Schulz and Pu score their first for the Dragons

13 October 2021

Dinamo Minsk 6 Kunlun Red Star 5 OT

Ty Schulz and Cliff Pu potted debut goals for the Dragons in a pulsating clash in Minsk. The two teams traded 10 goals in regulation before the home team stole the verdict in the extras.

Despite the loss, there was much to take from this game – not least the fact that we took points from successive games for the first time this season. We also had a good night for our offense, hitting five in a game for the first time since Sep. 9. And, with a bit more puck luck in overtime, it might even have been back-to-back victories and our highest-scoring contribution of the season.

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In the extras, the Dragons got a power play and a long spell of pressure saw Spencer Foo ding one off Alexei Kolosov’s piping with the young goalie well beaten. Another centimeter would have won the game there and then, but instead Dinamo killed the penalty and snatched the W thanks to Adam Almquist’s goal.

There was a first ever place on a KHL line-up for Chinese heritage goalie Paris O’Brien. The 21-year-old has two seasons of experience in the Junior Hockey League (54 games) and the VHL (10 appearances). Now he’s staking his case for a role in the KHL alongside Jeremy Smith and Alexander Lazushin.

A battling first-period display deserved better than a two-goal deficit, and in the last second we got some reward for our efforts. This was close enough to the hooter to demand a video review, but Jason Fram’s effort, forced home from close range after Josh Nicholls’ shot was blocked, made over the line in the nick of time.

That provided the springboard for a tying goal early in the second session. Jake Chelios forced a turnover in center ice and that released Greg Squires for a lightning break that culminated with a shot flashed past Alexei Kolosov from the right-hand circle.

But then things took a turn for the worse. Mattias Tedenby made it 3-2 before a string of penalties had us on a 3-on-4 penalty kill. That enabled Stromwall to grab his second of the game and restore a two-goal lead for Dinamo.

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Once again, though, the Dragons roared back. Ty Schultz got his first goal for the club – an unlikely close-range finish from a defenseman, joining an odd-man rush led by Nicholls – to make it a one-goal game. Then Nicholls added a goal to his two helpers, taking just 15 seconds to convert a 5-on-3 power play. Red Star won the face-off, Fram exchanged passes with Spencer Foo, and Nicholls took the puck on a tour of the Dinamo zone before rifling home a shot from the circle.

Stromwall completed his hat-trick to give Minsk the lead at the second intermission, but this game was far from done. Pu rose to the occasion, stuffing home his first goal in the KHL after Ethan Werek’s shot was stopped on the crease, and the game was level once again.

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