end of a pass from Jan Kovar. Metallurg now lead 2-0. Nearly five minutes after that, Jan Kovar scored to give Metallurg a 3-0 lead. For the period, Metallurg Magnitka had outshot Ugra 7-6 but scored on three of those shots.
Magnitka added a fourth goal nearly half way through the third period when Andrei Chibisov scored a short-handed goal. The score was now 4-0 which ended up being the final score. For the period, Ugra had outshot Magnitka 15-10.
This victory has allowed Metallurg to clinch a playoff spot for the 26th season in succession. They have made the playoffs every year since 1992-1993 and are the only team in history of the KHL/Russian Super League to never miss the playoffs in the post-Soviet era.
For the game, Ilya Samsonov saved all 35 of the shots he faced, with most of the shots occurring during the first and third periods. His record is now 11-9-1 and he has a save percentage of .926.
By Diane Doyle
Game Recap from Metallurg Magnitogorsk site
KHL News Round-up for February 27, 2018
Capitals Prospect Ilya Samsonov Participates in KHL Tournament During Olympic Break
Ilya Samsonov Wins Last Game Before KHL Olympic Break
Capitals Goalie Prospect Ilya Samsonov Shuts Out Ugra
Link to Pictures from Game