Kvartalnov saves the day for Kazan
Game Recap: Ak Bars - SKA

Dmitry Kvartalnov (photo (c) www.ak-bars.ru)NOV.28 -- Boris Mikhailov's SKA came close to pulling another upset tonight. Last Monday St.Petersburg defeated league leading Lokomotiv in overtime after erasing two goal deficit. In Kazan against Ak Bars SKA also fell behind on first period goal from Dmitry Kvartalnov, but Mikhailov squad came back and took a 2-1 lead early in the third period against highly favored opposition. However the home side avoided embarrassment as Kvartalnov and Denis Zaripov scored in a two minute span midway through the final period to provide Ak Bars with the win.

The home team opened the scoring on a 3-on-2 rush early in the game. Alexander Korolyuk rushed into visitors' zone down the left side and threw cross-ice pass to Jan Benda. Giant German slightly redirected the puck further to right and veteran Kvartalnov one timed the pass from his off wing past out-of-balance Sergei Naumov.

Kazan had Evgeny Fedorov's goal ruled off before being punished for underestimating the opponents. While SKA had a man advantage midway through the second period, Ilya Gorbushin beat Andrei Tsarev with a quick wrist shot from inside the slot.

SKA went ahead 3:19 into the third period. Off the face-off Egor Bashkatov spotted Sergei Makarov in the slot. Veteran forward took a powerful slapper at Tsarev, while Andrei Shurupov finished off a rebound.

The visitors seemed out of gaze in the remaining dozen of minutes allowing two unnecessary goals.

Kvartalnov scored on a rebound off Dmitry Erofeev's point shot. Three of St.Petersburg's players were too busy pushing Benda in front of the net. They didn't help Naumov at all by screening him and not picking up former Bruin, who got his 10th tally of the year.

The ensuing goal came two minutes later. Denis Zaripov firmly undressed Marat Davydov deep in SKA zone and than from behind the net he set up Alexei Chupin in the slot. Ak Bars' captain failed on his shot, but persistent Zaripov picked up the puck and roofed it past helpless Naumov.

-- Max Dostoevsky