August hockey doesn’t always sound and look good, but this is usually not the case with the KHL, where teams are in full swing in preparation for the regular season, which begins Aug. 22. In the Aug. 14 game between Metallurg Magnitogorsk and Sibir Novosibirsk, KHL star Sergei Mozyakin had a great chance but was blanked by rookie netminder Alexei Krasikov, who made a huge stick save, which could make the KHL highlight reel through the season. The game was played within the pre-season Romazan tournament and in spite of Krasikov’s great efforts, Sibir did lose to Metallurg with a 2:3 score (and yes, Mozyakin managed to score the GWG later on).
Traditionally, KHL teams compete in different pre-season tournaments organized by single teams, and the Romazan tournament is one of the most popular and rich with tradition. KHL teams compete fiercely in these tournaments, which are usually treated almost as regular season games. As the recent on-ice events confirmed, it has become evident even to foreign audiences that things can get hot even if those are just preparation games.
At 20-years-old, Alexei Krasikov is in his second year within the Sibir Novosibirsk organization, being the first goalie of their junior team last season and ending up as a league’s all-star and one of the best goalies in the league. Earlier in his career, he played MHL hockey in Dmitrov and Mytischi. This year he will most likely compete for the backup position with 23-year-old Pavel Shegalo, with the team’s undisputed first goalie being former Florida Panthers and Chicago Blackhawks prospect Alexander Salak.
Alexander Krasikov’s statistics:
A professional hockey writer and translator. Loves Russian culture, language, and hockey. Reachable on twitter @AlexSerenRosso