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Photo Credit: Via @KHL_eng on Twitter

VIDEO: Vancouver Canucks prospect Vasili Podkolzin fights in first period of KHL game

Vasili Podkolzin is fighting through the noise during a COVID-19 impacted season for SKA St.Petersburg.

Literally, fighting.

That’s right, Podkolzin dropped the gloves early on in his game on Friday against Ak Bars Kazan.

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He was roughing it up with 23-year-old Nikita Dynyak on the boards who seemed to grab a hold of him and give him a slight push at the end of a physical altercation. Podkolzin didn’t like that and pierced a gaze right into Dynyak’s soul. Seconds after that the two combatants dropped the gloves and went at it.

Podkolzin definitely held his own in his first fight of the season. This kid doesn’t back down from anything and it showed as he shed his gloves as a golden retriever does fur in the summertime.

Once again SKA was missing a majority of their lineup and it meant that Podkolzin would be slotting into the top-six group. It’s a scary situation with the organization but through the scariness has come an opportunity for Podkolzin to get more ice time. SKA is icing the youngest roster in the KHL right now and Podkolzin is finally getting time on both special teams units.

This was a career-high for minutes played in a regular-season game for Podkolzin. He had 25 shifts for 17:48 of ice time. His stat line included four shots on goal, seven penalty minutes and one hit.

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The game would go to a shootout and Podkolzin was used as the fourth shooter. He did not score on his attempt.

All in all, it was another good showing for the Canucks top prospect. He got some more ice time due to the virus making its rounds through the SKA organization. Four shots on goal is definitely promising for Podkolzin and the new coaching staff is trusting him to be used in pressure situations.

A negative was when he took a high sticking penalty with his team down by one with 4:51 remaining in the third period. Luckily, his team would kill the penalty and go on to tie the game up late in the third to force overtime.

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SKA is now receiving a mini break as they do not play until Wednesday, September 30th. We will keep you posted on his season.

Bonus: The Canucks second-best prospect, Nils HΓΆglander, is in action Saturday at 9 am PST. This will be HΓΆglander’s second game of the SHL season.