Women’s Hockey Update: October 9th, 2017

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Russia’s Yevgeniya Dyupina scores against Nana Fujimoto of Japan during an exhibition game on Monday.  (Image Source)

Here we are at Monday, so it is time once again for a women’s hockey update, and there is a great deal to cover in this one!  Both the senior and under-18 Russian women’s national teams saw action this past week, and the last couple of days witnessed the celebrations of the IIHF’s World Girls’ Ice Hockey Weekend.  In addition, there was a very important player-signing in the Women’s Hockey League, and even bigger news than that.  Read on!

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Říha Leaves Slovan

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Miloš Říha directs traffic from the Slovan Bratislava bench.  (Image Source)

A minor change in schedule at the blog this weekend: the “Walk Through the KHL” post will be up on Tuesday (it will thereafter return to Sundays).  However, we do have some news to cover today in any case, as we are now up to four coaches removed from their posts in this 2017-18 KHL season.  The latest: veteran bench boss Miloš Říha, who has been let go by Slovan Bratislava.  Read on…

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Back Amongst the Coaches

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Lokomotiv Yaroslavl Head Coach Alexei Kudashov (l.) shakes hands with his CSKA Moscow counterpart Dmitry Kvartalnov after Lokomotiv eliminated CSKA from last season’s playoffs. (Image Source)

At about this time last week, we took a look at the KHL’s first two coaching changes of 2017-18, and speculated mildly about where the third might occur.  The answer to that question has now arrived, and — spoiler alert — it involves none of the teams which I mentioned in that speculation!  Read on, for that story, and some other coaching news from the past day or so.

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Women’s Hockey Update: October 2nd, 2017

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Teams representing Moscow Oblast (in white) and Vologda Oblast do battle during last week’s first stage of the Russian Under-18 Women’s National Championship.  (Image Source)

Time to check in with what happened over the last seven days in women’s hockey in Russia!  Lots to cover in this one: six games from the Women’s Hockey League, the opening tilts of the country’s Under-18 women’s championship, and the gathering of not one but two national squads.  Read on!

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A Walk Through the KHL: October 1st, 2017

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Portrait of a young goalie who is back on his game: Metallurg Magnitogorsk’s Ilya Samsonov. (Image Source)

Another week of the 2017-18 KHL season is behind us, and this one saw the ends of three sizeable losing streaks (but the continuation of another)!  We also have something of a scheduling SNAFU involving Kunlun Red Star Beijing, a whopping great suspension (thoroughly deserved), a few players moving here and there, and other items of that sort.  Read on, for this week’s news notes!

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First Out the Door

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It seemed a good story indeed when club legend Sandis Ozoliņš was hired to coach Dinamo Riga, but that tale has not ended well.  (Image Source)

Given the looming contraction of the KHL — three, yet unknown, teams will be departing after this season — 2017-18 always looked like it would be harder than a normal campaign on the job security of coaches, particularly those in charge of the league’s weaker clubs.  And so it seemed almost miraculous that we made it all the way nearly to the end of September, a full month and more of regular season action, with no casualties from the ranks of KHL bench bosses.  However, the first domino fell earlier this week, and the second followed it by mere hours.  In neither case, it must be said, can the move be considered a surprise.  Read on…

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Women’s Hockey Update: September 25th, 2017

Highlights of Agidel’s season-opening win over Biryusa Krasnoyarsk in front of a record crowd in Ufa.

Every team in the Women’s Hockey league has seen at least a couple of games now, with more to come this week!  Read on, therefore, for a full recounting of what transpired in the last seven days in that league, including quite a lot of fans in Ufa, and a couple of other notes as well.  Plus, we have links to upcoming livestreams!

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A Walk Through the KHL: September 24th, 2017

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Amur Khabarovsk’s rink undergoes the transformation from IIHF to North American dimensions.  (Image Source)

Herewith we start up again with the weekly KHL news notes!  As with last season, each team gets a short mention of something newsworthy or interesting each week.  And as before, I have arranged the teams in order of the current Conference standings.  It is my intention to have this be an “every Sunday” feature, so read on… although on this occasion we start with a particularly horrible news story involving a name from the era of hockey in the Soviet Union.

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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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Down in the Minors: the VHL and PVHL in 2017-18

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Dynamo Balashikha celebrate their Bratina Cup championship in the spring of 2017.  In an interesting twist, neither team nor trophy will return to the VHL for 2017-18.  (Image Source)

The VHL (Высшая хоккейная лига — “Vysshaya Khokkeinaya Liga” or “Supreme Hockey League”) is, despite its name, the second-highest level of professional men’s hockey in Russia, and is basically the country’s equivalent of the North American AHL.  Indeed, it includes farm teams from a number of KHL sides, although there are independent VHL teams as well.  The 2017-18 VHL campaign began earlier this month; read on, as we set the scene and talk about the league in this coming season.

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