Nikolai Kovalenko and his Ak Bars Kazan squad stepped on the ice for three battles this past week managing to earn four points, losing only once against Metallurg Magnitogorsk — in that game Kovalenko earned an assist in the final minute of the first period helping set up a tic-tac-toe goal. In the game against Barys he played his best game recording a goal and an assist while playing the least amount of time — 15:11 as compared to other games where he managed to reach the eighteen minute mark twice. First he gave his team a 3:1 lead after spending an extended amount of time right in front of the net to finally sweep the puck in the net and then afterwards assisted on power-play to make it 4:1 ultimately helping his team earn a 6:3 victory. The 21-year-old got his second of the week in the green derby — first he passed to Dmitry Kagarlitsky who entered the zone and shot on the net and all Kovalenko had to do was cash in on the rebound.
Despite his team not being able to perform well Dmitry Rashevsky had another spectacular week where he netted three goals continuing to be one of the hottest players in the league. Dynamo Moscow’s only win came against Severstal Cherepovets and Rashevsky was there to score the go-ahead goal — he came up from the middle of the neutral zone, grabbed the puck and bolted away to score a beautiful one-handed goal. Although he had nothing on the scoresheet in a 3:1 loss against Lokomotiv he came back and showed that he’s ready for action against SKA St. Petersburg had a 5:3 loss but he was the offensive threat scoring two out of three goals — he first ripped a backhandder into the net from a very neutral position by the board on the right side. Later on he was the one to tie the game at 2:2 when a counter-attack happened he positioned himself in front of the net and that paid off — he got the job done and scored.
Another Ak Bars representative — Artyom Galimov who managed to earn four points this past week. Just like his teammate Kovalenko — he was involved in his team’s only goal against Metallurg Magnitogorsk. His time to shine came in the very next game against Barys Nur-Sultan where he earned three assists. First the 22-year-old helped Kagarlitsky to get a goal to make it 2:0, then he was the final straw for a PP goal where he set up Kirill Panyukov and his final and third assist came after his team won face-off in the offensive zone, the puck cycled to him and instead of shooting, he assured that goalie was on to him and then quickly passed to Kagarlitsky who put an end to the sequence in an empty side of the net.
Vladislav Tsitsyura had himself quite a week — he played three games with SKA St. Petersburg managed to earn three points while his team won two out of three contests losing only against Barys. The 22-year-old displayed some fireworks in the team’s second game of the week where they faced off against Salavat Yulaev Ufa — two goals in his account. The youngster watched along as his teammates battled in the corner, then opened himself up and lined in front of the net, as the puck reached him he roofed the puck into the far side of the net to make it 1:0 just 2:37 into the opening frame. His second goal of the game came after an error by Salavat’s defenceman as he caught the puck that was sliding towards the opposing net and ran away to then undress the goalie and made it 3:0. His lone assist came in a 5:3 victory against Dynamo Moscow when he got the helper from Joonas Kemppainen’s goal.
Sergei Sapego and Dinamo Minsk also played three games this past week and managed to earn victories in all three despite two of them requiring extra time. Sapego’s first assist of the week came against Neftekhimik Nizhnekamsk when he sent Ilya Usov into the opposing zone for a wrap-around goal. The 22-year-old defenseman was instrumental in his team’s 4:3 victory against Torpedo when he helped to make two very important goals happen. His team’s first goal of the game that gave them 1:1 started by him shooting the puck from the blue-line and his teammate Dmitry Buinitsky re-directed the puck past the goalie for the tie. Less than four minutes later Minsk went up by a goal and once again Sapego was involved — a simple drop pass onto the stick of Dmitry Deryabin who wristed the puck into the net giving their team the first lead which led to an eventual two points in the standings.