First career hat-trick for Maxim Kitsyn
Maxim Kitsyn stole the scene in Saturday's game between Metallurg Novokuznetsk and Atlant Mytischi. Scoring one goal per period the 18 years old, a Los Angeles Kings draftee, scored his first pro career hat trick and his team earned a well deserved 3-0 win.
Kitsyn was placed on the first line with veterans Alexei Kosourov, the team's captain, and Evgeny Belukhin. The move paid off. "I didn't even think I was going to play, instead I got a spot in the first line", Kitsyn told sport-nk.ru. The sized winger had a total TOI of 12:54 and had a perfect shooting record, with three shots and as many goals.
Metallurg Nk is so far having not the best season as the team sits on the second last spot of the KHL standings with 19 points in 22 games.
"All went good in this game. I scored, the team won. Good game", Kitsyn said after the game.
In the first period Metallurg Nk kind of suffered Atlant's game and the game seemed to be going better for them, especially after prospect Dmitry Orlov got the first penalty of the contest. But Metallurg Nk managed to kill the penalty also thanks to his goalie, former Quebec Citaldels Vadim Tarasov, who stopped all the attempts from the opposition. At the tenth minute the refs sent defenseman from Kazakhstan Maxim Semenov to the sin bin and Kitsyn made it 1-0: Belukhin got the puck during the powerplay stretch and shot, the puck ricocheted against a defenseman, Kitsyn picked it up from the right circle and put it between Kostantin Barulin's pads for the go-ahead goal. Some minutes later Atlant had a good chance to score the tying goal, but veteran Oleg Petrov missed the chance all alone against Tarasov.
In the second period Kitsyn put his team up by two goals only after five minutes from the start. Kosourov played the puck behind the crease, trying to center it. The puck was deflected by Barulin's pad, Kitsyn anticipated the play and skated toward the crease, got the puck on the backhand, switched it to the forehand and scored just sending the puck over the diving goalie for a beautiful goal. Atlant, who recently hired Czech specialist Milos Riha to substitute the past head coach, former NHLer Nikolai Borschevsky, couldn't get back on track and allowed several other chances to Metallurg Novokuznetsk, one of them was a big shot from the point by other defensive prospect Zakhar Arzamastsev, who is improving game after game and has a chance to play at the upcoming WJC.
In the third period Metallurg scored yet another goal, yet again with Kitsyn. The team got a good counterattack chance and Kosourov centered the puck, with Kitsyn all alone behind the circles. The Kings' draftee had all the time in the world to aim and fire the puck right below the crossbar for a true sniper goal.
Kitsyn and Arzamastsev are now heading with Team Russia U20 to the Subway Super Series.