In the final period of the final game of the 2008 Russian Super League Finals, Ufa Salavat proved to the hockey world why they were the RSL’s 2007-2008 regular season champs, and why they deserved to capture the RSL Championship. Ufa rode three third period goals to a 4-1 victory in Game 5 of the RSL Finals to win the RSL Championship on its home ice over upstart Yaroslavl Lokmotiv.
After being blanked in Game 4 for the second time in the Finals, Ufa got on the board just three minutes into the first stanza on a goal by Konstantin Koltsov. For Koltsov, a former first-round pick of the Pittsburgh Penguins, the marker was his second of the series and fourth of the post-season. Lokomotiv responded just 10 minutes later to even the game at 1-1 on 36 year-old pivot Alexei Kudashov’s second of the series.
The teams played a scoreless second period, setting the stage for a climactic third period. In the end, Ufa proved too strong for Lokomotiv. Vladimir Antipov, Salavat’s third-leading scorer during the regular season, notched his first of the Finals to put the home team ahead for good 2-1 four minutes into the period. Alexander Perezhogin, dormant on the score sheet for most of the playoffs despite strong play, scored his third of the playoffs and second in three games to provide Ufa with a two goal cushion at the ten minute mark of the session. Ufa’s barrage concluded when 25 year-old Alexei Medvedev tallied with three minutes to go in the third, sealing his team’s RSL title. Ufa previously had won the Vysshaya League (a notch below the RSL) Championship in 1992, which elevated them to the Russian Super League.