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Vondrka scores the shootout winner in tight game

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Slovan won over Salavat 1:0 after shootout.

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HC Slovan Bratislava - Salavat Yulaev Ufa 1:0 after shootout (0:0, 0:0, 0:0 - 0:0, 1:0)

Penalties: 3:4 (2 min), also: Kukumberg (Slovan) 5+game for checking to the head, powerplay goals: 0:0, shorthanded goals: 0:0, officials: Zacharov, Nalivajko - S. Morozov, Lazarev, attendance: 10 055

HC Slovan: Janus - Ľ. Višňovský, Sigalet, Sersen, Sekera, Švarný, J. Tabaček - Michel Miklík, Bližňák, Vondrka - Bartovič, Lipiansky, L. Hudáček - M. Bakoš, Kytnár, Kukumberg - Preisinger, A. Šťastný, Ölvecký - Kudrna

Salavat Yulaev Ufa: Tarkki - Aťušov, Proškin, Konev, Kirill Koľcov, Baranka, Blaťák - Pankov, Zinoviev, Rolinek - Mirnov, Chlystov, Pihlström - Paršin, Trubačov, Filatov - Stepanov, Svitov, Musatov

In the first game after the national team break saw two closely matched teams play out a tight encounter in front of another sold out Slovnaft Arena crowd. HC SLOVAN were given a penalty shot in the 7th minute after Atyushov brought down Milan Bartovič while he was clean through. However, Bartovič was unable to convert on the penalty shot attempt, as his shot crashed into Tarkki’s pads. Soon the fans were in outrage after the officials gave Roman Kukumberg a 5+game penalty for checking to the head, however, the five minute penalty was killed by HC SLOVAN, with Janus being tested only by Trubachev and Baranka. As the period began to wind down, HC SLOVAN had a 71 second powerplay to try and take advantage, and although they went close after Bližňák tipped a Višňovský point shot. The chances were building up, and with another powerplay opportunity towards the end of the period, Michel Miklik went close only to be denied by Tarkki.

At the beginning of the second period, Janus did well to stop a dangerous shot by Trubachev early in the middle frame. On the other hand, Tarkki was forced into action to stop a Libor Hudáček effort. In the 25th minute Michal Sersen lit up the Arena with a brilliant piece of skill to beat the defenceman, but Tarkki was able to stop his effort. It truly was a battle of the netminders, as Janus showed why he is considered to be one of the better goalies in the KHL, making great saves on Musatov, Baranka and saving a penalty shot by Pankov.

In the very first minute of the first period, Vondrka found Bližňák behind the goal, but Tarkki was aware to the danger. The Finnish goalie also made a great save to deny Andrej Kudrna The teams traded chances, Zinoviev going close for Salavat while the home side were killing a penalty. In the final minutes of the third period, Jan Tabacek was forced to take a penalty, and despite a great chance for Pihlstrom, Salavat were unable to beat Janus, meaning the game would go to overtime.

Jonathan Sigalet went close for HC SLOVAN in the opening minute of the overtime period, but his shot went wide. On the other hand, Janus was forced to make two stops on Zinoviev and Rolinek. The game would then go to a shootout, where it looked like the away side would get the victory after Trubachev scored in the second round. However, Michal Vondrka scored in the third round of shooters to force the penalty shootout to sudden death. Vondrka was selected to go again, and he scored for a second time, and Janus would then deny Trubachev to give HC SLOVAN a fantastic victory against one of the KHL’s biggest teams.

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