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Author: Eugene Belashchenko (RussianProspects.com/RusHockey.com)Date: 10/19/2006
Super League Round 18 - HC Khimik - HC Ak Bars Detailed Game Recap

2007 Russian Super LeagueInterestingly, HC Ak Bars top line center Sergei Zinovjev (Boston Bruins) did not skate in this contest. It is unclear why the young forward was absent from the lineup.

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Dmitri Kazionov replaced Sergei Zinovjev on HC Ak Bars top line. While Zinovjev is widely considered the best center currently playing in Russia, Kazionov remains one of the top face-off and defensive specialists, likely one of the best at the face-off circle in Russia.

Artem Zubarev got a rare spot in HC Ak Bars lineup on the fourth defensive pairing.

The game also marked a debut of young 16 year old forward Kiril Petrov. The young forward skated on the fourth line with Alexander Golovin (Chicago Blackhawks) and Mikhail Yunkov (Washington Capitals).
1st Period
Former Colorado Avalanche NHL goaltender Vitaly Kolesnik saved HC Khimik on several occasions early in the game.

13:20
Ilya Nikulin (Atlanta Thrashers) opened the scoring for HC Ak Bars, receiving a quick pass from Alexei Tereschenko (Dallas Stars). The talented defenseman scored by skating the pass from the boards to between the face-off circles before rifling a precise wrist shot past screened Kolesnik.

17:10 Ilya Krikunov (Vancouver Canucks) skated on the line with Alexei Shkotov (St. Louis Blues). He had a great scoring chance with three minutes left in the first period after receiving a precise in the neutral zone before streaking towards Eremenko, who made a save on his snap shot.

2nd Period:
2:50 Sergei Mozyakin (Columbus Blue Jackets) made a great scoring chance happen when he skated with the puck for more than 20 seconds before making a sharp pass to Dmitry Bykov (Detroit Red Wings). Bykov sent a wrist shot from the front of the net which Eremenko stopped, but the puck trickled through behind the fallen goaltender and stopped just shy of the goal line. Everyone rushed into the zone, but a defenseman was able to clear the puck in time.

16:30 Former NHLer Petr Schastlivy had a scoring chance when he made a sudden wrist shot almost point blank range from the front of the net. The situation was very similar to Ilya Nikulin's goal earlier in the game. In this case Kazan's goaltender did not sit down in a butterfly right away, thus stopping the top far corner shot. In the case of Nikulin's goal, Kolesnik sat into a butterfly right away to cover the bottom half of the net.

18:00 With two minutes left in the period Ilya Krikunov (Vancouver Canucks) received a pass at the opponent's blue line from behind HC Khimik's net and streaked into Kazan's zone. The pass was great and unexpected, but he was trailed the entire time by Vyacheslav Buravchikov (Buffalo Sabres), who foiled the scoring attempt, with the puck harmlessly trickling towards Eremenko.

3rd Period:
6:20 Ilya Zubov (Ottawa Senators) had a scoring chance on the power play when he got the puck off the face-off, then after passing back and forth with a defenseman, skated in from the right wing towards the net and released a quick wrist shot that went just high of the top far corner of the net. Zubov is known for his wrist shot - with a great release and precise delivery, capable of hitting a spot right underneath the crossbar.

8:15 Igor Schadilov (Washington Capitals) stood out with solid overall play throughout the game, but he made a responsible defensive play shorthanded here, when he broke up a HC Khimik pass before taking the puck into the offensive zone with a surprising burst of speed and forcing his way through three Khimik players before passing it off to a forward and returning back to defense. He joined in on the attack on several occasions previously in the game.

10:20 Ilya Nikulin made another first pass out of his zone right on the tape of Vorobiev, though the attack went nowhere in Khimik's zone, Nikulin stood out for making several precise passes out of his zone throughout.

11:20 The young line of Andrei Mikhnov (formerly St. Louis Blues), Mikhail Yunkov (Washington Capitals) and Mikhail Zhukov (Edmonton Oilers) did not stand out in this contest. Receiving about 10 minutes of ice time throughout the game, could not effectively develop much on the offensive end of the ice, though they were not a liability in their own end.

13:30 Vitaly Kolesnik made a curious blunder, trying to keep the clock running while shorthanded, he decided not to freeze the puck but instead to pass it forward to one of the skaters. The puck was intercepted right in front of the net in mid air by a Kazan forward, who almost scored, with Kolesnik stopping the resulting shot.

18:45 Alexander Golovin (Chicago Blackhawks) played very well in this contest. Unfortuantely his effort was not rewarded by any points, though he continued to create problems in HC Khimik's zone with his aggressive play and drive to the net. He stood out in this particular moment by driving to the net and snapping a slap shot that Kolesnik had a lot of problems with and barely handled.

16 year old 1990 born Kiril Petrov stood out with his skating ability, his awareness on the ice and his size. The young forward skated on the wing with Alexander Golovin and Badyukov at center. HC Ak Bars continues to use the young forward, having high expectations in his future.

- Eugene Belashchenko (RussianProspects.com)

Related Player Profiles: . V.Buravchikov A.Golovin D.Kazionov I.Krikunov S.Mozyakin A.Nikulin I.Schadilov A.Shkotov M.Zhukov I.Zubov
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