5 October 2021
CSKA Moscow 4 Kunlun Red Star 1
Spencer Foo produced a goal of the season contender in Moscow today as the Dragons battled with CSKA. Foo, along with his brother Parker, has been an instrumental figure in the team’s recent upturn in form, with two goals and two assists in the last two games. Last night, he produced one out of the top drawer to give Red Star an early lead in the game.
It all started close to our net, with Spencer stripping Pavel Karnaukhov of the puck in the right-hand face-off circle. And then he was off to the races. Ignoring the persistent attempted slashes by Karnaukhov, who trailed him ineffectively all the way back down the ice, he burst into the CSKA zone. Uncertain, two home defensemen backed off, inviting a shot from the top of the right-hand circle at the other end. That shot was devastating, wired through a narrow gap into the top corner with Ivan Fedotov unable to react. Don’t worry if you missed it, this one is destined for heavy rotation on this week’s highlight reels.
That was a perfect start to a battling KRS performance in Moscow. After Saturday’s 4-2 win over Vityaz, Ivano Zanatta made modest changes to the line-up. Alexander Lazushin returned in goal and Zach Yuen made the team in place of Chris Seto. Elsewhere, the core of the team remained intact, most prominently the Foo-Lockhart-Foo first line that proved so effective in that victory.
And this was another solid team performance, with CSKA struggling to make its mark against our guys. The first period was even and ended up tied at 1-1 after Mikhail Grigorenko’s power play goal. But it might have been so different if Parker Foo had been able to convert a power play chance when the net opened up for him after Josh Nicholls threaded the puck through the eye of a needle to find him at the back door. On this occasion, though, the attentions of Klas Dahlbeck proved sufficient to distract him at the moment of releasing the shot.
In the second period, once again, there was little to choose between the teams on balance of play. However, CSKA was able to take its chance, with Konstantin Okulov making it 2-1 midway through the session. Immediately afterwards, young Danil Yurtaikin broke clear and was only halted by a series of fouls. That handed Okulov another opportunity with a penalty shot, but this time Lazer was alert to the forward’s tricks and calmly shut the door on him.
Early in the third, a defensive error enabled CSKA to get 3-1 up and Karnaukhov’s goal deflated our guys. The final frame was a bit too comfortable for the Army Men, who added an empty-netter through Grigorenko to make the final score 4-1. But there were plenty of positive signs to take from the first two periods, and plenty of reasons to hope that in Saturday’s return game in Mytishchi we can deliver a different outcome.