On the face of it, this game was a rout, with little comfort to be taken from a lopsided final score. In reality, though, Red Star was highly competitive through two periods and arguably did not deserve to be down at the second intermission. Then a calamitous start to the third period turned the game decisively in Sibir’s favor as the Dragons failed to build on a fine Spencer Foo goal and slumped to a painful loss.
Foo was one of the players restored to Thursday’s team, taking the place of his brother Parker. Tyler Wong and Alexander Yevseyenkov also returned, with Viktor Baldayev and Sergei Monakhov making way. Dmitry Shikin continued in goal.
The first period brought plenty of good play from the Dragons, and it was a genuine misfortune that our guys could not get to the intermission with the scores at least level. Whether it was Jason Fram crashing the net early on, Ethan Werek almost redirecting a Jake Chelios shot into the Sibir net or Vojtech Mozik hitting the post, there were more than enough chances to get on the scoreboard. The pressure continued into the closing moments, with Red Star getting the first power play of the game and Harri Sateri forced to deny Sean Collins and Gleb Shashkov.
Then came the blow. Penalty killed, Sibir moved forward in the last minute of the frame. Mikael Ruohomaa took play round the back of the net and delivered the puck to Andrei Yermakov. The defenseman’s point shot, screened by Juuso Puustinen, gave the visitor a lead to take into the break.
The problems piled up: a penalty late in the first carried over and Sibir began the middle session on the front foot. Dmitry Shikin was at his best to halt the danger and from then on, the Dragons were able to look for a way back. Luke Lockhart had a great chance to level the scores when Tyler Wong found him all alone in front of Sateri’s net, only for the Finnish goalie to snuff out the opportunity. But the pressure kept building and a well-deserved tying goal arrived in highlight-reel fashion thanks to Spencer Foo. Foozie’s pace and stick-handling was just too much for Nikita Setdikov and he burned past the former Avtomobilist forward before backhanding the puck into the roof of the net from a tight angle. It would be no surprise to see that goal again when the KHL releases its next ‘Top 10’ video clip.
Unfortunately, Foo’s goal did not bring about the change in fortune we hoped for. Instead, just a minute later, Sibir was back in front when Vladislav Ushenin – an opponent we’re used to seeing in the orange of Amur rather than the blue and white of Sibir – converted Nikolai Demidov’s feed. And the game got away from the Dragons at the start of the third when Daniil Romantsev slid in to make it 3-1 before Dmitry Sayustov added a fourth despite a bench challenge from our guys. Both of those tallies were assisted by Alexander Sharov, who continues to be our nemesis. In his career meetings with Red Star, the Sibir forward now has 11 (2+9) points – three of them from this season. A difficult afternoon was not enhanced by a defensive error on our blue line, presenting Puustinen with the chance to streak through and add a fifth. And the final word went to Viktor Komarov, who made it 6-1 late in the game.