6 January 2023
Dynamo Moscow 3 Kunlun Red Star 2 SO
A brave rally late in the third period saw the Dragons push Dynamo all the way to a shootout. Against the only KHL team Kunlun has never beaten, our guys battled hard and ran the Muscovites closer than ever. However, it was not quite enough as the Blue-and-Whites edged a shoot-out success after a huge effort from both teams.
Greg Ireland made a couple of changes to the team that lost 1-2 at Vityaz on Tuesday. Matt Jurusik took over from Jeremy Smith in goal, as part of our usual rotation of netminders. In addition, Jason Fram came into the defense in place of Vince LoVerde.
There was much to enjoy about Red Star’s play in the early stages. The Dragons took the initiative from the start and stretched the home defense throughout the first period. The raw shot count, 12-9 in our favor, doesn’t tell the whole story. Dynamo was also forced to block nine further attempts as our guys looked the more dangerous of the teams. Devin Brosseau had the best chance, getting up close on the power play. However, he was denied by Konstantin Volkov. At the other end, Jurusik had to be alert to halt Maxim Dzioshvili on a breakaway chance, but it was clear that Dynamo’s forwards were struggling to get into the game.
Unfortunately, after a first period in which the Dragons could, and maybe should, have taken the lead, the second began with a Dynamo power play. And while Tomas Jurco sat for high sticking, the Blue-and-Whites got the opening goal. Vladislav Kodola was the ‘extra man’ on the power play, finding space between the hash marks to collect a feed from Andrei Mironov and fire home.
The remainder of the second period was evenly matched. Red Star had a chance to tie the game almost immediately, but Kyle Wood was unable to take advantage of an odd-man rush. Later in the frame, a power play saw Brandon Yip get a great chance but for once our captain’s finishing let him down and Dynamo held its advantage to the second intermission.
Things got worse before they got better. The Dragons struggled to make an impression early in the third period, and Dynamo extended its lead through Sergei Boykov in the 53rd minute. Given our long history of trouble with this opponent, it took some serious new year’s optimism to see a way back from 0-2.
However, one thing that KRS has proved repeatedly this season is that no cause is lost. The fightback started with Jurco tipping in Ryan Sproul’s point shot to make it a one-goal game on 55:34. Now, the door was open. Jurusik went to the bench to make way for an extra skater as the Dragons began pounding the Dynamo defense. As the clock ran down, Luke Lockhart won a puck battle in the corner – and, just as important, drew several opponents out of position. Yipper went round the back and, with the home defense anticipating the puck on the slot, our captain played a pass deep for Jake Chelios. With the ‘D’ out of position, a shooting lane opened for Jake, and he found it perfectly, shooting past Konstantin Volkov to tie the game with 15 seconds left.
Overtime saw Cliff Pu go close with Kunlun’s best chance, but Volkov won that duel and took the action all the way to the shoot-out. And the extras produced more of the same, with Volkov stopping all four of the attempts he faced. At the other end, Dmitry Rashevsky and Jordan Weal were on target to give Dynamo the win.
Kunlun returns to action on Sunday with a trip to Severstal.