We begin our countdown of the top 10 goals of the season with Mikhail Belyayev’s goal against Vityaz Podolsk. That goal wasn’t only beautiful, but also very needed. In the last regular-season game, the Railwaymen pulled their goalie, being down by one goal at the end of the third period, when the young forward skated past the whole opposition’s unit before beating five-hole the Vityaz goalie with a quick backhander. Ninth place for Kirill Kaprizov, who beat SKA’s defense on the second attempt after a smart combination by his line in the offensive zone. Vityaz is again on the losing side for the eighth-placed goal: Ak Bars’ Stanislav Galiyev racked up the puck on the left flank, skated past D-man Ville Lajunen and tricked out Ilya Ezhov from close-in.
A third of the goals included in the rankings comes from beautiful behind-the-back passes. And Sibir Novosibirsk twice fell victim of this trick – once from Barys’ Nikita Mikhailis and Corban Knight, and once from Avtomobilist’s international forwards Peter Holland and Dan Sexton. Maybe Kunlun’s Spencer Foo could also try and give a fooling pass during his effort against Admiral, but at one point, he simply had to shoot and guessed the right angle for real beauty. The games between Salavat Yulaev Ufa and Avangard Omsk were full of passion, tight competition, and admirable goals. Two of them came after breakaways: first, Sergei Shirokov performed his renowned no-shot move, then Salavat Yulaev replied with a swift between-the-legs pass from Maxim Mayorov to Dmitry Kugryshev in the playoffs. The top-two rankings include a pair of similar goals, scored by SKA’s Andrei Kuzmenko and Admiral’s Nikita Korostelyov – both beating the goalie with a nifty through-the-legs move. However, Korostelyov’s goal is ranked higher as he also skated past Ak Bars’ Roman Rukavishnikov skating at full speed.
In almost every game, skaters need to save their team with a last gasp move. Two of these cases are included in our rankings: in 10th place, Dinamo Riga’s Colton Gillies saved his team after Janis Voris’ daring adventure behind the net. Then, Kunlun’s Ryan Sproul covered Jeremy Smith and avoided a goal for the Chinese franchise. Probably, also Admiral’s Juho Olkinuora had the desire of a helping hand from a defenseman after a shot by Dinamo Minsk’s Teemu Pulkkinen ricocheted first on the post, then against his back – but he had to do all alone. Despite being an exceptional goalscorer, Pulkkinen once again was on the unlucky side – this time already as a member of Dynamo Moscow, when Spartak’s Pavel Khomchenko stoned him during the playoffs.
Usually, the most appealing saves are when the goalie manages to quickly recover and complete a save on the other side of the crease. Alexander Salak, Igor Saprykin, Adam Reideborn, Alexander Trushkov, and Evgeny Alikin just did very similar to what Khomchenko performed. However, the king of the saves is the Amur’s netminder. Other than completing a fantastic football-style jump, he also had to part with his stick in the process.