At the Ice Palace, SKA conceded a disappointing defeat to HC Kunlun Red Star Beijing in the 2020/2021 KHL regular season, coming up short by a score of 1:2
SKA quickly opened the scoring within four minutes. Battling for the loose puck on the crease, Kirill Marchenko managed to force it over the line, lifting it over Simon Hrubec’s glove. Applying plenty of pressure on Kunlun, SKA continued to create several opportunities throughout the first period of play, outshooting the Chinese opponents 20-9. Nevertheless, towards the end of the frame, Yaroslav Askarov began to become more involved in the game as he was called into action on a regular basis at close range.
Our players wasted plenty of opportunities in the second stanza. Early in the period, SKA were gifted a 5-on-3 powerplay after Kunlun committed cheap fouls, however Hrubec kept the visitors in the zone by pulling off a number of difficult saves. Miro Aaltonen came particularly close on the doorstep while Anton Burdasov was denied by the crossbar.
However, out of the blue, Kunlun suddenly scored twice in the concluding minutes of the second frame to take a shock lead. Cutting sharply to the creae, Tyler Wong wristed the puck beyond Askarov’s glove, before Ryan Sproul promptly hit the jackpot with a rasping effort from the high slot.
SKA predictably pressed for dear life throughout the entire third period. Keeping the puck in the Kunlun zone effectively, our team pinned the Chinese club close to their own goal, regularly finding clear shooting lanes. Closing down to the crease, Vladislav Kamenev smacked the bar with a strong wrist shot, and Linden Vey subsequently somehow failed to score with Hrubec already out of the picture. In the final minutes, Kunlun were penalised for delaying the game and Askarov was pulled for the extra skater, but the equaliser didn’t arrive despite SKA tallying 43 shots on target.
Our players will return to action on November 10 against Jokerit in Helsinki. Puck drop is scheduled for 19:30 Moscow time.
SKA - Kunlun Red Star - 1:2 (1:0, 0:2, 0:0)
1:0 Marchenko, 03.32
1:1 Wong (Murphy), 37.07
1:2 Sproul (Monakhov, Larionov), 38.41
Goalkeepers: Askarov/Hellberg - Hrubec
Shots on target: 43 - 23
Faceoffs: 31 - 23
Hits: 17 - 14
Penalty minutes: 4 - 14
Referees: Bondar, Oskirko
28.10.2020. Ice Palace, Saint Petersburg.