Xinnian hao ! It’s a great start to the Chinese New Year for Kunlun

Source: Club Press-Office



The year of the Rooster dawned in Beijing – and Kunlun’s performance certainly proved to be something to crow about.

According to Chinese astrology , Roosters are sporty, confident, assured and ambitious – all traits that sit well with a successful sports team. And our team got the lunar year underway in fine style with a commanding victory over Medvescak.

It did not take long to get the party started. Just 40 seconds in, Linus Videll collected a pass from Sean Collins and saw a path to the net open up before him. He moved to the face-off spot and fired over Mike Garnett’s glove to make it 1-0 in the first minute. Next came Max Warn’s first goal since returning from injury just over a week ago. The Finn struck on the power play in the 16th minute, in the right place at the right time to flip the puck over Garnett’s shoulder after Brett Bellemore’s effort from a tight angle was blocked.

Alexei Ponikarovsky claimed an assist on that goal and quickly found the net himself to make it 3-0. Videll made the interception in center ice, slipped a pass to Ponikarovsky, and the former SKA man did the rest to claim his second goal in two games.

Three goals up in 20 minutes. It was Kunlun’s best first period of the season, setting up a solid victory. But it wasn’t all about offense. The second period, in particular, brought plenty of occasions where our blue line had to be on top of its game. Another key Rooster characteristic, loyalty and commitment to the cause, came into play here. Medvescak had eight shots blocked in the second period as Tomi Karhunen’s team-mates put their bodies on the line to defend the net. Karhunen himself impressed once again – 24 saves, and his second successive shut-out following the blanking of Slovan on Thursday.

But this was also a New Year party, and everyone knows that a good party begins with a grand entrance – thank you, Linus Videll – and should conclude with a final flourish. And so, in the last 10 minutes, Red Star’s offense applied the finishing touches. Tomi Sallinen made it 4-0 with a wraparound goal on the power play in the 54th minute before Collins scored with two seconds left to wrap up the win. Videll picked up his third point of the game, surging from one end of the ice to the other before a deft backhand pass sent Collins to the net.

That made the final score 5-0. Five is one of the Rooster’s lucky numbers. Our team returned to seventh place, having briefly been overtaken by Admiral. Seven is another of the Rooster’s lucky numbers. And the ambition of a top eight finish moves ever closer. Eight, of course, is the third lucky number for the Rooster.
The symbols are auspicious. The Year of the Rooster could prove to be a highly successful year for Red Star.