Aivis Kalnins Aivis Kalnins
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Fifth week of KHL’s regular season has concluded and now it’s time to look at who were the best performing U23 players. This edition features some returnees and some fresh faces. Two goalies managed to squeeze in this week’s list as well as three forwards.

Pyotr Kochetkov

G, Torpedo Nizhny Novgorod
Week 5: 2G, GAA 1.00, .962 SVS% 
Season: 6G, GAA 2.48, .913 SVS%

Kochetkov and his team played two games this past week earning a loss and a victory therefore the win and loss percentage sits at 50%. The 22-year-old goalie started in both games and performed well. In the team’s loss against Admiral Vladivostok he faced 27 shots and turned away 25 of them allowing two goals against. His team lost with a score of 2:1. The second game of the week was much better for him in goal and for his team offensively — a 3:0 victory against Sibir Novosibirsk where the young goaltender stayed perfect when facing 26 shots against.

Ilya Usov

F, Dinamo Minsk
Week 5: 2G, 2 (1+1) points 
Season: 13G 8 (3+5) points

Ilya Usov and Dinamo Minsk earned two victories this week — both very important as they faced HC Sochi and the very strong AkBars Kazan side. In the game against Sochi the 20-year-old managed to earn an assist on his teams 7th goal of the game — in the final minute of the game and on power-play Usov was in the corner of the offensive zone and quite quickly found his partner that had lined-up for a shot near the hash marks so he quickly dropped the puck to Pavel Varfolomeyev who put an end to the contest for the final score of 7:3. In the second game of the week the young forward saved his team and forced OT and scored his goal while shorthanded — the Ak Bars goalie Igor Bobkov made a crucial error allowing Usov to steal the puck and put it into the net. Minsk then went on to take the two points in overtime.

Ilya Safonov

F, Ak Bars Kazan
Week 5: 3G, 2 (1+1) points 
Season: 15G, 4 (2+2) points

Ilya Safonov and his Ak Bars team went on to play three games this week managing to get two victories and registering a single loss. Safonov played in all of them, spending around 11 minutes on the ice. He didn’t register any points in the first two games in the team’s victory against Salavat Yulaev Ufa and CSKA Moscow, however his moment to shine came in an unfortunate OT loss against Dinamo Minsk. The 20-year-old forward was involved in both occasions when Ak Bars took the lead in the game — Dmitry Yudin shot the puck towards the net it bounced in the air and landed near the net with Safonov being the quickest to get control over it to get the go ahead goal. Safonov’s assist was impressive as well — he disrupted the opponents pass, entered the zone and skated around the net to then quickly find Nikita Dynyak who put an end to the sequence.

Vladimir Galkin

G, Avtomobilist Ekaterinburg
Week 5: 3G, GAA 2.00 GAA, .928 SVS% 
Season: 9G, 2.15 GAA, .936 SVS%

Vladimir Galkin had a stellar week with loads of ice time — he played in all three games for his Avtomobilist team and managed to bring them two victories while losing once. The only loss came in the first game of the week against Metallurg Magnitogorsk where he faced 30 shots but managed to turn away 27, the opponent scored an empty net goal as well to hand them a victory with a score of 4:2. The 21-year-old was back on his horse in the next game against Avangard Omsk where he helped his team get the first W of the week with a score of 5:2. Galkin faced 23 shots in that game making saves on 21 of the occasions. His best game was against Jokerit Helsinki where he helped his team extend Jokerit losing streak to two games in a 5:1 victory where the goalie faced 31 shots and made 30 saves.

Maxim Sorkin

F, CSKA Moscow
Week 5: 3G, 2 (1+1) points 
Season: 15G, 3 (1+2) points

Another man who had to suit up in three games this week was Maxim Sorkin — he and his CSKA had a rough schedule where they had to play Ak Bars, Kunlun Red Star and Dynamo Moscow. CSKA couldn’t get past Ak Bars wall and earned a loss, however the 21-year-old was involved in helping to set-up both victories. His assist to Konstantin Okulov helped to break the stalemate against Kunlun Red Star after which his team went on to win with a score of 4:1. In 3:0 victory against their rival Dynamo Moscow the youngster scored the first goal of the game — the home team lost the puck in their own defensive zone as CSKA retrieved it from them and Sorkin simply went to the front of the net where he caught the rebound and assured that the puck would find its way into the net.

Aivis Kalnins Aivis Kalnins
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Related clubs

Avtomobilist (Ekaterinburg) Avtomobilist (Ekaterinburg)
Ak Bars (Kazan) Ak Bars (Kazan)
Dinamo (Minsk) Dinamo (Minsk)
Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod) Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod)
CSKA (Moscow) CSKA (Moscow)
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