31 October 2022 recap, Vanke Rays, WHL, ЖХЛ
KRS Shenzhen 4 7.62 2 (1-0, 2-2, 1-0)
Shenzhen recorded its third successive victory, moving ahead of 7.62 in the standings and climbing to seventh place in the WHL. Hannah Miller led the way with two goals and an assist, Kaitlyn Tougas had 1+2 and Ryleigh Houston produced two helpers. Fang Xin was the other KRS goalscorer.
After getting back to winning ways last week, confidence was high in the Dragons’ camp. And it took just 13 seconds to open the scoring here. From the opening face-off, KRS looked to attack. Miller stripped Irina Kulagina of the puck on the red line and surged down the left-hand boards before firing it into the danger zone for Tougas to steer home.
However, 7.62 is a club that has matured during its three seasons in this league and the Voskresensk outfit was eager to avenge Friday’s defeat here. The visitor had chances in the first period, especially in the latter stages when it got the first power play of the game and was able to generate some momentum on offense. It took some good work from Irina Kostina to keep our goal intact and preserve that lead until the intermission.
In the second period, things escalated rapidly. Two fouls in 16 seconds reduced 7.62 to three skaters. Our PP took advantage of the extra personnel and Miller swept home her first of the game, a one-timer from the top of the circle off Irina Tsatsyna’s feed. That was just a couple of seconds before 7.62 got its first player back and Daria Kuznetsova immediately pulled a goal back for the visitor.
Midway through the frame, we saw another quick goal burst. Miller got her second of the game, another one-time snipe from the between the hash marks, this time off a feed from Houston. And, right away, 7.62 pulled one back thanks to Kulagina. Ekaterina Davletshina’s assist on that play took her to 4 (1+3) points in her two games against the Dragons; she had a hand in all of her team’s goals.
When Fang Xin was penalized right at the end of the middle session, it gave the visitor a chance to start the third on the front foot. However, it also gave Fang a rest – and she returned in time to make a big impact. Barely 30 seconds after the end of her penalty, she got on the end of a feed from Houston to make it 4-2. Ryleigh’s play on this goal is well worth a closer look: a delicious no-look feed to the crease sat up invitingly for Fang, who lifted the puck into the net.
This was the third time KRS had opened a two-goal lead in the game and, happily, it proved to be decisive. The team’s game management in the closing stages was impressive, with 7.62 limited to just seven shots in the third period. That was despite two more power plays for the visitor, including another 5-on-3 situation in the closing stages. Red Star shut down the offense and secured a third consecutive victory.
Next up for Scott Spencer’s team is a trip to Voskresensk to renew acquaintance with 7.62. The two road games are on Nov. 4 and 5, both starting at 1300 Moscow Time.
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