3 October 2021
Kunlun Red Star 4 Vityaz Moscow Region 2
This was a day for the Foo family album. Our band of brothers had a hand in everything as the Dragons recorded a fourth win of the season. Parker Foo had two goals and two assists, while big brother Spencer had a goal and two helpers. It all added up to a hard-fought 4-2 victory against an opponent that was only able to break down our defense when it got on the power play.
After a goalless first period, Kunlun got in front early in the third as Parker opened his account with a short-handed effort. Luke Lockhart forced a turnover on our blue line and his pass released Foo for a raid on Ilya Ezhov’s net. He held off the attentions of Kirill Lyamin and executed a stick-handling move that would grace any game to deke the goalie out of position and slide the puck into the net.
Parker, 23, is one of our core of Chinese heritage players. And that group is still expanding. Today saw Ty Schultz on our roster for the first time in the KHL. The 24-year-old defenseman previously played our VHL team in 2019/20. The pandemic cost him a season of development, but the New Westminster native remains very much in our plans. His debut saw him log almost nine minutes of ice time, with one hit, one shot on goal and one blocked shot. Unfortunately, though, the contribution that will live longest in the box scores was the penalty he took in the second period that enabled Alexander Yaremchuk to tie the game.
Nothing daunted, the Foo family struck again. Spencer got the puck out from behind the net and sent it to Vic Bartley on the blue line. His slap shot was redirected by Parker and skittled through Ezhov’s pads to restore our lead midway through the game.
However, Red Star’s propensity to take penalties struck again and early in the third the home team was punished. Niko Ojamaki, making a name for himself as one of the most dangerous forwards in the league, fired home a one-timer off Daniel Audette’s feed to make it 2-2.
When the teams were at even strength, though, Vityaz could not penetrate our defense. Alexander Lazushin had a busy day, stopping 34 out of 36 shots, but in front of him we were commendably solid in 5-on-5 play. As the game went on, it started to seem that Vityaz was struggling with its own discipline. Red Star had two power plays – without result – before applying the necessary cutting edge when playing with equal forces. After 53 minutes, Parker turned provider and exchanged passes with Spencer before the latter produced a spectacular finish, using a little drag to wrong-foot Vitaly Popov before ripping an unstoppable shot past the unsighted Ezhov.
There was still time for nerves to jangle when Vityaz got a late power play, but this time our PK stood firm. And, in the last minute, a penalty on Miro Aaltonen enabled the Foo family to combine once again and set up Luke Lockhart for the final word.
Saturday’s win makes it two from three for the Dragons, setting us up nicely for next week’s double-header against CSKA Moscow.