Dynamo course: how the blue-white youth team won the Kharlamov Cup

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The club hockey season in Russia is gradually coming to an end, and the first winner has been determined in the three main leagues – Continental (KHL), Higher (VHL) and Youth (MHL). On Friday evening in Krasnogorsk, the youth team of Dynamo Moscow with a score of 7: 5 won the fifth match of the MHL playoff final against Loko Yaroslavl and won the entire series (4: 1). Thus, the blue and white won the main prize of the tournament – the Kharlamov Cup.

Dynamo youth team won such a trophy for the first time. At the same time, the entire hockey club “Dynamo-Moscow” became the first in the country, on account of which there are now victories in the playoffs of all three major leagues. In 2012 and 2013, the main team won the Gagarin Cup. In 2017, her farm club, at that time playing in Balashikha, won the main prize of the VHL – then it was called the Bratina Cup (since 2018, the Petrov Cup).

Lost to the national team

For the Dynamo youth team, the move to Krasnogorsk happened only a year ago. Before that, she played in Balashikha for several years, like the farm club. In 2017, after the bankruptcy of the previous legal entity of the blue and white and the closure of the farm, the youth team, as part of the new club legal entity, remained in the same city. But when Avangard Omsk was forced to move to Balashikha in the summer of 2018, MHC Dynamo began to play at the stadium in Dmitrov, and she spent the 2019/2010 season at Moscow’s Yubileiny.

In 2019, the Vladimir Petrov Hockey Academy was opened in Krasnogorsk, and last summer the Dynamo farm club and youth team moved to its arenas. Since September, VHL and MHL matches have been regularly held there. MHC Dynamo won the regular season, one point ahead of Loko. And the strikers of the blue and white Alexander Kisakov (36 goals) and Yegor Lukhovskoy (33) became the second and third in the list of snipers of the tournament, losing only to the star junior Matvey Michkov from the St. Petersburg SKA-1946.

In the playoffs, Dynamo won 3-0 (in the MHL, the confrontation takes place up to three victories of one team in the playoffs, except for the final, where the confrontation goes up to four victories). CSKA) and Ufa “Tolpara” (youth team of “Salavat Yulaev”).

In the Kharlamov Cup semifinals, the Dynamo management showed special respect to their future stars. Since the main team lost in the second round of the Gagarin Cup to St. Petersburg SKA (1: 4), MHC was given the opportunity to play home games against Ufa at the VTB Arena. The premium-class arena rarely allows MHL teams to visit, but here the blue-and-white got a unique chance to bring the season to a victorious end in a special atmosphere, since the stadium in Krasnogorsk accommodates only 1000 people and is more suitable for training and test games.

“At first, when we learned that the fifth match would have to be played in Krasnogorsk, we didn’t want to come here,” Alexander Kisakov told Izvestia after winning the Kharlamov Cup. – We wanted to end the series in Yaroslavl, but when we lost the third match, we decided that it makes no difference where to win. Let’s go and let’s go. Of course, it was better at the VTB Arena, but what to do – it just happened. Today in Krasnogorsk there was a full arena, the fans supported us very well. It is clear that there is a difference with such a huge stadium as VTB Arena. But in Krasnogorsk it was cool in the decisive match. Thanks to our fans.

It was expected that the Dynamo will celebrate their triumph in the Kharlamov Cup in Leningradka, having managed to convince fans to fill a significant part of the arena with a capacity of 11,500 spectators. But back in early April, this beautiful story turned out to be a big question. For the dates of the decisive matches of the MHL season, two Eurochallenge games were scheduled with the participation of the national teams of Russia and Belarus. The first one took place on Friday, the second one will take place on Saturday. The Russian Ice Hockey Federation (FHR) decided to hold them at the VTB Arena. The fifth match of the final fell on these dates, which could be decisive. He had to play in Krasnogorsk, while Dynamo had the opportunity to play the first, second and seventh matches at the stadium in Petrovsky Park.

It was there that the blue and white won two starting victories over Loko. First, it came to a shootout, which resulted in the hosts being stronger (2: 1). And then Yaroslav Lyuzenkov’s charges won in regulation time (3: 1). But after moving to Yaroslavl, they were defeated in the third meeting (1: 3), and it became clear that the series would definitely return to Krasnogorsk.

Arrival of the elders

The fourth match in Yaroslavl was won by Dynamo with a score of 4: 1, and it became clear that their triumph could be registered in Krasnogorsk. On Friday evening, through numerous traffic jams on the Moscow Ring Road, an army of fans in white and blue symbols, numerous for such a small stadium, pulled up there. There were also many of them on the MCD train, which was traveling from the Rizhsky railway station. People in Dynamo uniforms sat down at the stations Streshnevo, Tushino and Pavshino.

Thanks to this, the stadium was filled to capacity, and the noise was no less than in large arenas. Considering the proximity of the stands to the ice, the support effect, according to the hockey players, was felt even more. And in between periods there was a very dense crowd around the building and in the lobby – after all, this room is clearly not designed for such a flow of people.

Almost the entire management of the club came to the game, as well as the players of the main team – the legendary goalkeeper Alexander Eremenko and defender Yegor Zaitsev. For the latter, the interest was not idle – his younger brother Oleg performed on the ice, already having experience in the KHL as a basis. In 2017, Yegor won the Bratina Cup with Dynamo Balashikha. Oleg was able to bring the Kharlamov Cup medal to the family.

“I haven’t had time to receive congratulations from my brother – he just waved to me from the podium,” Zaitsev Jr. told Izvestia after the awarding ceremony. – I knew that Yegor would come – I gave him tickets. I will try and strive to play in the same link with him next season. I was lucky that in the last KHL draw I already played as a base. I feel more confident now, although at first it was not easy. I’m glad I won before his eyes. It was nice to do it in Krasnogorsk. Yes, it would be great to once again go out on the ice as a youth team at the VTB Arena, but it was symbolic to raise the Kharlamov Cup in Krasnogorsk, since we spent the whole season here. We had to pick it up here. And the atmosphere is great – even louder as the stands are closer. And it seemed that people were yelling more, for which many thanks to them.

In terms of support, the Yaroslavl fans were not inferior to Dynamo, who were allocated a whole sector. There were more than 50 of them. However, for them the youth team is a special cult. Considering the excellent work of the school, not a single pupil has already played in their main team at the KHL level – both Yaroslavl and those who came to the academy from another city. Hence the success of the youth team – over the past five years, Loko won the Kharlamov Cup three times.

Now he did not stop to reach him even the absence of mentors who led the Yaroslavl people to that triumph. Former head coach Dmitry Krasotkin and goalkeeping coach Yegor Podomatsky have been working at the headquarters of the main team for two years. But it was clear that the “railroad workers” would not give up so easily.

General triumph

Dynamo took the lead 3: 0 to the noise of the fans after the first period. And at the beginning of the second period, she scored the fourth goal. It seemed that everything was decided. Well, Loko managed to close the score gap to a minimum and create tension in the game in the last minutes. Nevertheless, the last word was for the blue and white, who, with a score of 6: 5, struck an empty net at the last minute.

“The rival did not want to lose, so he fought until the last minute, and the intrigue remained until the end,” Dynamo forward Dmitry Zlodeev told Izvestia. – Of course, I wanted to play at the VTB Arena, but it is logical that everything ended here, in Krasnogorsk, since our journey began here. Moreover, thanks to our best fans, crazy support – what is there, what is here.

This season was special for Zlodeev. In November, he traveled with the Russian youth team to Helsinki to the Karjala Cup tournament of senior national teams as part of the Eurotour. There our team unexpectedly won all three matches and took the trophy. True, the injury prevented Dmitry from going to the World Youth Championship in Edmonton in December.

– I was more upset because of the injury than because of the inability to go to the MFM, – said the hockey player. – Probably, it is more difficult to win the Kharlamov Cup, because it lasts the whole season, and Karjala is more fleeting. But experience in the national team helped me. However, due to injury for me, the playoffs, in fact, began as a new championship.

Dynamo goalkeeper Vadim Zherenko was named the most valuable player of the season. This was especially honorable for the coach of the goalkeepers of MHC Dynamo Ildar Davydov, the son of the coach of the goalkeepers of the Russian national team Rashit Davydov.

“My father has already congratulated on the victory,” Ildar Davydov told Izvestia. – I think he already looked at Zherenko carefully, made some conclusions about him. I am glad that he was recognized as the most valuable player. Vadim showed himself great in the season and the playoffs, he was a real fighter. He’s a good fellow, quickly absorbs and changes. Will it be difficult for him to break into the base next season after the contract extension with Eremenko? I think they will make a good tandem.

In the KHL and VHL playoff finals, the denouement is also close. The winner of the Petrov Cup (the main prize of the Major League) can be determined as early as Saturday, if the Khanty-Mansiysk Ugra win at home against the Novokuznetsk Metallurg. So far the score is 3: 1 in favor of Ugra. In the Gagarin Cup, CSKA Moscow beat Avangard Omsk in a series 2: 1. On Saturday, the teams will play the fourth match in Balashikha. If the army team wins, they can win the trophy on Monday following the results of the fifth meeting.