5 December 2021
Kunlun Red Star 2 Sibir Novosibirsk 7
Tyler Wong converted powerplay in third successive game taking his tally to eleven for the season. But all in all, this was a tough day for the Dragons as a Sibir team led by our old friend Trevor Murphy romped to a convincing victory. Murphy had a goal and an assist, a haul matched by defensive colleague Michal Cajkovsky, as the visitor proved too strong this evening.
After a successful KHL debut against Neftekhimik, Paris O’Brien continued in goal. Ivan Zanatta also persevered with his policy of promoting some of our homegrown talents into more senior roles on the roster: tonight, Guo Jianing and Zhong Wei continued on the first and second line respectively, while Xiang Xudong again took his place on the third. And the fourth line offered opportunities to same native prospects that played their part on Thursday.
However, this new-look team found itself up against ruthless opposition in the shape of a Sibir side that is on a great run of recent form. As a result, the game ended up rather lopsided with the Dragons perhaps lacking the experience to respond in adversity. The final outcome was a heavy loss but also, hopefully, a useful learning curve for our players.
The early stages were fairly even, but Sibir took a decisive lead late in the second period. Murphy was among the assists as Alexander Sharov opened the scoring. Barely a minute later, it was 2-0 as Nikita Shashkov doubled the visitor’s lead.
The second stanza began with a boost for our guys. A penalty on Denis Golubev gave our power play the chance to show what it could do and, just 12 seconds later, Red Star had its first goal. Our special team moved the puck smoothly around the Sibir zone and Tyler Wong slid in at the back door to convert Brandon Yip’s pass. Unfortunately, Golubev returned to the game and almost immediately restored his team’s two-goal lead.
Then came Murphy’s goal, another moment of misfortune. It started when Kunlun lost an attacking face off. Sibir went forward and set up Trevor for a shot from the point. His attempt flashed wide of the net, only to bounce back to slot and in off O’Brien’s skate. Some days, nothing goes for you.
Misfortune at one end was followed by a break at the other. Ethan Werek pulled a goal back in unlikely circumstances in the 36th minute when he took a Brandon Yip feed into the corner and looked to shoot the puck to the slot. None of Ethan’s team-mates were able to keep up with the play, but a kind bounce of Jyrki Jokipakka made it 2-4.
That was as good as it got, however. Michal Cajkovsky scored on the power play late in the second, then Vadim Kudako made it 6-2 before Golubev’s second of the game established a disappointing final scoreline for our guys.
Today’s game wraps up our latest home stand – and we’re off on the road immediately. The next trip starts in the Urals on Monday when we visit Traktor, and goes on to Metallurg, Barys and Sibir before the next international break.