Category Archives: Junior Hockey
A few days ago we took a quick look at all the different Finals going on in Russian hockey this week, and some of that silverware that was under dispute has now been handed out! Read on, therefore, for some champions at the lower levels of pro and junior hockey, as well as a quick bonus update on some international hockey results from today.
Thursday will see the opening the IIHF’s 2018 Men’s Under-18 World Championship, and this year it is being held in Russia, in the neighbouring cities of Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk just east of the Ural Mountains. The Russian team has been preparing for the tournament for the past couple of weeks, and we are starting to get some ideas about the line combinations and defence pairings. So read on for analysis of that (and also for some talk about an unfortunate situation involving the player who was expected to be Russia’s star at this tournament).
So what do we have to discuss in this update? Major things, including the first round of the first-ever Women’s Hockey League playoffs, the first-ever championship tournament in Russia’s amateur Under-18 league, and beginning of the second edition of the Women’s Under-16 European Cup. So read on!
This is a bit of a “tidying-up” sort of post; it includes updates on all of the various league Finals going on or starting this week, as well as some news from the FHR and previews of imminent international hockey attractions. So read on, as we go all over the place!
The field for the Kharlamov Cup Final in the MHL (Russia’s top-tier men’s junior league) is now set, and the series will get underway this coming weekend. This year’s Final will be an all West Conference affair (the MHL crosses over at the semifinal stage), with 2015-16 champions Loko Yaroslavl taking on SKA-1946 St. Petersburg, whose previous best finish was as runners-up in 2014-15.
The Final of the 2017-18 Gagarin Cup playoffs is indeed set: CSKA Moscow, in something of a surprise, will take on Ak Bars Kazan for the KHL championship, with Game 1 of the Final going on April 14th.
But before we start our discussion of the Conference Finals, the KHL results were of course not the big hockey news of the weekend. That occurred on a wintry stretch of highway in rural Saskatchewan, where the bus carrying 29 players and staff of the Humboldt Broncos, who play in the Junior A Saskatchewan Junior Hockey League, collided with a transport truck. Fifteen passengers on the bus were killed, and the other 14 injured, some very seriously. Junior hockey is a huge thing on the Canadian prairies, and indeed in many other places, and those long bus rides between towns are a staple of growing up for kids on sports teams, in clubs, and involved in school, church, and community groups; this is a devastatingly tragic blow, obviously, not only for the victims and their families, but for the town of Humboldt as well. Many will recall the bus accident involving another Saskatchewan junior team, the WHL’s Swift Current Broncos, in 1986. And for those of us who follow Russian hockey, there are shades of the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl air disaster in 2011.
Notes of condolence for the victims of the accident have poured in from all over, including statements from the Russian Hockey Federation and from KHL teams Dynamo Moscow and Spartak Moscow, among others. Much has also been written about the tragedy; there is far too much to link to it all, but I would particularly recommend this piece by Gregg Drinnan, and this one by Roy MacGregor. And allow me here to add my own condolences and warm thoughts to all the victims of this horrendous accident.
Read on, as we go back to the KHL.
Round 2 of the Kharlamov Cup playoffs in the MHL, Russia’s top men’s junior league, finished up last week, and we are now on the eve of Round 3: the semifinal round. Read on, for quick look at what happened in the quarterfinals, and a peek ahead to the pairings for the final four!
There was a lot of hockey played in the Women’s Hockey League over the past seven days, and we have recaps of it all, and some discussion of what it all signified for the upcoming playoffs and for the scoring race. Do read on for that, and for the final resolution of the national Under-18 championship!
A week or so ago we looked at the then-impending first round of the playoffs in the MHL — Russia’s top-tier men’s junior league. Well, that round is now complete, as the series were all best-of-five, and we have the pairings for the last eight. Read on, for a quick recap of the opening series with some discussion of key performers, and of course a look at those upcoming match-ups in the second round.
The 2017-18 regular season of the MHL, Russia’s top men’s junior hockey league came to an end this past Tuesday in dramatic fashion. Russkie Vityazi Chekhov, junior team of the KHL’s Vityaz Moscow Oblast, needed a point from their final game to sneak ahead of MHK Dynamo Moscow and take the last playoff berth in the league’s West Conference. Things look dire for the “Russian Knights,” down 0-1 to HK Riga in the closing stages. But Pavel Gorokhov scored for the Chekhov side, and seven seconds later so did Ilya Chuikov, and that was enough; Russkie Vityazi held on to win 2-1, and with that all the playoff matchups were known. And the post-season hunt for the Kharlamov begins tomorrow — read on, for a look at the pairings and some notes on the regular season!