SKA Saint Petersburg overcame a 2-0 deficit to defeat Metallurg Magnitogorsk 5-3 to win game five of their championship series. SKA won the series four games to one and took home the Gagarin Cup as the KHL champions at Arena Metallurg in Magnitogorsk, Russia.
Former Devil Ilya Kovalchuk had a goal and an assist in the comeback, which began midway through the second period with a Nikita Gusev power play goal. SKA would score four unanswered, including Kovalchuk’s capper to put the game – and the series – away.
Devils defensive prospect Yegor Rykov had a shot on goal and was a minus-1 in 5:57 of ice time over ten shifts.
Congratulations to SKA Saint Petersburg and Yegor Rykov on their championship season. This is SKA’s second Gagarin Cup in club history and their second in three seasons.
In other news, the Albany Devils’ first round opponents for the AHL’s 2017 Calder Cup playoffs are set, as they will play the Toronto Marlies in the best-of-five opening round. This is a rematch of last year’s second round series that went a full seven games between these two teams. Toronto won last year’s matchup.
The two teams finished in second and third place in the North Division, Toronto going 42-29-4-1 with a .586 winning percentage and 89 points. Albany finished 39-32-2-3 with a .546 winning percentage and 83 points.
The A-Devils are beginning their final playoffs in Albany, as the franchise will be moving to Binghamton for next season.
The series begins on April 20 at the Times Union Center in Albany. Although Toronto finished with the better record, the seeding gives the first two games to the A-Devils at home and then the third, and final two, if necessary, will be played in Toronto.
Moving over to the OHL, the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds and the Owen Sound Attack faced off in game six of their playoff series. It was a close one with the Attack winning 1-0 and completing the series, wrapping it up four games to two.
Nick Suzuki scored the only goal of the game, played in Owen Sound. He scored at 13:09 of the second period with assists to Jacob Friend and Jonah Gadjovich. In goal, Joseph Raaymakers made an incredible 41 saves on 42 Attack shots. Michael McNiven stopped all 23 Soo shots he saw in getting the win.
And so, with Sault Ste. Marie knocked out, Owen Sound will face the winner of the Erie Otters-London Knights series.
So that leaves Mississauga’s Mikey McLeod and Nathan Bastian as the only Devils prospects remaining in the OHL playoffs. The Steelheads will take on the Peterborough Petes for the Bobby Orr Trophy beginning April 20 at the Peterborough Memorial Centre.