Great goals, spectacular saves and the hardest hits, starring Jiri Sekac, Igor Shestyorkin and Nikita Nesterov – the KHL is proud to bring you the best moments from the fifth week of the tenth Championship.
Given that Spartak struck 13 goals in two games during the week, it is no surprise that the “Gladiators” fature in our finest goals list. The pick of the bunch was from Maxim Trunyov, accelerating past two Kunlun defensemen to collect his own pass and then beating the goalie with a smart finish.
Konstantin Pushkaryov of Barys combined a cool head with a sharp change of direction to outfox the opposition, and in a similar vein, Admiral's promising youngster, Damir Zhafyarov, produced some lightning-fast dribbling through several Spartak players before whipping a disguised backhand shot into the net.
The Lokomotiv defense was just as bamboozled by a mazy skate from Avangard's Semyon Koshelev, but it wasn't all solo heroics. We had an abundance of fine combination play - from Ak Bars as Anton Lander supplied the ammunition to Justin Azevedo; yet another Barys masterpiece capped by Nigel Dawes, and some Finnish telepathy from Vityaz pair Jaakko Rissanen and Jesse Mankinen.
However, the Goal of the Week was a unanimous choice: the sublime, one-handed strike against Slovan from the man named Forward of the Week, Ak Bars danger man Jiri Sekac.
Kicking off our countdown is Severstal's last line of defense, Julius Hudacek, who refused to be beaten despite being unsighted by a forest of players, including his own team-mates; there is another Top 10 appearance from Salavat Yulaev's Ben Scrivens, who seems particularly unfazed when facing a one-on-one, and following on from Georgy Berdyukov's heroics in Week 3, we have another defenseman in the list. This time it is HC Sochi's Ilya Khokhlov to the rescue, denying Magnitka's Tomas Filippi what seemed a simple empty-netter.
There is a smart reflex stop from our Goaltender of the Week, Neftekhimik's Ilya Ezhov, and some great agility from Spartak's Marcus Svensson, who stays in control of his patch no matter his position, be it sitting, falling.or sprawling. Many a goalie has melted before an onslaught by the fearsome SKA front line, but Avangard's Dominic Furch repelled three such raids in quick succession. The Petersburg Army Men, of course, have their own rock-solid man between the pipes. Igor Shestyorkin is no stranger to these ranings, and he makes two appearances in this week's list: first with an agile dash across the net to foil Avangard's vanguard, and it was in the same match against the Omsk Men that he produced our Save of the Week, when the young netminder combined remarkable agility and lightning reflexes to deny Andre Petersson.
We begin the Week 5 countdown with another effort by our Week 3 winner, Amur's Jan Kolar, who is still fiercely patrolling his team's zone and taking offense at any attempted incursion. SKA Saint Petersburg star Sergei Plotnikov was in a similarly determined mood, and produced a masterful intervention to direct Avangard's Kirill Semyonov away from the goal. This match produced many of our finest moments of Week 5, and another arrived when Omsk Man Alexander Osipov greeted none other than Vyacheslav Voynov with such force that the veteran's helmet flew across the ice.
Avtomobilist defenseman Alexei Vasilevsky probably regretted crossing the path of Salavat Yulaev D-man Maxim Goncharov, as indeed, have many other players over the years. Dinamo Minsk's new signing, Jack Skille, celebrated his arrival in the KHL by scoring last week's finest goal, but this week the USA international was on the receiving end of two of our mightiest hits – from Barys's Darren Dietz and Sibir's Nikolai Demidov, and the latter drew a stern reaction from Jack involving liberal use of the fists.