19 August 2023
Vityaz Moscow Region 0 Kunlun Red Star 4
Another game, another win, and a first shut-out of the summer. That’s a good day’s work by anyone’s standards. The Dragons made the short journey to Balashikha to take on Vityaz and enjoyed a comfortable success against a team likely to be among our closest rivals in the Western Conference playoff race.
Matt Jurusik was the starting goalie, and he played a big role in the victory. The pick of his 22 saves came in the second period when Vityaz was on the power play. Suddenly, two players bore down unopposed on our net. Shrugging off the lack of defensive cover, Juice shut the door on that raid to preserve the 1-0 lead we held at the time. Big moment, big save, big player.
Devin Brosseau is another player having a big pre-season. Today he was the difference-maker on offense with two goals and an assist. Brosseau opened the scoring midway through the game with a power play tally assisted by Nolan Moyle. The young center is already showing that he has the props to succeed in the pro game after stepping up from college hockey to join KRS and he helped to ensure we scored from our first PP of the game.
If the Dragons are already learning that Moyle + Brosseau = danger, Vityaz needed a refresher of that lesson. So, early in the third period, the pair repeated the combination, adding Ryan Sproul to the mix as Devin made it 2-0. Then came another power play, and Zac Leslie made it 3-0. That goal featured an assist from Spencer Foo, who stretches his productive streak to five games out of five since returning to the club. That’s why we wanted him back!
There was still work for Jurusik to do at the other end as Vityaz continued to look for a way into the game. Today, though, nobody was getting past our goalie and he stopped everything that came his way. At the other end, Brosseau put the finishing touch on a fine personal performance with a helper as Doyle Somerby found the empty net to seal a satisfying win.
As well as recording a fourth win in five pre-season games, the Dragons also announced a new signing. Canadian defenseman Ryan Merkley is the latest recruit. The 23-year-old Ontario native has 39 NHL games for the Sharks, and helped win the Hlinka Memorial Trophy with Team Canada. He joins on a one-year deal, but won’t feature this weekend as he makes his way to join the team.