December 25, 2008

Dinamo - Khimik, preview

Dinamo Riga vs.
Khimik Voskresensk

Founded in 1953, Khimik (or Chemist in English) Voskresensk is one of the models of soviet hockey, but the current Khimik isn’t the same club as was the former Voskresensk team. The real Khimik moved to Mytischi in 2005 and carries the name of Atlant right now.

Voskresensk wasn’t left without a team. In the same 2005 a new club was based with the same historical name – Khimik. So it’s right to consider year 2005 as the birth of the Khimik Voskresensk as we know it.

That season the yellow-blue’s played in Russia’s second league – Visshaya Liga (a.k.a. Russian Supreme League or High-league), where they got to the quarter finals. Next year the team played in the finals and gained silver medals. Thanks to that, Khimik had to play in the Superleague next season, but due to some obstacles, the club was forced to stay in the Supreme league. In season 2007/08 Khimik won gold, but, the Superleague was turned into the KHL and Khimik’s participation in it wasn’t provided.

However, the team from Voskresensk got the opportunity to play in the KHL, as one other club (Yekaterinburg’s Avtomobilist) was compelled to take its participation out of the league right before the start of the season.

Having the lowest budget, Khimik Voskresensk took the chance to enter the KHL. Nobody actually considered the team as a serious opponent for other clubs. Right now Khimik is placed 23rd with 28 points and with 84 goals for and 129 against. Despite that the team is an outsider, it’s a very uneasy opponent for any team. Other clubs usually fight very hard for the points.

The first game with Khimik wasn’t so simple for Dinamo Riga either – only a 2:1 win. However, considering how Riga is playing right now and the fact that this match will be on home ice, Dinamo should be able to take three points.

Khimik’s goalkeepers – Alexei Egorov and Andrei Vasilyev – both play an equal amount of time. The team doesn’t have super-class players, but still has its leaders – forwards Viktor Gordiyuk with 19 points, Aleksandr Romanov with 13, Denis Kartsev and Sergey Luchinkin both with 12 points.

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