24 September 2021
Kunlun Red Star 0 Amur Khabarovsk 2
A return home brought welcome news for the team: Parker Foo is now back to full fitness and played his first game of the season against Amur tonight. He immediately joined his brother, Spencer, on the first line alongside Luke Lockhart.
Unfortunately, though, Parker’s return was not enough to spark our offense back into scoring form. After failing to find the net in Novosibirsk, our guys were frustrated once again here, with visiting goalie Evgeny Alikin making 30 saves. When he was beaten, midway through the third period, the officials ruled out the goal after a video review.
As a result, the Tigers move off the foot of the KHL standings and push us into the basement. Luckily, there is a short break before we begin a run of three home games next week – hopefully a chance for the team to regroup and pick up some much-needed points at the end of this month.
The game was decided by two errors. Twice, Red Star turned over the puck and Amur punished us. At the end of an even first period, a passage of 4-on-4 play saw the deadlock broken. The Dragons looked to take control of the game and make the most of the extra space on the ice, but an Amur counter-attack enabled Andrei Alexeyev to smuggle the puck away from Greg Squires, evade Ryan Sproul’s desperate attempts to halt his progress and batter his way past Alexander Lazushin. Our goalie was left sprawled on the ice after the players collided, but contact came after the puck was already in the net as Alexeyev’s momentum saw him crash into his opponent.
Amur’s second goal, late in the second period, was an especially tough blow to take. Not only was it a short-handed goal, it was also scored by a former Dragon, Gleb Zyryanov. Much like the opener, it stemmed from a turnover in center ice that sent Zyryanov through on Lazushin’s net.
At the end of the middle frame, the task got even hard when a couple of quick penalties left us facing a 3-on-5 penalty for 90 seconds either side of the intermission. But the guys dug deep and neutralized that threat without taking any more damage. Then came a power play chance for us, which might not have produced the most devastating display of offense but helped to tip the momentum in the home team’s favor. There was more encouragement midway through the frame when Red Star got the puck in the Amur net at last, Brandon Yip tucking away the rebound after Sproul’s point shot proved too hot for Evgeny Alikin to handle. However, a video review ruled that Ethan Werek interfered with the visiting goalie and the effort was whistled off.
Our next game is on Sep. 28, when Admiral visits Arena Mytishchi for the first time. That’s followed by home encounters with Dynamo Moscow and Vityaz.