SKA Saint Petersburg Wins Gagarin Cup

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.

Devils Prospects Continue in OHL Playoff Action

The OHL playoffs continued with some Devils prospects as the Sault Ste. Marie Greyhounds skated in game four against the Owen Sound Attack and the Mississauga Steelheads were in game three against the Oshawa Generals.

First, the Soo game as the Attack evened their series at two games apiece with a 4-2 victory at the Harry Lumley Bayshore Community Centre. Owen Sound got on the board first with a Chase Campbell goal at 2:07 of the first period.

They would double their lead to 2-0 shorthanded at 4:49 of the second period when Nick Suzuki scored.

The Greyhounds got into the scoring column at 6:10 of the second when Boris Katchouk netted his seventh of the playoffs from Blake Speers and David Miller. But that was all Speers, the Devils’ prospect, could do.

Petrus Palmu scored on the power play at 8:20 of the third frame to win the game for Owen Sound. Morgan Frost did add one for Sault Ste. Marie in the third, but the Attack countered with a Jonah Gadjovich goal one minute and thirty-one seconds after that goal at 16:09 of the third.

In goal Joseph Raaymakers made 37 saves on 41 Owen Sound shots while Michael McNiven, getting the win for the Attack, made 25 saves on 27 Soo shots.

Game five takes place on April 14 in Sault Ste. Marie.

Meanwhile, in Oshawa at the Tribute Communities Centre, the Mississauga Steelheads took a two games to one series lead over the Oshawa Generals with a 7-4 win on the road.

Nicolas Hague got the scoring started for the Steelheads on the power play at 4:37 of the first while Vili Saarijarvi scored at 8:33.

Oshawa got the next two with Renars Krastenbergs scoring at 14:03 of the first and Jack Studnicka finding twine at 16:06, sending the game into the first intermission tied at two.

At the 4:44 mark of the second, though, Mississauga began a rampage. Spencer Watson scored with Michael McLeod getting the lone assist on that goal. Hague netted his second of the game on the power play at 5:27 and Watson got his second with assists to the McLeod brothers (Michael had the primary) at 12:44 of the second.

Oshawa briefly came back into it when Danil Antropov scored at 16:31 on the man adavantage.

But in the third period, Watson completed his hat trick (with Michael McLeod netting another assist) at 7:05 and Brendan Harrogate scored on the power play at 9:48. Oshawa pulled Jeremy Brodeur in favor of Logan Gauthier after Watson completed the hatty.

Krastenbergs of the Generals added one on the power play at 16:36 to make the final 7-4.

One other Devils’ connection in this game is that Kyle MacLean, John MacLean’s son had two shots for the Generals and won three of eight faceoffs taken.

Game four comes on April 13 at Oshawa.

One more note is that the SKA St. Petersburg of the KHL – featuring Devils prospect Yegor Rykov – is currently tied with Metallurg Magnitogorsk in the Gagarin Cup Finals at one game apiece.

Game three takes place tomorrow. In game two, Rykov, the young defenseman, had a blocked shot in 6:46 of ice time.