In the last homestand game of the season SKA packed a hefty punch to the geographically neighboring bandy team from Irkutsk, in the Russian sense, of course. Our hometown team has demonstrated some spectacular scoring episodes, but those two own goals, executed by Baikal Energia, have stolen the show.
Own goals in bandy may not be a frequent event, but they are quite usual and happen due either to a slipshod stick handling, or a ricochet. The overwhelming majority of them carry some logical explanation, but what happened with the two ones, choreographed by the Irkutsk players lies beyond the bounds of comprehension. A picture is worth a thousand words, my dear bandy fans, there' s a game highlights clip posted on this website, you will get kick out of it, if you take a peek. One may remember a shower of twenty self goals in a monumental game between Vodnik and Baikal Energia two years ago, but that one was absolutely different ball game, pardon my pun.
As for the game per se, Irkutsk set up a clear cut goal of winning, because it isn't much fun to run a losing streak (from 2016 up to date) against the team you are capable of overcoming. Baikal, offsetting the skill difference, paid much of attention to their own net zone and this simple tactics brought about good fruits. Only two goals past the Baikal netminder Lapin, including a self inflicted masterpiece, came to fruition in the first half.
In the second, Baikal were sticking to the same tactics of the echelon defense and it did work until Ishkeldin and Dubovik traded goals, 3-1, adding some spice to the game. After that, Energia thrust out their attacks in order to catch up with their opponents, thus "opening up for Mr. Choo-choo", which led to another four unanswered goals by SKA.
There are four road games left for SKA to play in the regular championship and then we are entering a play-off zone. SKA is a dead cert and they need just one point to secure the position No. 1 in the regulars. They are back home on the 8th hosting in a second quarter-final game.