Great goals, spectacular saves and the hardest hits, starring Vasily Tokranov, Dominik Furch and Ondrei Vitasek – the KHL is proud to bring you the best moments from the seventh week of the tenth Championship.
Kicking off our countdown of the Top Ten goals from Week 7 of the Championship is that formidable SKA line of Nikolai Prokhorkin, Nikita Gusev and Alexander Barabanov. Prokhorkin's persistence, then Gusev's pass and Barabanov's coup de grace! Lokomotiv forward Yegor Averin provides a delightfully weighted pass to set up team-mate Vladislav Kartayev, and Lada's Canadian danger man Charles Genoway put so much power into his long-range belter of a shot that his skates left the ice. Traktor's Artyom Penkovsky gave us a lesson in positive thinking, setting off toward the goal from the red line while apparently unfazed by all the opposing players in his way. Avangard attacker Ilya Mikheyev embarked on a similar dashing run, outfoxing his marker with a superb change of direction.
Evgeny Lapenkov and Sergei Shmelyov of HC Sochi have forged a good undertanding, and it has earned them a goal worthy of fifth place in our rankings, while Sibir forward Vyacheslav Osnovin demonstrated that the most important thing (after technique, of course) in a hockey player's armory is a steely determination. In third place is Amur's Pavel Dedunov, with an excellent strike from behind the net to cap a swashbuckling dash across most of the ice. Silver medal spot goes to popular Vityaz legend Maxim Afinogenov, with another sublime solo run and strike, leaving several unfortunate Dinamo players trailing in his wake. The gold, however, goes to Ak Bars defenseman Vasily Tokranov, who took a pass with his back to goal and then mesmerized the goalie, the fans, and all those watching at home. Enjoy!
Avtomobilist's Czech goaltender Jakub Kovar is usually alert to even the most unexpected shot, and this week he excelled himself at close range. Barys's Henrik Karlsson in the match against Dinamo Minsk was unsighted by a crowd of bodies, but managed to save a shot at the back stick, one that he did well even to spot. Alexander Sudnitsin of Lokomotiv was similarly unsighted but managed to pluck the puck out of the air. Amur netminder Juha Metsola, a frequent feature of the Saves of the Week standings, makes the latest Top Ten by rescuing his team with a point-blank stop during an ominous 2-on-1 break against Lada, while Ilya Proskuryakov of Ugra demonstrated superb vision in the match against Ak Bars, managing to anticipate a dangerous pass from Rob Klinkhammer to Vladimir Tkachyov and smother the resulting shot.
Slovan defenseman Nick Ebert could be forgiven for mentally celebrating what looked a certain goal against Torpedo, but Ivan Lisutin seemed to stop time in order to get a glove to the shot and take 5th place in our rankings, and it was Lisutin who grabbed runner-up spot with a spectacular soccer-style diving save in the same game. Spartak fans may wish to forget much about the derby defeat by CSKA, but they will fondly remember the performance of goalie Nikita Bespalov, who repeatedly rescued the Red-and-Whites in that intriguing encounter, with the pick of the bunch being a close-range reaction save with the skate to deny Sergei Shumakov. In the same game but at the other end, CSKA goaltender Lars Johansson seemed to grow eyes in the back of his head in order to produce a heroic last-ditch swipe as the puck was about to cross the line, but our Save of the Week was a masterpiece from Avangard's Dominik Furch, who showed a cool head and remarkable agility to recover from a fumble, race across the goal, and rescue his team.
A mix of new and familiar names in this week's rankings. Dynamo Moscow forward Nikita Komarov has been scoring freely this season, but he has not neglected the less glamorous, more physical side of the game. In contrast, Salavat Yulaev defenseman Maxim Goncharov is renowned for his solidity and is no stranger to the weekly hit-list, and there's another entry from a Top Ten regular, Mikhail Pashnin from CSKA, who this time makes the list with a crunching interception against Dinamo Riga. The Latvians were not always on the receiving end, and two Riga men produced hits good enough for our countdown, at number seven we have forward Vitalijs Pavlovs, almost smothering his Vityaz opponent with a hefty challenge, while in third place, from the same game, Gints Meija almost drove Alexei Kopeikin into the ice.
Placed inbetween the two Latvians are Denis Yezhov of Lada with a courageous block to end a rampaging surge down the flanks in the match with Kunlun Red Star; Amur defenseman Maxim Kondratyev bravely accepting an invitation to a physical duel for the puck on the red line - and emerging victorious; and Dynamo forward Dustin Boyd, a summer arrival from Barys, reminding fans of his new club that there is more to his game than dashing raids on the net. In second place was Ivan Vorobyov of HC Sochi, unceremoniously depositing Sibir's Vladimir Pervushin back on the bench, but the Hit of the Week came from Ugra's Czech enforcer Ondrej Vitasek, who turned into a human wall and produced an almighty block to halt a dangerous break from Ak Bars forward Anton Glinkin.