Fantastic combinations, big saves, and football-like tricks in last week’s top plays.
We begin our countdown of the ten best goals with a sweet combination between Alexei Makeyev and Borna Rendulic on Slovak soil in last week’s game against Slovan. Next up is another beautiful combination – this time preceded by a huge forechecking effort – between Admiral’s Alexander Chernikov and Kirill Voronin. Combinations fans have much to follow this week, as in eighth place, Sami Lepisto elegantly sends the puck to the left for Brian O’Neill for a beautiful Jokerit goal against Avangard. A smart touch by Czech star Jiri Sekac to Justin Azevedo is a fine replay of last year’s playoffs, good for the seventh place. In sixth place, we see Ak Bars jerseys again, but this time on the wrong end of the highlight as the green men lineup is cut in half by a gorgeous solo by Metallurg’s Nikolai Kulemin.
We get back to combos for the top five as Alexander Khokhlachyov feeds newly-signed Artyom Fyodorov with an excellent backhand pass in the neutral zone in last week’s win over Admiral. Philip Holm isn’t new to fantastic first passes from the defensive zone, and he repeated the trick against Traktor Chelyabinsk to get Andrew Calof on a breakaway for a sweet-looking goal. Talking about tricks, what about Maklyukov’s football-like sombrero to send Alikhan Asetov on a breakaway as Barys defeated Jokerit in Helsinki last week? The silver medal goes to Yekaterinburg, as Nigel Dawes find Stephane Da Costa in front of the goal with a laser-like backhand pass. No combination, however, could surpass Anton Slepyshev’s back-hand goal from his knees in the recent CSKA win over SKA St. Petersburg.
We start the countdown of the ten best saves of the week with a monumental stop by Dmitry Shikin on a Patrick Lundh’s breakaway in the recent clash between HC Sochi and Kunlun Red Star. Vasily Koshechkin is continuously featured in the countdown, this time on the eighth place for his sequence of saves against Ak Bars. Stopping SKA is fine, but it tastes even better if you do it in style, like Alexei Artamkin of Severstal Cherepovets did last week against SKA for the seventh place. When you start watching the top 10 saves, you already know that Alexander Lazushin will be there. You just need to guess at what position. Sixth place this time – with a fantastic save on Spartak’s Martins Karsums.
Goalie Dominik Hrachovina’s play was a pivotal contribution to Barys’ win in Helsinki, and his second-period glove save is the icing on the cake of his performance. SKA lost to CSKA last week, but a tremendous save by Igor Shestyorkin on Pavel Karnaukhov kept the St. Petersburg team alive. Third place for Dominik Furch: Dynamo’s Igor Makarov was almost celebrating, but Dominik Furch’s quick reflexes and fast glove hand denied him a goal. Most likely, similar feelings crossed the mind of Dmitry Kugryshev, when Mikhail Karnaukhov of Dinamo Minsk had an exceptional first-period stick save to avoid Salavat Yulaev getting the early lead. The Gold Medal goes to Jokerit, as Ryan Zapolski denied Ville Pokka of Avangard Omsk a goal with a monumental last-second glove save during the Wednesday’s 7-4 win.