The Medal Round Arrives at the World Juniors


The Russian bench celebrates a goal during the group stage of the 2017-18 World Juniors.  (Image Source)

The group stage is over, and the medal round of the 2017-18 World Junior Championship in Buffalo is set to start tomorrow with the four quarterfinal games!  Team Russia duly advanced to the knockout games, but head coach Valery Bragin’s squad can hardly be said to have taken the easy route, and there must be some serious concern about their chances of making the podium.  Read on, for a look back at the preliminary stage, and a look ahead to tomorrow’s quarterfinal (you can also check out the piece here from last week on Russia’s World Juniors roster)!

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Women’s Hockey Update: December 27th, 2017


The Under-18 Russian women’s national team (plus coach Yevgeny Bobariko) belting out the anthem after winning bronze at the 2017 U18 Women’s Worlds.  Final preparations for the 2018 edition of the tournament got underway this week!  (Image Source)

Slightly delayed, but here is this week’s Russian women’s hockey update!  This edition includes recaps of some international games this past weekend, Russia’s preliminary roster for the Under-18 Women’s Worlds, and more — including, unfortunately, some further sad Olympic news.  Read on…

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Russia at the World Juniors


Goalie Alexei Melnichuk of the VHL’s SKA-Neva St. Petersburg will be one of the three Russian netminders at the 2017-18 World Juniors.  (Image Source)

First of all, a very Merry Christmas to all celebrating today!  Secondly, the weekly women’s hockey update will be along tomorrow on Wednesday, with news of the upcoming Under-18 Worlds and other matters.  Tomorrow, however, will also see the opening faceoffs of the 2017-18 World Junior Championship, in Buffalo, New York, and that is the focus of tonight’s post.  Read on, for a look at the Russian roster!

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Into the Home Stretch!


It has been something of a season of extremes for Amur Khabarovsk in 2017-18.  (Image Source)

“Life is about the journey, not the destination,” said somebody, at some time or other.  I’m not sure if that phrase applies to hockey seasons as well as to life, but it is interesting to take a look not just at whether teams are occupying a playoff spot at the moment, but also at how they managed to get there (wherever “there” in the standings may be).  So read on, for talk of the KHL’s 14-game splits as we enter the 2017-18 regular season’s home stretch.

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Women’s Hockey Update: December 18th, 2017


Valeriya Pavlova (#15) and Lyudmila Belyakova (#10) in action against Germany during a November, 2017, tournament.  Both players found the scoresheet for the national team this past week as well!  (Image Source)

It is Monday, so time for another update on Russian women’s hockey!  This time around, there is an international tournament to recap, along with some new developments in the on-going Olympic saga.  There are a couple of other bits and pieces, too, so read on!

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Guest Post: Progress and Developments in the KHL


The KHL Board of Directors at work in September of 2016.  (Image Source)

Welcome back, Tomáš Vorčák (@vorkywh24 on Twitter)!  Tomáš has been keeping a close eye on the progress of the league’s new strategic plan, to which he introduced us back in May, and upon which he gave us an update in November.  In today’s guest post, he looks at further developments in the strategic plan over the last month or so, as revealed at today’s meeting of the KHL Board of Directors.  Read on!

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Women’s Hockey Update: December 12th, 2017

An update this time around with really only one story: the Oswald Commission’s decision on the Russian women’s national team came down today.  Six players from the 2014 Olympic squad, of the seven under investigation, have been convicted of doping offenses at the 2014 Olympic Games, and have received life-time bans from the Olympic Games.  The six are: Inna Dyubanok, Yekaterina Lebedeva, Yekaterina Pashkevich, Anna Shibanova, Galina Skiba, and Yekaterina Smolentseva.  The seventh player in the group, Anna Shokhina, was cleared of any wrong-doing.  The Oswald Commission also annulled Team Russia’s sixth-place finish at the 2014 games.

Read on, for some thoughts and quotes.

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Scheduling Note

The usual Monday women’s hockey update will be along on Tuesday or Wednesday this week, as I’m waiting on the resolution of a couple of newsworthy items.  In the meantime, do check out the interview with Agidel Ufa and Russian national team forward Olga Sosina!

Olga Sosina Interview!

If you would like a bit of weekend reading, I invite you to check out my translation of an interview from this past week with Russian women’s national team and Agidel Ufa forward Olga Sosina.  The 25-year-old from Almetyevsk, in the Republic of Tatarstan, is for my money the best player in the Russian women’s program; there are certainly other serious contenders for that title, but few can match Sosina’s  combination of speed, strength, and skill (see video above).  She’s very good, is what I’m saying, and if you have been following the Russian women’s hockey coverage here for any length of time at all, you have doubtless seen mention of her.

Enjoy the interview — and my apologies for any errors or misunderstandings in the translation!

New Blood


While Ilya Kovalchuk watches from the SKA St. Petersburg bench, Nikita Gusev goes to work against Pavel Akolzin (#27) and Artyom Likhotnikov of Barys Astana.  (Image Source)

As promised yesterday, we will take a break from the Olympic story at this point and talk some hockey (there’s nothing really new to report on the Olympics today anyway).  Despite the fact that it is still only early December, the 2017-18 KHL season is coming into the last turn with the home stretch not far away.  As of today (Friday, Dec. 8th), only Jokerit have not yet played two-thirds of their games, and that will be rectified tomorrow.  Now, in actual calendar terms, the end of the regular season is still some ways off (early March, due to the Olympic break), but it is not too soon I think to take a look at some of the storylines that have been developing this season, and that will reach their climaxes in the games to come.  Read on, as we delve into the KHL individual points race…

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