Jurusik’s goaltending provides platform for KRS win

15 February 2024

Kunlun Red Star 3 Lada Togliatti 1

The Dragons produced a strong finish to this game, claiming a 3-1 win over a Lada team that had the better of several spells of this game. Hopefully, that’s the trigger for a strong finish to the regular season: even if we can no longer reach the playoffs, there’s every chance of claiming ninth place ahead of Sochi and Vityaz – a worthwhile prize as we look to build a foundation for bigger things next term.


Matt Jurusik’s return as starting goalie was the big change ahead of today’s game – and it was even bigger in a first period that saw plenty of Lada offense. Import forwards Scott Kosmachuk and Troy Josephs were prominent, and the former should have opened the scoring midway through the session. We also saw a big save from Jurusik, shooting out a glove to deny Andrei Altybarmakyan.

The Dragons had to bide their time, but a devastating snipe from Spencer Foo late in the frame gave us a lead at the first intermission. Spencer took Colin Campbell’s pass from behind net and had no hesitation in unleashing a wrister from between the hash marks to open the scoring.

That lead lifted our guys at the start of the second, with Gemel Smith hitting the bar and Tyler Wong forcing a big save from Vladislav Podyapolsky with a one-timer from close range. However, a power play chance at the other end saw Lada draw level. That ushered in another spell of pressure on our net. Foozy made a bold sliding stop to cut out an odd-man rush, then early in the third Lada put the puck in our net once again. This time, though, our bench successfully challenged the play: offside, no goal, still 1-1.

The reprieve led us to victory. With five minutes to play, Brandon Yip put the Dragons in front once again. Brandon McMillan surged deep into Lada territory with the puck, then some neat passing in front of Podyapolsky’s net saw Tyler Graovac set up Yipper for the go-ahead goal.

With five minutes to play, Lada tried to force the tempo and at least tie the game. The pressure piled up, and Jurusik made two more insane stops late in the action to preserve the Dragons’ lead. That, in turn, forced Lada to withdraw its goalie and the inevitable happened: Red Star forced a turnover and Parker Foo chased the puck into the corner before setting up Colin Campbell for an empty net goal.

The win returns us to ninth in the Western Conference, a point ahead of Sochi and five clear of Vityaz. There are five games remaining the regular season, starting with a home game against Vityaz at the weekend.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Captcha loading...

Kunlun Red Star