Magnitogorsk wins 2nd Gagarin Cup in 3 years

© Vladimir Fedorenko
Metallurg Magnitogorsk claimed their second KHL Gagarin Cup in three years after a dramatic 3:1 victory over CSKA Moscow in the Russian capital on Tuesday.

The seven-game series between the two teams has ebbed and flowed, with CSKA holding a 2-1 advantage after Game 3 before Magnitogorsk turned things around to lead 3-2 by the fifth game.

Last Sunday's sixth meeting saw CSKA secure a hard-fought overtime success to set up the deciding match.

Magnitogorsk enjoyed a comfortable route to the finals, overcoming Avtomobilist Yekaterinburg 4-2 in the Eastern Conference quarter-finals, before easing past Sibir Novosibirsk 4-1 in the semi-finals.

Salavat Yulaev Ufa proved no match in the conference finals as Magnitogorsk claimed a 4-1 series victory.

CSKA, with former NHL man Alexander Radulov leading the team, had reached the finals even more impressively, losing just once in 12 Western Conference playoff games.

CSKA's Alexander Radulov, left, and Metallurg's Sergei Mozyakin in the play-off finals of the Kontinental Hockey League's Gagarin Cup. © Ramil Sitdikov

They defeated Slovan Bratislava 4-0 in the quarter-finals and followed up with a 4-1 semi-finals success against Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod.

CSKA swept aside reigning champions SKA St. Petersburg 4-0 in the conference finals to reach the Gagarin Cup Finals for the first time.

Their failure to win the trophy is the seventh time the winners of the Kontinental Cup, awarded to the team that finishes the regular season with the best record, have missed out on claiming the double.

Magnitogorsk's previous Gagarin Cup success came in 2013/14 when they triumphed 4-3 over Lev Praha.

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