18 February 2021
SKSO Yekaterinburg Region 0 KRS Vanke Rays 6 (0-1, 0-4, 0-1)
For the second day running, the Vanke Rays eased to a comfortable win on the road at SKSO. This time, Alex Carpenter led the scoring with two of our six goals while Milena Tretyak collected her second shut-out of the season after stopping 10 shots.
Carpenter also claimed an assist on the opening goal of the game, taking her season’s tally to 48 (23+25) points in 24 games. She’s already exceeded the 21 goals she scored in last year’s regular season and, with four games left, is on course to beat the 53 points she plundered in that campaign. Right now, she’s tied with Agidel’s Olga Sosina in the WHL scoring race after Ufa’s captain grabbed a late goal in Thursday’s 4-2 win over Tornado. And Alex is also level with Tornado’s Anna Shokhina on 23 goals in the goalscoring charts.
The Lady Dragons made one enforced change to the team that won 5-0 on Wednesday. Alexandra Vafina, who suffered an injury late in that game, was unable to play today so Brian Idalski’s roster had one vacant spot. However, that did nothing to slow the Rays early in the game. In a first period similar to the previous day, the action was dictated by our offense while home goalie Ravilya Aynullova did her best to keep SKSO in contention. However, the promising young netminder was powerless in the eighth minute when Leah Lum’s shot from the blue line caused confusion on the crease and Jessica Wong potted the opening goal.
For the second day in a row, the second period saw KRS take complete control. After four minutes of play, Lum’s pass from behind the net set up Carpenter for her first goal of the night. Within a minute, it was 3-0 after Minntu Tuominen’s long pass set up a 2-on-1 rush that Kaitlyn Tougas converted. At the start of that move, our goalie collected her first assist in WHL play – well done, Milena!
Tuominen was involved once again as the Dragons scored a fourth goal shortly after the midway point. The Finn’s shot was redirected by Alena Mills, giving Aynullova no chance. Late in the session, a Megan Bozek thunderbolt made it 5-0.
Aynullova was given a break after the second intermission – in five successive periods, she made 97 saves at a rate of almost one per minute. Incoming goalie Irina Kostina had an easier time of it, facing just seven shots on goal in the third period of this game. One of them, a thunderous point shot from Wong, enabled Carpenter to collect the rebound and score on the wraparound for her second of the game and Red Star’s sixth.
Next up, the Vanke Rays travel to Ufa for a head-to-head showdown with second-placed Agidel. These two games could determine the battle for the regular season title, as well as settling the scoring race between Carpenter and Sosina. Last month, the teams shared two tight, high-scoring encounters in Stupino, winning one apiece, and there’s every reason to expect two more games of high-octane hockey as our girls go back to Bashkortostan for the first time since we won the playoffs there last March.