January 26, 2009

Dinamo's next opponents

28.01 Dinamo Riga vs. Spartak Moscow

Hockey Club Spartak Moscow established in 1946 is one of the most well known clubs of USSR. A four time Soviet League champion and an eleven times runner-up, a two time USSR Cup and a five time Spengler Cup winner.

Spartak played in the Russian second league, where the team became champion three times – year 2000, 2001 and 2004. Unfortunately, the financial state of the club wasn’t so good in the recent years and the beginning of season 2006/07 was considered as a tragedy in Russian hockey, as the great Spartak Moscow didn’t participate in any hockey tournament – the team was disbanded…

But thanks to the people, who really loved the team, loved the hockey history of the Soviet Union and Russia, and especially thanks to Vadim Melkov, a huge Spartak fan, who unfortunately died in a plane crash in 2006, and Boris Mayorov, one of the greatest players of the past, Spartak Moscow was “brought back to life” already in the next season.

Now Spartak is playing in Bobrov division and is showing very interesting and spectacular hockey. The team is currently placed 9th with 78 points.

The team’s leaders are forwards Branko Radioevich (16+23), Shtefan Ruzichka (14+16), Maxim Ribin (13+15), Eduard Levandovski (10+18), also Alexei Akifyev (11+11), Alexander Yunkov (7+15) and Alexander Drozdeckiy (10+11).

The goalies are Evgeniy Konobriy and Dmitri Kochnev, who was injured for a long time, so Konobriy was number one for a long time; his partner was Dinamo Riga’s current player Martin Prusek. Now, that Dmitri Kochnev has recovered he is playing in most of the games.

The first game between Dinamo Riga and Spartak Moscow ended with a 5:1 win of the Moscow team.

29.01 Dinamo Riga vs. CSKA

CSKA, Moscow (Central Sports Club of the Army), also founded in 1946, is probably the best club of the past. This team won the Soviet Championship for 32 times (!!!). CSKA played 36 games against NHL teams from 1975 to 1991 and finished with a record of 26 wins, 8 losses, and 2 ties. The club was able to pull off such a long run of dominance because during the Soviet era, the entire CSKA organization was a functioning division of the Red Army, from here – the other name – the Red Army Team.

After the collapse of the Soviet Union, CSKA domination ended. The club was still strong, but not strong enough and didn’t win any medal set even once. After the coming of Vyacheslav Bykov, who is also the current head coach of the Russian national team, CSKA finished 3rd in the regulars last season, showing very beautiful attacking hockey.

Now CSKA is playing in the Tarasov division and is placed 6th with 89 points.

The leaders are forwards Sergei Shirokov (13+20), Oleg Saprikin (13+19), Anton But (10+20), Petr Schastliviy (16+11), defensemen Denis Kulyash (12+9) and Konstantin Korneev (6+14).

The goalkeepers are Konstantin Barulin and Yussi Markkanen, who, after a tragedy in his family, decided to continue playing in CSKA. Barulin is very good, but the coaches are trying to give Markkanen to play more right now, in order for him to get back in shape, so it’s possible, we’ll see Yussi in the net for the game against Dinamo Riga.

The first match between Riga and CSKA was won by Riga 4:3.

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