SKSO Yekaterinburg 0 KRS Vanke Rays 3 (0-0, 0-2, 0-1)
The Vanke Rays posted a fourth successive victory as their latest road trip continues. Heading north
through the Ural mountains, the Lady Dragons landed near Yekaterinburg to face SKSO. Traditionally
one of the outsiders in the Women’s Hockey League, this time our host put up a brave battle before
fading in the latter half of the game.
There were no changes in personnel from Saturday’s 3-1 victory in Chelyabinsk. Tia Chen continued
in goal and finished the day with her third shut-out of the season after stopping 26 shots.
That represents one of her busier engagements on the team. In a striking change from SKSO’s
traditionally timid performances, the home team started this game on the front foot. Indeed, the
first period saw the home team leading the shot count 12-7. However, those stats are a little
misleading: many of SKSO’s efforts were fired in hopefully from long distance while KRS tried to
create clearer scoring opportunities when it got forward.
The second period saw a change in emphasis, with the Rays getting more pucks to the net and the
home team forced to block plenty of attempts to beat home goalie Irina Kostina. Only a couple of
penalties on our girls offered the home team some respite, but once Qianhua Li returned to the
game midway through the middle frame we soon opened the scoring. Maddie Woo produced a
subtle redirect to steer Anna Fairman’s feed onto the stick of Rachel Llanes for a close-range finish.
Seconds before the intermission, the girls doubled their lead. Camryn Wong shot the puck round the
boards and Woo picked it up in the corner before dishing it out to the slot for the waiting Leah Lum
With SKSO struggling for goals this season, particularly in games against the WHL’s stronger teams, a
two-goal cushion always looked likely to be good enough. But there was time for one more goal in
the third period as the Dragons tightened their grip on the game. Kassy Betinol was the scorer this
time, maintaining her productive streak. Kassy has found the net in each of the last four games,
totalling 6 (4+2) points in that run.
In the remaining minutes, SKSO tried to find a way back into the game but was unable to chisel a
route through our robust rearguard as the Dragons efficiently played out the remaining time and
secured the win. The teams meet again tomorrow, and victory would lift us into fifth place ahead of