Greetings from the ‘Great 8’

4 August 2019

KRS Select 8 ORG Beijing 4

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Alexander Ovechkin is visiting China this week as an NHL ambassador – and, of course, the hockey legend could hardly pass up the opportunity to visit our Renaissance Cup tournament. Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals’ poster boy for a generation, is helping to promote our sport in this country and his packed program includes touring our winter sports facilities and getting to know – and inspire – young skaters to follow in his footsteps.

As an honored guest in Beijing, Ovi performed the ceremonial face-off ahead of Sunday’s Chinese ‘derby’ game. Our team, playing here as a KRS Select, took on an ORG Beijing roster that, until recently, was also part of the KRS family and played last season under the name KRS-ORG. Since then, the club has come under the full control of the ORG company and Kunlun Red Star has established a new VHL team of its own. The new KRS farm team will be comprised largely of players with Chinese heritage, including many of those playing in this tournament. Thus, today’s game could be seen as the first instalment of the Chinese derbies awaiting us in the coming VHL campaign.

Naturally, with a megastar like Ovechkin in the building, the players had no choice but to put on a show for the guest of honor. And so it proved: the teams shared 12 goals. Rudi Ying gave the Dragons the lead, the opposition tied it up almost immediately, but our KRS Select showed its class towards the end of the first period with goals from David Bondra, Mikael Tam and Chris Seto opening a 4-1 lead at the first intermission. The rest of the game carried on in the same entertaining fashion and ended in an 8-4 victory for the Dragons, with Ying potting a hat-trick. Further goals came from Brayden Jaw and Zhang Zesen.

That’s not the end of the Chinese rivalries in this event. We still have a match-up against Tseng Tou from Jilin, a team that has played two seasons in the VHL and twice reached the playoffs. That’s a record that speaks for itself and it suggests that our next game will be another tough test.

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Kunlun Red Star