Devin sent

5 October 2023

Kunlun Red Star 2 Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod 4

Devin Brosseau stretched his goal streak to four games for the Dragons, but still finished on the losing side. Despite another big effort, our guys fell to a narrow loss against high-flying Torpedo.

This was the second of two back-to-back games following yesterday’s 1-2 reverse at Vityaz. However, there is little scope to rotate the roster right now and apart from Jeremy Smith replacing Matt Jurusik in goal there was no change in our personnel.

That did not inhibit the guys at the start of this game. A strong first period brought a deserved lead thanks to Brosseau’s latest goal. Ask a forward in form, and he’ll often talk about instinct. Devin was certainly in the right place at the right time to grab the rebound from Doyle Somerby’s point shot and put the puck past Adam Huska midway through the frame. There could have been more, both later in the first and early in the second. However, a combination of good goaltending and wayward finishing cost us a bigger lead.


Brosseau’s individual streak is impressive. However, this is a team game and, unfortunately, the team streak is less encouraging. Today represented a fourth successive loss, leaving the Dragons just outside the playoff places. Frustratingly, every game has been tight: one in OT, two one-goal losses and today’s margin inflated with an empty-net goal. And three of our opponents are either among this season’s leaders, traditional powerhouses or both.

However, that doesn’t alter the bare facts that we have just one point from a possible eight. Today’s initial damage came from Alexei Kruchinin, one of our former players now lining up against us. He tied the game early in the second period after a rare glitch in center ice. Later, Dennis Yan gave Torpedo a lead to take into the second intermission when he potted his first goal of the season.

Midway through the third, a power play invited Maxim Letunov to continue tormenting our guys. In our previous meeting with Torpedo, Letunov scored a hat-trick. Today he made it 3-1.

Many teams would have given up at that point. Red Star is built differently. Almost immediately, Jake Chelios had us right back in the game. He pretty much did it himself, winning possession in center ice in the midst of a line change, exchanging passes with Luke Lockhart to bring play into the Torpedo zone, then stepping up to beat Huska again.

With six minutes left, there was every chance of saving the game. Our forwards dug deep, trying to find the energy to tie the scores despite the recent demanding schedule. But it wasn’t to be. Cliff Pu came closest, but Huska had the answers. Then, in the closing moments, an empty-net goal from Anton Sizov added an unwarranted gloss to the final scoreline.

Red Star returns to action on Saturday when we have a lunch date with Spartak. We beat the Red-and-Whites in our first game of the season, and could use a repeat of that result here.

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Kunlun Red Star