Category Archives: Women’s Hockey

The KHL & Other Leagues Respond to the Coronavirus Outbreak

Shougang Arena, Beijing, home of the KHL’s Kunlun Red Star. (Image Source)

Much news this week about the outbreak of a coronavirus in China, particularly in the central province of Hubei. It is unclear yet how serious the outbreak is, and how worried we should all be, but the Chinese government has restricted travel to, from, and within the worst-hit areas. And the four Russian-based hockey leagues that include at least one Chinese team have also taken note of the situation, with one eye on the possible necessity of relocating some games. Read on, for a quick run-down of what steps the various the KHL, ZhHL, VHL, and MHL have taken so far, and what they might do if the coronavirus situation does not improve.

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Playoff Pictures

CSKA Moscow have secured a KHL playoff spot, but who will join them? (Image Source)

The various All-Star Festivities are out of the way (a very good time seems to have been had by all), and for the various Russian hockey leagues, it’s a straight drive from here to the end of the regular season, and thence the playoffs. So time now to set the various playoff scenarios, and see how the races are shaping up in the KHL, Women’s Hockey League, VHL, and MHL. Read on!

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Encouraging Development

Russian forward Kristi Shashkina, who would go on to make a real name for herself during the 2019-20 U18 Women’s Worlds, battles Canada’s Maddi Wheeler in the tournament opener. (Image Source)

‘Tis the season for youth World Championships in hockey (one of the seasons for them, anyway — there will be more anon), and last week in Bratislava, Slovakia, the Russian Under-18 Women’s National Team wrapped up its 2019-20 Worlds. It was a successful outing, too, as the team collected Russia’s third bronze medal at the event — read on, for a little recap of the tournament!

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Team Russia at the 2019-20 U18 Women's Worlds

Russian U18 national-team players get their final instructions before facing Tornado Moscow Oblast of the Women’s Hockey League in the pre-Worlds game this past week. The young nats won the game as well, defeating their elders 4-2. (Image Source)

This week is a busy one in the hockey world — the World Juniors starts on Boxing Day, as does the venerable Spengler Cup. And this year, there’s a third treat in store this week, as the 2019-20 Under-18 Women’s World Championship gets going, also on Thursday. This year’s edition is in Bratislava, Slovakia, and is taking place a bit earlier than normal (usually it is an early January tournament). Alexander Syrtsov will make his U18 Worlds head-coaching debut it in this one; read on, as we consider the roster he and his staff has selected for the trip to Slovakia!

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Two Russian WNTs Head into Action

The Russian senior ‘B’ women’s national team (in white) and the Under-18 squad got together for a training game earlier this month (the youngsters won it, too!). (Image Source)

For approximately the next month, international hockey will dominate the headlines, as tournaments like the, U18 Women’s World Championship, and World Juniors take place (not to mention the wonderful Spengler Cup tournament). And things are already starting up in that regard, so the next few days around here will be given over to a look at some Russian national-team rosters. Today, we start with a couple of teams in the women’s national program, as the U18s prepare for a four-nations pre-Worlds tournament in Sweden, and the senior national ‘B’ team gets set for a six-nations event on the Black Sea coast. Read on!

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The League of Women's Hockey in 2019-20

Grad-1 Moscow celebrate their 2018-19 League of Women’s championship win in May of 2019. (Image Source)

A bit of a change of pace today, as we step away from the KHL and turn our attention to the women’s amateur game in Russia. The League of Women’s Hockey (not to be confused with the professional Women’s Hockey League), the top women’s amateur league in Russia, is well underway with its 2019-20 season, after an off-season that saw the league add a whole new tier while expanding from 38 teams total to 52. So what’s going on in this immensely-fascinating league? Read on…

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The Women’s Hockey League at the Halfway Point, Part 2

Gorny St. Petersburg’s Fanuza Kadirova celebrates a goal against city rivals Dynamo earlier this season. (Image Source)

On the second batch of our mid-term report cards for Women’s Hockey League teams (the first batch is here). This time, we’re looking at the bottom half of the table… or at least, at the teams that were in the bottom half when their schedule hit the 14-game mark. Things have changed, and one of those clubs is now in a playoff position! Which one? Read on…

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The Women’s Hockey League at the Halfway Point, Part 1.

Agidel Ufa forward Olga Sosina. (Image Source)

At the halfway point? Actually, a little past it now; the Russian Women’s Hockey League (the ZhHL) resumed action after its own international break this past week, with each team having played 14 games of the 28-game regular season at that point. Everybody is at 15 or 16 games now, and today we’ll check in with the league’s top four teams, and see how their seasons have gone so far. Read on, for progress reports!

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Women’s Five-Nations in Dmitrov Starts Next Week!

SK Sverdlovsk Oblast’s Nadezhda Volf (in white) battles Tornado’s Mariya Batalova (now with Agidel) during a 2018 game. Both are on the Russian national team roster for next week’s tournament in Dmitrov. (Image Source)

I wondered aloud, in our recent look at the SK Sverdlovsk Oblast of the Women’s Hockey League, how long it would be before young defender Nadezhda Volf, recently graduated from Russian U18 national program, got a look with the senior national team. Not long, as it turns out! Volf has been called to the senior squad for the Five-Nations tournament beginning next week in Dmitrov, just north of Moscow, and will look to make her senior international debut. Read on, for a quick look at the tournament itself, and at the rest of Team Russia’s roster!

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The Long Road Continues for SK Sverdlovsk Oblast

Joy for the SK Sverdlovsk Oblast players after they broke a long, long, losing streak last season. (Photo by Darya Sukhorukova, Source)

We wrap up our look at this season’s Women’s Hockey League teams by turning our attention to Yekaterinburg-based SK Sverdlovsk Oblast (the “SK,” incidentally, stands for “Sbornaya Komanda” — “Selects Team”). They were last in the league by a mile in 2018-19, as they have been for some seasons now, but they did at last cause a slight ripple in the standings, and there is a reason or two to be, ever-so-mildly-and-relatively, optimistic about their future.

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