31 December 2020 KHL, Kunlun Red Star, Lazarev, Pedan, Smith, Top10
Dragons recognized in all three categories as the KHL reviews the best plays of the week.
While reporting on our last games of 2020 we pointed out that those two impressive victories – and, indeed, our whole upswing of form in December – were not merely gifts of fate but a just reward for our hard work. However, the recognition that we earned from the experts at the KHL can certainly be seen as a gift. When summing up the 15th week of the season, the last full week of the calendar year, our players featured in all three ‘Top 10’ lists of the best plays.
The KHL usually publishes a list of the top 10 goals, hits and saves and this time the Dragons featured in every category.
Anton Lazarev’s game-winning goal 46 seconds before the hooter against Traktor came in ninth place. It wasn’t the dramatic timing or precise shooting that impressed the judges so much as the double spin-o-rama – one from Ryan Sproul to set it up, another from Lazarev to finish it off. And it looks great on the highlight reel.
Ruslan Pedan’s booming challenge on Barys forward Nikita Mikhailis, took second place in the ‘hit of the week’. As you can see in the clip, the opposition weren’t happy with the play, but the KHL’s experts rated it a hard but fair hit entirely within the rules of the game.
The Barys game gave us another masterpiece, this time from goalie Jeremy Smith. As the puck flew towards an almost empty net, Smith pulled off a sensational save with his stick handle, earning himself top spot in the ‘save of the week’ list. It’s the fourth time this season that a Dragons’ goalie has led the charts. Simon Hrubec won the prize twice, and Dmitry Shikin also got the nod as he kept his goal intact against Sibir.
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