September 27, 2008

History of Dinamo Riga

Dinamo Riga roots are found in 1946, Dinamo Riga was one of eleven teams which participated in the first Soviet championship in season of 1946/1947. Dinamo Riga finished in fourth place behind Dynamo Moscow, CSKA Moscow and Spartak Moscow, making it the highest team based outside Moscow. Dinamo Riga is also notable because it was first team in history of hockey that used four lines(12+8) instead of three lines, like in the rest of the world at that time. In year 1948 the Soviet Union participated for the first time in World Championship and Dinamo Riga player Harijs Mellups was the first goalie that has participated in this historic first Soviet Union game in World Championship. In 1975, Viktor Hatulev of Dinamo Riga became the first ice hockey player from the Soviet Union drafted by the National Hockey League by Philadelphia Flyers in round 9 #160 overall. He never had a chance to play for the NHL, as the Soviet players were not allowed to play for foreign teams, so basically Philadelphia Flyers had wasted their draft choice. In season 1976-77 legendary Dinamo Riga star Helmuts Balderis was the leading scorer, had the most goals, and won the best player of the season award (MVP). He was also the goal leader in 1975-76 and leading scorer in 1983. He scored 333 goals in his Soviet Union League career, also he was oldest player(36) ever drafted by NHL team in hockey history. In season 1986/87 Latvian star Arturs Irbe has started his professional career in Dinamo Riga, he was first Latvian who had played in NHL, also notable players that had played for Dinamor Riga which were drafted by NHL teams and played some games for them were Sandis Ozolinsh, Sergei Zholtok, Harijs Vitolinsh, Aleksander Kerch, Grigorijs Pantilejevs. Dinamo Riga has participated in 1989 Superseries against NHL teams. The NHL teams won a series against Dynamo Riga with 5 wins, 1 tie, 2 losses. The scores were:
  • Dinamo Riga tied the Calgary Flames 2 to 2
  • Edmonton Oilers beat Dinamo Riga 2 to 1
  • Vancouver Canucks beat Dinamo Riga 6 to 1
  • Dinamo Riga beat Los Angeles Kings 5 to 3
  • Chicago Blackhawks beat Dinamo Riga 4 to 1
  • St. Louis Blues beat Dinamo Riga 5 to 0
  • Dinamo Riga beat Minnesota North Stars 2 to 1
  • Washington Capitals beat Dinamo Riga 2 to 1.
Dinamo Riga - Calgary Flames game highlights:

Also other soviet teams played in these series. Total there were 108 games, Soviet teams won 58 games, NHL teams 40, ties 10. These games showed strengths between the Soviet Union League clubs and NHL clubs.

After the end of Soviet Union, the team continued to play until 1995 as a member of the International Hockey League, the successor of Soviet Hockey League. During this period, the team was called Stars Riga and later, Pārdaugava Riga. In these teams have played players like Aigars Cipruss, Viktor Ignatjev, Aleksander Semjonov, Akeksandrs Belavskis Latvian national team record holder Leonids Tambijevs and others. In first years of Latvian national team most of the national team players were from these teams and of course from Dinamo Riga.

In April 7, 2008 the club has been re-established, it was re-established because Latvian Hockey Federation received invitation from Kontinental (Continental) Hockey League (KHL) so in Latvia based team could participate in KHL in it's first seson. Latvian former president Guntis Ulmanis, Viesturs Koziols, former Latvian prime minister Aigars Kalvitis alongside with other people decided to establish new club in Latvian capital Riga to make some business out of this project. At first nobody knew the name of the new club, so board of the new club decided that there must be voting to decide the club name for the hockey club. Latvian citizens who were interested in this porject voted for these names. Most common names in voting was Daugava Riga, Latvijas Berzs and of course Dinamo Riga. Most votes were given to Dinamo Riga, so we can say in our days that former Dinamo Riga has been re-established. In 15. July started official training camp for Dinamo Riga, the first players were contracted at the time when Latvian national team participated in World Championship in Canada year 2008. Dinamo Riga has a long history, that is over 60 years long.


Anonymous said...

It was one more game "Dinamo"(Riga)-"Washington Capitals" in Riga! Unfortunately, I can't translate correctly all the names of Cap's players, therefore here is the info in Rus. Please, translate it and add to the total list of the games played:

“Динамо” Рига – “Вашингтон Кэпиталз” – 1:2 (0:0, 0:0, 1:1, 0:1)
19 сентября 1989. Рига. Дворец спорта. 5000 зрителей.(!!! набито было битком! мы со своими "стоячими" билетами еле втиснулись!)
Судьи: В.Фогтлин (Швейцария), А.Балин, Р.Зайнутдинов (СССР).
“Динамо” (12): Ирбе; Катлапс – Чудинов, Матыцин (2) – Григорьев, Сейейс (2) – Пятанов (2), Викулов (4) – Крамской; Шашов – Варянов – Знарок, Белявский – Фандуль – Керчь, Акулинин – Витолиньш – Томанис (2), Павлов – Семеряк – Опульскис.
“Вашингтон Кэпиталз” (10): Дофе (Колциг, 33); Хэтчер – Стивенс, Роуз – Лэнгуэй, Хоулдер - Феликс, Шихи - Клейнендорст; Сиссарелли (2) – Пивонька – Корриво (2), Кристиан – Ридли – Миллер, Лич – Куртнолл (2) – Хантер (2), Гоулд - Викенхайзер (2) - Бергланд.
Голы: Варянов (53) 1-0, Кристиан (Миллер, 53) 1-1, Бергланд (Стивенс, 63).

Anonymous said...

Thank you for the info! :)

Small Cash said...

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Anonymous said...

Done it ;)

Rihards said...

Regarding first comment, here is translation for you:
'Dinamo' Riga - 'Washington Capitals' - 1:2 (0:0,0:0,1:1,01)
19th september 1989. Riga. Venue: Rīgas sporta pils. Attendance:5000(maxed) .(!!! It was quite full, we with our standing tickets felt like 'sardines':)!)
Referees: V.Fogtling (Switzerland), A.Balin, R.Zainutdinov (USSR).
“Dinamo” (12): Irbe; Katlaps – Chudinov, Maticin (2) – Grigorjev, Sejejs (2) – Pjatanov (2), Vikulov (4) – Kramskoj; Sashov – Varjanov – Znarok, Belavski – Fandulj – Kerch, Akulinin – Vitolinsh – Tomans (2), Pavlov – Semerjak – Opulskis.
“Washington Capitals” (10): Dofe(Dafoe?) (Kolzig, 33); Hetcher(Hatcher?) – Stevens, Roys(?) – Langway(?), Howlder(?) - Felix, Shihi(?) - Kleinendrost(?); Cincarelly(?) (2) – Pivonka – Korrivo(?) (2), Christian – Ridley – Miller, Leech – Cournoll(?) (2) – Hunter (2), Gould - Weekenheiser(?) (2) - Bergandl(?).
Голы: Varjanov (53) 1-0, Christian (Miller, 53) 1-1, Bergland (Stevens, 63).

Well this is the best I could do, I hope it helps. :)

ThomasCSlater said...

Nice Blog, Rihards! Hockey truly is the "coolest" game on earth! :)Keep up the good work!

JeffB said...

The game against Washington, as you can see from the boxscore, took place in September of 1989 in Riga, well after the Super Series games held in December 1988 and January 1989.

Washington traveled to Europe for games as part of its training camp and played that one game against Dinamo Riga, so it is technically not a part of the Super Series games held in North America 8 months earlier.