19 October 2022 recap, Tornado, Vanke Rays, WHL
KRS Shenzhen 0 Tornado Dmitrov 5 (0-1, 0-0, 0-4)
Tornado boasts the second best power play in the Women’s Hockey League. Today, the Lady Dragons found out why.
A competitive performance from the improving Shenzhen team ended in another disappointing loss as Tornado took control with a trio of power play goals. Then, in the closing stages, the visitor capitalized on some tired legs among our players to extend its lead. However, the final score did not entirely reflect a game that was often closer than the five-goal winning margin might suggest.
After seeing some bright spots in Tuesday’s 2-5 loss, head coach Scott Spencer continued with the same group of players. However, he reshuffled the lines to bring Wang Jiaxin into the first trio alongside Hannah Miller and Kaitlyn Tougas.
Unfortunately, our new combinations had no chance to do their thing before Red Star fell behind. Hannah Miller’s cross check on Anna Savonina saw the Tornado player helped from the ice – she later returned to the game – and prompted a video review about a possible major penalty. In the end, Miller was assessed a two-minute minor, but Tornado needed just 13 seconds of that to open the scoring.
However, the girls bounced back from that blow and were unfortunate to have a goal whistled off on their first PP of the afternoon. Fang Xin forced a big save out of Sofia Larova right after the face-off. Although Miller followed up to put the puck in the net, play had already stopped after players converged on the goalie while she lay on the ice.
Indeed the first two periods of this game brought some of the best hockey of Shenzhen’s season so far. Defensively, the PK dealt with a full two minutes of three-on-five, while going forward the Dragons were able to create more chances than in recent games. The bad news was that Larova was having a great game, frequently denying our forwards on her way to her first shut-out of the season.
In the third frame, the game finally went away from KRS. Tornado extended its lead with two more power play goals as Nina Pirogova and the impressive Elena Zaripova punished Shenzhen’s fouls. A three-goal margin was probably a reasonable reflection of the play: the Dragons still need more firepower before they can start talking about getting wins. However, in the final two minutes, Tornado added a couple more with Anna Shokhina, last season’s leading scorer in the WHL, helping herself to a goal and an assist. That gave the final score a flattering look for the visitor, and a one-sided outcome that did not fully reflect the strengths of the home team’s performance.
The girls are back in action next week, and there are busy times ahead. On Monday and Tuesday, KRS hosts high-flying Dynamo Neva. The Petersburg team trail league leader Biryusa by two points and are the only team to defeat the Siberians so far this term. Then on Thursday, Voskresensk’s 7.62 comes to town. The second home game against our Moscow Region neighbor will be played on Oct. 31.
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