The Belarusian professional hockey league, the top hockey league in Belarus, will play a Game 7 in the Belarusian Extraliga on Tuesday night. The winner will move onto the President’s Cup finals. If you’re on the east coast in the US and Canada, this game will begin at 9:30 a.m. EST on Tuesday morning. There have been a couple of notable players in the NHL that have come from Belarus. Former Maple Leaf Mikhail Grabovski and the late Ruslan Salei both played in the NHL and had pretty good careers.
Salei was playing with Lokomotiv Yaroslavl of the KHL when he was a passenger on the plane that crashed in 2011. He tragically passed away that day, and with it, one of the best hockey players from Belarus was taken too soon. Salei is best known for his time in Anaheim with the Ducks, but he also spent time on the Panthers, Avalanche, and Red Wings. As far as Grabovski is concerned, Leafs’ fans don’t need any introduction.
Just like in the NHL, the playoffs in the Belarusian Extraliga, also known as Extraleague, are the same seven-game competitions. Neman Grodno and Shakhtar Soligorsk will be playing in Game 7 on Tuesday night in Grodno at the Ice Sports Palace. Neither team has been particularly better than the other in this series, with each team splitting up to this point. That’s going to end when a team wins on Tuesday.
Grodno got the big win on the road on Sunday to force a seventh and final game. They leaned on Coward Vitaliy between the pipes, and he came up big to allow just 1 goal in the winning effort. They’re going to need the 31-year-old to flash the leather a few more times at home, which is expected to happen in front of fans. Similar to the football league in Belarus, the government is still allowing spectators at sporting events.
Fortunately for the Extraliga hockey league, their season is coming to an end rather shortly. The football league might have issues because their season just started recently. In any event, if you’re desperate for hockey betting, be sure to consider Game 7 in the Belarusian Extraliga. Head below for our free Neman Grodno vs. Shakhtar Soligorsk pick.
Neman Grodno vs. Shakhtar Soligorsk Betting Odds:
Neman Grodno vs. Shakhtar Soligorsk Prediction:
Grodno and Soligorsk played to a thrilling overtime match on Sunday, with Finnish sniper, Timo Hiltunen, ending the game with a goal in extra time. It was a clutch goal for Grodno, as they needed to find a way to get this series back home for Game 7. Hiltunen needed just 19 seconds to find the back of the net to get the 2-1 victory.
Such solid goaltending all night and the game ended 19 seconds into overtime. After watching the replay of the match, it appeared like it could have been one of those overtimes that drags on forever. Both defences were filling gaps and not allowing the offence to generate much room in their defensive zones.
Grodno couldn’t find any offence in Game 5, as they were blanked by a score of 3-0 to put themselves in the must-win situation on Sunday. Defensive pressure has been there for both teams throughout the semifinals. Grodno has scored an average of 1.6 goals per game in six games, while Soligorsk has been able to find more offence with 3.2 goals per match. Back at home, Grodno is going to need another stellar effort by Vitaliy in the crease.
Vitaliy and Maxim Gorodetsky have shared the net and both have played well, with Vitaliy getting hot and earning the starting spot in the playoffs. Vitaliy has appeared in 27 games and has been sharp between the pipes, having posted a 1.80 GAA and 0.93 save percentage. Maxim has been reliable as well, with a 2.02 GAA and 0.92 save percentage.
Netminder of Soligrosk, Maxim Malyutin, has been playing well, too, but not at the same level as Vitaliy in 2019-20. Malyutin owns a 2.27 GAA and 0.91 save percentage on the year, which still ranks among the best goaltenders in the Belarusian Extraleague this year. He’s been especially strong against Grodno in the semifinals, as they’ve scored just 1.6 goals per contest thus far. Malyutin was a member of the 2010 Olympic team for Belarus in Vancouver.
There has been an average of just 4.5 goals scored per match between Grodno and Soligorsk in this series. There’s been 4 or fewer goals scored in four out of their six meetings. With the intensity turned up an additional notch on Tuesday, expect another tight 2-1 or 3-2 final score in Game 7. The UNDER looks like the play, with a coin flip going to produce the winner of this contest. You can get the odds at Bet365.