… and Wang makes four

Source: Club Press-Office

26.09.2016

SEVERSTAL CHEREPOVETS 2 KUNLUN RED STAR 0

Wang Guanhua became the fourth Chinese player to appear in KHL action when he was named in Kunlun’s roster for the trip to Cherepovets. The 24-year-old forward joined his compatriots Rudi Ying, Zach Yuen and Xia Tianxiang for this game and featured in three shifts for a total of 1:34 on the ice.

Barely a game goes by without head coach Vladimir Yurzinov being asked about the role Chinese players will have at Red Star, and his answer varies little from day to day.

“The guys still have a long way to go to reach the necessary level for the KHL,” he says. “But they are working hard in training and they are making progress. We see that progress every day and we’re looking for every opportunity to trust them with game time, even though they still face a lot of work before they can reach a truly professional standard.”

Wang’s debut against Severstal proves yet again that the head coach is delivering on that plan. We’re still in the first month of our history, and we’ve already introduced four Chinese players into the KHL record books.

Sadly, though, the rest of the game had little to recommend it for Kunlun’s fans. A sluggish start scuppered our progress – the team simply took too much time to raise its game to the level of our recent performances and only really showed what it can do in the third period. In that final stanza our offense got into gear, whipping up a storm around Jakub Kovar’s net and giving the Czech international a tough time as he defended his shut-out and protected his team’s lead. It was too little, too late, but it gave home head coach Alexander Gulyavtsev grounds for concern.

“I can’t really say we deserved [this win], but three points are three points,” he admitted in the press conference.

Despite a 12-3 advantage on the shot count in the final period, Kunlun suffered the disappointment of its first ever KHL shut-out, slipping to a 2-0 defeat after Dmitry Kagarlitsky scored in the eighth and 31st minutes.