ZAGREB, Jan. 3 (Xinhua) -- Medvescak Zagreb started the new 2017 year with a 1-0 win over Chinese side Kunlun Red Star from Beijing on Tuesday in the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) to keep the playoff hopes alive.
Canadian forward Francis Pare scored the winning goal in the first minute of the final period and his compatriot at the post Drew MacIntyre stopped all 29 shots from Kunlun players for his first shutout at home ice and fourth overall this season.
For the first time in its history Medvescak had a chance to host a club from China. The KHL newcomers made the Bears to work hard for the win that brought Medvescak 13 points behind 8th placed Vityaz Podolsk with 15 games left in the regular season.
Forwards Chad Rau and Martin Bakos, as well as defender Tommi Taimi had four shots on goal each and forward Alexei Ponikarovsky had three shots but all their efforts were stopped by unbeatable goalie MacIntyre who was rightfully voted as The Man of the match.
Despite Kunlun's defeat, the Beijing side is still holding the 7th place in the KHL Eastern Conference.
Coach Vladimir Yurzinov will have to find the winning formula again after his team lost its third game in a row to stay in the playoff zone.
Kunlun will travel to Bratislava on Thursday to play versus Slovan before heading home for three matches in front of their supporters.