Team’s historic win, captain’s new record

8 February 2023

Severstal Cherepovets 2 Kunlun Red Star 3

Brandon Yip added to his collection of KRS club records as he helped the Dragons to first ever victory in Cherepovets. Yipper’s goal in the second period of this game moves him to 41 points for the season. That beats the tally achieved by Chad Rau in our inaugural KHL campaign and puts our long-serving captain out in front. Among his many accolades in our history, he can now add ‘best points total in a single regular season’ to the list.

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Brandon got his 41st point in a game that saw Red Star snap a three-game losing streak and record its first victory of the season against Severstal. The Steelmen are traditionally an obdurate opponent for our guys, and it was reassuring to finally get a win over them after several close encounters this term.

Yip’s goal was not the only highlight of a good day. In the 15th minute, Tyler Wong opened the scoring when he put the puck home from close range following good work from Cory Kane. That was notable for a couple of reasons. First, it was a welcome return to the scoresheet for Wonger, whose last goals came back on Dec. 4 when he scored twice in our shoot-out loss against SKA. Additionally, the play brought a first KHL assist for Yan Ruinan. The 22-year-old is one of the players getting additional game time at the moment in preparation for April’s World Championship campaign; hopefully we’ll see more scoring from him in Tallinn as Team China goes for back-to-back promotions.

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That goal was all that separated the teams at the first intermission. Next, early in the second, came the captain’s record-breaking moment. It was a play that started deep in our territory, where Cliff Pu forced a turnover and released Jason Fram. That developed into a two-on-one rush, and Fram slipped the puck to Yip for a trademark finish to double the lead. Altogether, that’s 20 goals and 21 points this season for Brandon – interestingly, Chad Rau’s 40 point haul was an even split of 20+20.

And there was more where the good stuff comes from. Four minutes into the third period, Tomas Jurco added a third goal. Our Slovak international potted his eighth of the campaign from close range after home goalie Dmitry Shugayev could not hold Vince LoVerde’s point shot.

Up 3-0 with 15 minutes to play, it was tempting to think that we’d got this one sewn up. However, as mentioned before, Severstal can be an awkward opponent. We got a reminder of that in the closing stages as the Steelmen battled back into the game. Dmitry Moiseyev pulled a goal back with seven minutes to play and, on 57:22 Wong took a penalty and Andrei Razin called Shugayev to the bench. That six-on-four charge brought a power play goal for Yegor Morozov and set up a couple of anxious minutes before we could celebrate the win. However, Matt Jurusik resisted the final onslaught, finishing his game with 43 saves to secure the points.

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