F, Avtomobilist, 1 GP, 4 (1+3) points, +3
Avtomobilist hit the ice for the first time in 2022 only last week, but they did it successfully — on home soil, the Motormen downed Severstal 5:2. Much of the team’s success in the game is due to Brooks Macek. The forward had a striking performance for Avto, who could also count on helping hands by Shane Prince and Stanislav Bocharov. The Winnipeg native forward, in his third season in the league, is trailing only Ryan Spooner among all Avtomobilist scorers, and is leading the Yekaterinburg side with 15 goals. Avtomobilist is currently the tenth seed in the Eastern Conference, but they have several rescheduled games in front of them, and still have chances to grab a playoff spot. For his effort in the game against Severstal, Macek was awarded Forward of the week honors.
D, Admiral, 2 GP, 1 (0+1) point, +1
The veteran of four KHL seasons is a critical part in Admiral’s defensive system — the Sailors are having a strong playoff push, and the Czech defenseman logged north of 20 minutes a night in all the four latest Admiral’s games, except missing the mark by eighteen seconds in Jan 7 win over Ak Bars (4:2). Throughout the season, Mozik has 21 minutes a night, which make him the second most-iced Admiral player after the team’s captain Libor Sulak — which is also the Vladivostok’s side top scorer. Both defensemen made it to the Czechia’s Olympic roster for the upcoming 2020 Winter Games in Beijing.
D, Sibir, 3 GP, 3 (0+3) points, even
Another Eastern team with playoff ambitions is Sibir — the Novosibirsk side, however, only won once last week, a shootout victory in Khabarovsk. The Finnish defenseman, at his fifth season in the league, logged more than 25 minutes in that victory, also having an assist as Sibir prevailed 3:2 after SO. Sibir then moved to Vladivostok to face Admiral twice in a row, and lost both times. First Jokipakka was held scoreless as the Sailors defeated Sibir with a 2:1 score. Two days later, on Friday, Jokipakka’s couple of helpers wasn’t enough to warrant Novosibirsk a win as Admiral got the upper hand (3:2). The Finnish d-man is currently trailing only Trevor Murphy for blueline points, and his offensive skills will be critical for the Andrei Martemyanov’s men as the playoff approaches, with the Canadian currently sitting in injury list.
F, Avtomobilist, 1 GP, 3 (2+1) points, +3
Other than Macek, Avtomobilist had another international top performer in Shane Prince. The forward potted a double — the second of this season, and the tenth in his KHL tenure — including the game-winner in the second period when the Motormen defeated Severstal on Thursday. The productive forward has produced only 17 points so far, but his three-point performance may be a good sign for the future. The Yekaterinburg side is currently hunting for a postseason qualification, and Prince’s points will be key for Avto to reach its goal.
F, Ak Bars, 1 GP, 1 (1+0) point, +2
Ak Bars only played once last week, but it was a huge away win over SKA in St. Petersburg (3:1). Par Lindholm had a crucial role for the Kazan franchise, opening the score in the first period. After only three minutes of play, Jordan Weal won a puck on the right flank. After a swift move over SKA’s Andrei Kuzmenko, he saw Lindholm rushing in through the center, and served the Swede with a well-timed pass. On his turn, Lindholm got the puck from the Canadian and lift a quick snap-shot that left his countrymate Lars Johansson no chances for the 1:0 Kazan’s lead. It was Lindholm’s seventh tally of the season — the experienced forward has now 9 (3+6) points over his last ten games played.