The final match of the Channel One Cup between Russia 25 and Kazakhstan actually turned into the final. And the hosts had a great opportunity to regain the trophy after last year's failure, when Belarus sensationally took first place.

Roman Rotenberg's wards first turned out to be stronger than the Stars and the VHL, and then in the end they put the pressure on their neighbors and had four points. The opponents first lost to Belarus, and then prevailed over another domestic team.

Thus, the task facing the Russians was extremely simple – not to lose in regular time. In this case, they remained at the top of the table without calculating additional indicators. In addition, a gift was made to them by Stars and VHL, who finished off Konstantin Koltsov's squad in overtime in the morning. Thus, the latter was deprived of the opportunity to join the showdown for the title.

Also, the coaching staff did not do without reshuffles in the squad, although they turned out to be not as global as the day before and mainly concerned the defensive line. However, for example, Vasily Atanasov, who suffered a head injury, was not even included in the squad. But defender Bogdan Konyushkov returned to the ranks.

The starting period traditionally turned out to be difficult for the hosts. They started it actively and at the first opportunity brought the matter to a throw. For example, Nikita Grebenkin made a dangerous click from the entrance to the zone. A little later, Nikita Boyarkin caught the puck after an overhead shot by Nikita Korostelev.

But in general, the visitors defended calmly and did not allow the opponents to create truly dangerous chances. Moreover, they acted more and more boldly. Their counterattacks looked much more interesting. And Nikita Serebryakov had to save his partners many times in the opening.

And in the seventh minute, Kazakhstan opened the scoring. Thus, Russia 25 allowed their vis-à-vis to score first in all three matches of the tournament. Galym Mambetaliev's tactics worked. His wards made a tackle in the middle zone and ran forward. Artur Gatiyatov dragged the puck and made a pass to Nikita Mikhailis. And he sent it from under the defender into the far corner with a slight deflection.

Having conceded a goal, the domestic team was forced to open up even more. The hockey players tried to move a lot in the opponent's half, confusing the opponents. Traffic was also created on the nickel in order to interfere with Boyarkin. In general, the neighbors continued to defend in a disciplined manner, but they were let down by penalties.

In the middle of the period, they were left with three men against five Russians for more than a minute. Alas, it was not possible to convert a double majority, but the four of them still allowed Rotenberg's squad to restore the balance. And it was Konyushkov who co-scored the goal. After his powerful shot, Ilya Safonov competently put his stick on the dime, and from it the projectile flew under the crossbar. Subsequently, Rossiya 25 once again found themselves on the power play, and later Alexander Elesin hit the opponent with his knee, but the score on the scoreboard did not change.

But the second segment again began with a cold shower for the hosts. At the end of the power play, Kazakhstan unexpectedly took the lead. And there was no sign of trouble when Adil Beketayev decided to take a snap in the 28th second, almost from the blue line. Serebryakov had the opportunity to react, but Marat Khairullin unsuccessfully put his stick in the net, and from it, the projectile, changing direction, flew into the net.

It took some time for the domestic hockey players to recover, although they repeatedly found themselves in the position of rebounding. It was difficult for them to penetrate into the opponent's zone and come up with sharpness. Tall opponent defenders with long sticks competently blocked all approaches. And Boyarkin acted beyond praise at the last line.

If it was possible to create chances, it was only thanks to the individual skill of individual performers. For example, Ilya Karpukhin with a feint broke into the operational space, fell, managed to get up and shot from close range. A projectile from the goalkeeper's helmet hit the crossbar.

But still, exactly at the equator of the confrontation, Rotenberg's wards equalized. And again the partners were saved by Vasily Glotov, who competently set up a hook after Valentin Zykov's attack. The incident completely demoralized the guests. They huddled against their own gates and began to fight back in panic. The Russians, on the contrary, combined as favorites and did not allow their opponents to change.

Less than three minutes later, the hosts took the lead for the first time. Ilya Safonov made a solo run, but failed to beat Boyarkin in two attempts. But it was done by Maxim Sorkin. And soon Zykov played competently on the rebound. Khairullin tried to score from a zero angle, going around the goal, but could not outwit the goalkeeper, but his partner completed the start. The Kazakhs finally crumbled and only miraculously did not concede again before the break.

Everything finally became clear when, two minutes after the start of the final period, Zykov scored a double. The SKA striker was the first to finish off Boyarkin's save.

With such a score, it was obvious that the intrigue was almost dead, and the hockey players calmly finished the game. However, the Russians still sought to bring the matter to the point of defeat. Zykov, who dreamed of a hat-trick, was especially zealous. In one of the episodes, he made a tackle in the opponent's zone on his own, got close to the goalkeeper, but threw it right at him.

Despite the final result, Boyarkin can be safely called the best in the opponent's lineup. If it weren't for him, the gap would have been larger. For example, Artyom Sergeev was right in front of him on a dime, but Nikita sat on the splits and did not allow the projectile to be pushed into the net. Later, he coped with a powerful snap by Tolchinsky from the right circle.

The Kazakhs practically stopped resisting and no longer managed to upset Serebryakov, although they were twice on the power play.

Thus, the Russian national team won the first victory in the Channel One Cup since 2020. After all, in 2021, when he was still part of the Euro Tour, she allowed herself to be ahead of herself in the Finnish table. This time, Rotenberg's wards finally took revenge in front of fans.

But "Stars and VHL", as already mentioned, unexpectedly took away points from Belarus. Although the match started unsuccessfully for them. Already in the first minute, Igor Martynov opened the scoring. But Nikolai Voevodin's wards not only immediately restored the balance, but also took the lead. Matvey Kabush and Ivan Zinchenko scored goals. In addition, Daniil Bokun lost his nerve, who first collided with the referee, and then poked him in the side with a stick. For this, the athlete was sent off for the rest of the game.

No sooner had the teams returned from the locker rooms than Vladislav Eremenko converted on the power play. The response of the Russians again turned out to be swift. Literally in the next attacking move, Arseniy Gritsyuk finished off Matvey Zaseda's cross. And 57 seconds later, Igor Shvyryov fired a powerful mid-range shot to make it 4-2.

However, the neighbors quickly closed the gap thanks to the efforts of Vasily Filyaev. The denouement came shortly before the end of regular time, when Vsevolod Almetkin violated the rules and went to the bench. In a difficult moment, Matvey Sushko converted the power play and sent the confrontation to overtime.

Fortunately, luck smiled on domestic hockey players there. The Belarusians took off the goalkeeper, but only paid for it. Gritsyuk hit the empty net. In the reporting match, he scored a double and scored three points.