On the 11th of May in Electrostal the play-off for the ISHF LIGA PRO ELECTROSTAL OPEN 2021 tournament started. The teams played each other until two victories in their matches, formed at the end of the regular championship. Pairs of the first matchday of the playoffs were as follows:
Armeets – Almaty
Belsk – Chetyre Ledokola
Uralets – Ledianye Voiny
Crystal – Kuznya
- Armeets – Almaty. Score in the series 2-0. The regular season winner immediately rushed to prove their advantage, winning 4-0 by the 4th period. After the first game it seemed that the second game with the team from Kazakhstan would be an easy ride and would resemble a kind of two-sided workout for the Balashikha players, but Almaty managed to surprise them. With the efforts of two newcomers, Andrei Boltov and Anatoly Prus, the team managed to score midway through the game and shut down their defence, keeping their goalie away. Those rare moments when the puck made it to the Almaty goalkeeper, the latter deftly handled his job. But the fairy tale was not meant to be: 3 minutes into the game after the throw-in in the Almaty area Armeets equalized the score, and 49 seconds later the team took the lead. In the end of the game with a 5 to 4 game Almaty’s number 23 had a fantastic chance to level the score but they missed almost an empty net.
- Belsk vs Chetyre Ledokola. Score in the series 2-1. In this pair, all matches had to be played to reveal the strongest team. In the first match the goalkeeper of the team Chetyre Ledokola literally conjured up his possession, the Belsk team failed to throw the puck in the gate, and after a series of shootouts the team from Minsk was defeated. In the second game everything was not so prosaic, the Ledokoly failed to score and in return got 4 pucks. The culmination was the third game, in which there was no intrigue – Belsk beat the Chetyre Ledokola and already tomorrow will meet with the Armeets team.
- Uralets – Ledianye Voiny. The score in the series is 2-0. This encounter, already classic for this tournament, carried over to the play-offs. Both matches were tightly fought, although the scoreline was difficult to judge. In the first game the Ledianye Voiny took the lead after 13 minutes, but then let in 5 goals which was the basis for the final result. In the second game Ledianye Voiny from the first seconds ran forward to score, and Viktor Kornyakov successfully defended his goal, but with 19 (!!!) seconds to go the Uralets found a gap in the defense of Voiny and hit the net. The Moscow team managed to create another great scoring chance in the closing stages, but the execution let them down.
- Crystal – Kuznya. The score is 1-2. In the first game Crystal destroyed their opponent, but in the second half they got slack, conceded five goals and thus had a very nervous finish. At this point the players of the Electrostal team should have realized that the series would not be an easy one. And in the second game Kuznya showed that they can win, leaving no stone unturned in Elektrostal team, beating them 5-1, although the team from Mogilev missed first. The Kuznya players did not grieve long and managed to get back into the game in 20 seconds. In the third game there was a real drama, the whole match the Electrostal team was losing, and only in the end of the last game segment Kuznya came closer. If not for mistakes in defence, Crystal could have easily claimed victory and passage to the next stage of the tournament, but 4-5 and Kuznya celebrated the victory.
Pairs of the second day of the ISHF Liga Pro Electrostal Open 2021 play-offs:
Armeets – Belsk.
Uralets – Kuznya
Almaty – Chetyre Ledokola
Ledianye Voiny – Crystal