Looks like Game 3 won't be needed in best-of-three series. SKA-Neftyanik clipped a hosting Kemerovo Kuzbass in the first quarterfinal game, 7-4. Our hometown team finished in the second slot of the regular championship(after defeating Kirov Rodina, 6-3, in the final game), thus had to square off with the seventh ranking team in the league.
Every SKA player chipped in for the win, but it was Erik Petterson, who gave SKA the lead in the game and then connected thrice throughout the game. Habitually, Erik used the corner standard to rip it in to the top shelf, 0-1. Then a few minutes later he doubled the score with a finesse precision stroke off the penalty shot mark. Then Kuzbass scored in a swift counter-attack to shrink the lead, 1-2. Kuzbass kept on rolling to capitalize on the "standard" opponents' mistakes in the D-zone. They made furious pushes to tie things up in the first halftime and got it made in the 39 minute, 2-2. Once again our hometown team showed off a sloppy execution defensively, full of mishaps, failing to chase down the scot-free opposing forwards.
In the second half, despite of the Kuzbass goalie's superb showcase, he was able to keep the doors barred only until the 49th minute, when Maksim Ishkeldin and then Artyom Bondarenko (twice) found the back of the net, 2-5, later into the second. Kuzbass struck back 5 minutes on the button afterwards off the corner standard. Regrettably, SKA once again tapered their activity off to let the decisive lead vanish into the thin air seven minutes later, 4-5. Erik Pettersson stepped up for a team and scored another couple of goals, 4-7.
.... Kuzbass fans were surely not pleased with the result, likely saying good bye to their favorite team for the season. SKA are going home to play Kuzbass on the home ice with one thing in between their ears and it is "advancing to the next round" in Game 2 on March 6.