19 November 2022
Dynamo Moscow 5 Kunlun Red Star 3
A battling performance from the Dragons came up just short against Dynamo. The game was effectively won and lost in the first period, when the home team’s better finishing opened a 2-0 lead. After that, despite a brave effort, Red Star was unable to make inroads into that deficit but still gave one of the Conference’s leaders a game until the final seconds.
Alex Perevalov returned to action for his club after a spell on international duty. Our on-loan forward represented Russia U20 at a four-team tournament in Petersburg and helped his country come out on top. In the decisive 3-0 victory over Belarus, Alex had two assists. Today he was used sparingly as a 13th forward, gently easing him back into the grind of KHL action. Jeremy Smith also returned to the team as our starting goalie.
However, Smith was beaten early on as Jordan Weal gave Dynamo the lead in the second minute. That was a big goal for the home team, which was on a five-game losing streak and needed something to lift confidence. However, it did not do anything to dampen the Dragons’ spirits and the teams traded chances throughout the first period. The difference turned out to be fine margins. Alex Riche had a power play goal disallowed after a video review, Weal potted his second of the game late in the session. What might have been 1-1 at the intermission proved to be 0-2.
Riche got his name on the scoresheet right at the start of the second and the action was unrelenting. A bad hit on Tyler Wong saw Garet Hunt look to resolve any conflict with Yegor Zaitsev. This time, though, the peacemaker was unable to land a blow on an opponent who was reluctant to stand up for himself. Once all the penalties were handed out, Dynamo had a power play and Vladislav Kodola increased the home lead.
A niggly game brought plenty of opportunities for special teams to make an impact. Riche had a good chance to grab a power play goal, only for his shot to misfire. Then, on our next PP, Wonger showed everyone how it’s done. Zac Leslie’s feed picked out our forward in his preferred position in the left-hand circle. Tyler ramped up a mighty one timer and ripped the puck past Ilya Konovalov. 2-3.
If the teams had gone to the intermission with a single goal between them, we might have seen a very different third period. Instead, though, Dynamo produced a sucker punch as Kodola got his second of the game just before the hooter. Again, fine margins, and the home team had a two-goal advantage it barely deserved on the balance of play.
Nobody would be surprised to hear that Dynamo tried to lock the game up in the third period. The home team played defensively and nominated the clock as its extra man. Kunlun continued to press, though, and created chances to get back in the game. Doyle Somerby took one of them with five minutes to play and the nerves were jangling around the VTB Arena. Red Star went for one last surge, but ended up allowing an empty net goal for Jakob Lilja, securing a tight win for the home team despite an encouraging performance from our guys.