Category Archives: MHL

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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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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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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To the Last Eight in the MHL

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Reaktor Nizhnekamsk’s Bulat Shafigullin (in blue) works against the Stalny Lisy Magnitogorsk defence during the first round of the MHL playoffs.  Shafigullin would be a key figure in a huge upset!  (Image Source)

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.

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The MHL Playoffs are Here!

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Loko Yarslavl’s Daniil Isayev makes a save under pressure from Alexander Petunin of Dynamo Moscow during 2017-18 MHL action.  Both players count very much as “guys to watch!”  (Image Source)

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!

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KHL Doings

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The VTB Ice Palace at Legends Park in Moscow.  It is the home of both Spartak and Dynamo, which is causing a bit of a problem for the KHL as the playoffs approach. (Image Source)

Both Russian Olympic teams, women’s and men’s, are now ensconced at the site of the Games in South Korea, which means that the next couple of weeks around here will largely have to do with that competition.  However, the KHL, despite now being well into its Olympic break, has not been entirely idle in terms of news.  So read on, as get caught up on some re-signings, departing coaches, and the like…

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Youth is Served: Russia’s Junior Leagues in 2017-18 (and some sad words)

 

Well, my intention with this post was to introduce in a mild way the MHL, Russia’s top-level junior men’s hockey league, and indeed that will occur.  However, before that happens, a sad digression for those of us who follow the KHL is in order.

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(photo by @blade1bb, used with kind permission)

One of the great pleasures, in this internet age, of following the KHL and Russian hockey in general is the large number of people, from a wide and interesting variety of places, with whom one comes in contact and whom one gets to know at least a little bit.  However, this week there were some sad tidings; it is with great sorrow that I share the news of the passing of Željko Bosak, who died on Wednesday, just a few months after having been diagnosed with cancer, at the age of 50 (far too young).  My sincere condolences go out to his family and friends, and indeed to all who knew him.

Those of you who frequent KHL circles on social media may well have encountered Željko (@zeljkobosak1 on Twitter), as he followed the fortunes of his beloved Medveščak Zagreb.  Željko was an always-cheerful, friendly, and funny person with whom to talk over the day’s hockey, and he was an avid sportsman in his own right, having played tennis and hockey, and even been involved in auto racing.  He still enjoyed skating, of both the ice- and roller- varieties, and followed a large number of sports with great interest.  And he had a deep fondness for black licorice ice cream!

Rest in peace, my friend — we will miss you very much.

(Read on, for Russian junior hockey)

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Decision Day

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The KHL prepares for the 2016-17 Awards Ceremony.  Before that, however, there was momentous news from the league itself…  (Image Source)

It might be necessary to make some unpopular decisions,” said KHL President Dmitry Chernyshenko yesterday, after a meeting of the Council for the Development of Physical Culture and Sport.  Today, the league’s own Board of Directors met, and some thunderous decisions were indeed made — popular or unpopular, depending on one’s point of view.  Read on, for a quick and preliminary look at those, and also some news of the KHL’s annual awards ceremony, which also happened today!

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Krasnaya Armiya Take the Kharlamov Cup

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Krasnaya Armiya Moscow celebrate after winning the Kharlamov Cup on Saturday.  (Image Source)

The 2016-17 season is in the history books in Russia’s top junior league; Krasnaya Armiya Moscow, junior side of CSKA Moscow, defeated Reaktor Nizhnekamsk today to complete a four-game sweep of the Kharlamov Cup Final.  Read on, for some thoughts!

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