Haunted by an ‘ex’

Source: Club Press-Office

23.01.2018

Metallurg Magnitogorsk 4 Kunlun Red Star 1

One of the unwritten rules of sport is that your former players will come back to haunt you. Today, Wojtek Wolski proved that point with a game-winning performance for Metallurg.

Wolski, a Polish-born Canadian international, joined us from Magnitogorsk over the summer and went on to generate 28 (7+21) points in 32 games for Red Star. The departure of Mike Keenan, who had worked with Wolski at Metallurg, contributed to the forward’s decision to return ‘home’ to his previous club … and yesterday he showed how well he’s settling back into life in the Urals with a goal and two assists to lead his current team to a convincing win.

Wolski’s – and Magnitka’s – cause was helped by Red Star’s tough schedule. Head coach Bobby Carpenter noted that the game rounded off an arduous 16-day road trip, punctuated by the brief break for the All-Star Game, and the strain ultimately cost the team. “We competed well for two periods, but in the third, especially up against a team as talented at Metallurg, you need to match them. But our team was already exhausted, even though we battled as hard as we could.”

There were some highlights for Red Star, most notably Gilbert Brule’s composed finish when Taylor Beck’s pass sent him one-on-one with Ilya Samsonov to tie the game in the 28th minute. But all-in-all, this was Wolski’s day. He got an assist on Matt Ellison’s opener, cashed in on a defensive error to claim the game-winner, then contributed another helper as Sergei Mozyakin added a third on the power play. Evgeny Timkin completed the scoring, converting an impressive no-look pass from Denis Kokarev.

The long road trip that coach Carpenter mentioned is now over, and Red Star heads back to China. But there’s no time to rest: games against Amur on Thursday and Saturday are followed by the visit of Barys on Sunday before the league pauses for the Winter Olympics. And, at those Games in Korea, Brule and Wolski might get a chance to renew their early-season link-up for Red Star when they pull on the jerseys of Team Canada in the year’s premier sporting event.

Official game sheet