Category Archives: Junior Hockey

A Bumpy Road at the U18 Worlds

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Team Russia prepares for a game at the 2018 Under-18 World Championship.  (Image Source)

We are through the group stage at the Under-18 Men’s World Championship, held this year in the Russian cities of Chelyabinsk and Magnitogorsk, and results have been very much a mixed bag for the host team.  The quarterfinal awaits, so read on for a look back at the first round, and some thoughts on Team Russia’s performance.

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Lokomotiv’s Youngsters Come Through

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Loko Yaroslavl, 2017-18 Kharlamov Cup Champions!  (Image Source)

Hardly a day goes by here at this time of year without a trophy being handed out, and today was no exception!  And so we offer congratulations to Loko Yaroslavl, junior team of KHL club Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, who today captured the MHL’s Kharlamov Cup by beating SKA-1946 St. Petersburg to take the Final in six games.

Read on, for a very quick look at the Final in Russia’s top junior league!

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Finals Week Update

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HK Tambov hoist the Federations Cup, championship trophy of Russia’s third-tier men’s professional league, on Wednesday.  (Image Source)

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.

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Russia at the U18 Men’s Worlds (Updated)

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Russian U18 national team goalie Amir Miftakhov makes a spectacular save during an exhibition game against Sweden this past week.  (Image Source)

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).

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Women’s Hockey Update: April 16th, 2018

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Olga Sosina looking very focused during Agidel Ufa’s first-round playoff series against SKIF Nizhny Novgorod. (Image Source)

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!

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Finals Week, and Other Notes

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Newly-appointed Russian men’s national team coach Ilya Vorobyov. (Image Source)

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!

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To the Kharlamov Cup Final!

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The Kharlamov Cup. (Image Source)

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.

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The Gagarin Cup Final is Set!

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.

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Crossing Over in the MHL

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Loko Yaroslavl’s Ilya Konovalov, who is having an excellent MHL playoffs, snags a shot. (Image Source)

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!

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Women’s Hockey Update: March 27th, 2018

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Things get a little rivalrous between Agidel Ufa (in white) and Tornado Moscow Oblast during a game last week. (Image Source)

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!

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