Archive for October 2010
After being released from HK Riga just several days ago, 20-year-old Latvian forward Ronalds Cinks has now joined another MHL club Krylia Sovetov for a try-out, reports LETA news agency.
Cinks was released from HK Riga as he did not meet the expectations of the club. Both the coaching staff and Cinks himself agreed on breaking the contract. Unofficial sources, however, were informing that Cinks was punished for disregarding the disciplinary terms of HK Riga.
Krylia Sovetov has also a VHL team, where another Latvian Sergejs Pecura is currently spending already his second season. In the recent years also Roberts Bukarts and Ainars Podzins (both now playing for Dinamo Riga) have played there.
This season Cinks played 12 games with HK Riga, scoring a goal and adding six assists. Throughout the past two seasons Cinks was also repeatedly recalled to Dinamo Riga of the KHL, where played a total of 20 games.
On January 16, 2011 the first-ever Kontinental Hockey League Winter Classic might take place in Riga, Latvia. As of now it is only one of the proposals, where to host the Dinamo Riga – SKA St. Petersburg regular season game, as Arena Riga, due to a concert for Latvian composer Raimonds Pauls 75th anniversary, is already occupied, reports Kas Jauns.
It is proposed that the game could take place in the Skonto Stadium, just a couple of hundred metres away from Arena Riga. Skonto Stadium, built in 2000, is the national soccer stadium of Latvia, with a seating capacity of only 10,000 [just says how popular soccer is in Latvia]. The other options include playing the game in Liepaja Ice Arena or Inbox.lv Ice Arena, both having a capacity of only around 1000 seats.
Up until now, Dinamo Riga has played five of its home games outside Arena Riga – in the autumn of 2008-09 two games were held in Inbox.lv Ice Arena and another two were played in Espoo, Finland, while last season, also due to arena being already occupied by other event, one game against Severstal Cherepovets was held in Liepaja. Inbox.lv serves also as the training facility for both Dinamo Riga and HK Riga.
“As of now, a decision has not been made, because it is only one of the proposals. Of course, we would really appreciate playing againsta SKA in Arena Riga, but we very well understand that maestro [Raimonds Pauls] has an anniversary,” said Zigmars Priede, the Director of Hockey Operations. “That would be nothing new, as the world has already experience of organising such games.”
This game would not become the first Kontinental Hockey League game under clear sky, as the first-ever KHL All-Star game in 2009 was held in Red Square, Moscow. Unfortunately, at the time temperature in Moscow was far below zero [approx. -20 °C] and the game attracted only around 2000 spectators. Luckily, January in Riga should not be as tough.
HK Riga, the farm club of the Kontinental Hockey League’s Dinamo Riga, has announced that it has released 20-year-old Latvian forward Ronalds Cinks from the MHL club.
According to the official statement, he did not meet the expectations and both the coaching staff and Cinks himself agreed on breaking the contract. Unofficial sources, however, have been informing that Cinks was punished for disregarding the disciplinary terms of HK Riga.
In a short conversation with sportacentrs.com Cinks commented: “That is not true, I was not released for disciplinary violations. During the next few days I will have to sort out, where to practice, in order to maintain my physical form, and as of now I have no idea, where I will pursue my career.”
During the past two seasons Cinks was called up to Dinamo Riga several times and appeared on a total of 20 games, while this season he has played 12 games with HK Riga, posting one goal and adding six assists.
19-year-old Latvian defenseman Ralfs Freibergs, who is currently playing his second season with the Texas Tornado, has been announced the NAHL South Division Player of the Week.
On Saturday, in a game against Amarillo Bulls, Freibergs posted a NAHL season-high five assists and, with a total of 16 (2+14) points in 11 games Freibergs currently is the leading league’s defenseman in scoring.
Tornado head coach Tony Curtale commented: “I am happy to see Ralfs get this recognition because he has overcome a lot of barriers since arriving late last season from Latvia. He has great vision and has the ability to create offense for his teammates. I believe he is one of the most skilled defensemen in the NAHL and will play at a very high level one day.”
Also Latvian forward Nils Semjonovs is playing in the league and, after six played games with Springfield Jr. Blues, has moved to Aberdeen Wings, in a total of nine played games posting four goals.
In an interview to allhockey.ru, Ainars Podzins, who was drafted by Dinamo Riga this summer, thus moving back from Russia to his native Latvia, talks about his time in Riga, about playing for Dinamo and his first game in the KHL. We now present you a fragment of the interview, kindly translated by Alessandro Seren Rosso.
Were you nervous before your first KHL game?
Podzins: “Well, is there a reason to be nervous about? I was brought as the thirteenth forward. I was just watching the game. Though I wasn’t nervous when, during the game against Neftekhimik, they said me: ‘Podzins, get ready, it’s your turn.’ We were winning 6-3. And I got to play two shifts. I am really satisfied about them. I had a shot, I gave a pass, and I played only two minutes. They iced me in the first line with [Mark] Hartigan and [Tomas] Surovy, at [Aleksandrs] Nizivijs’ place. The greatest thing was that they congratulated me more than Karsums, who scored two goals in two games. I could think I won the Olympic Games. I got to the bench and looked at our masseur, and he says ‘Podzins, you did that?’ And everyone from the team congratulated, ‘Bravo Podzins, well done’.”
You’ve got some interesting nicknames.
Podzins: “Yes, they call me ‘Poga’ [meaning a ‘button’ in Latvian], which is similar to my surname. But the most popular is ‘Stallone’, [Vitaly] Karamnov called me that way when he saw me without a jersey for the first time. I’m not that big, but I am well-built.”
Next to whom do you sit in the locker room?
Podzins: “I sit next to veterans, next to [Girts] Ankipans, not far from Nizivijs.
Do you talk more with the younger players?
Podzins: “Oddly enough I don’t. I mostly talk with veterans, especially with Ankipans, we sit next each other. I also try to talk with foreigners, but my English is very bad.”
But do you talk with them?
Podzins: “Yeah, I think [Mark] Hartigan already grow tired of me.”
Podzins: “For some time we were living at the same hotel, and I didn’t know when we had the practice. So I went to his room, and I saw that he was sleeping. So I excused myself and asked, and he said: ‘in two hours’, then he shut the door. Then later a foreigner asked him: ‘Mark, how did you sleep?’ And he replied: ‘Good, until I was awakened’.”
How do you like Riga?
Podzins: “It’s astounding! In Latvia they love hockey. Can you imagine that someone would ask me an autograph after a game? But if [former NHL star Sandis] Ozolins or Nizivijs arrive, then 30-40 persons would arrive in no time, and they can’t literally get out. They have crazy fans.”
Where do you live?
Podzins: “I live in an apartment in Piņķi at the second floor. At the first floor live other two guys from HK Riga, Martins Jakovlevs and Eriks Sevcenko. Everything is at high level. I can get to the practices on feet and they always bring me to the games.”
Did you have any problems with the language?
Podzins: “It was strange at the start. I went to the locker room and everyone was talking in Latvian. Now I’m used to it. Everyone talks to me in Russian. Practices in both the main team and in the junior teams are run in Russian language. But if I sit with other five Latvians, they talk in their own language. And I literally know only a couple of words.”
Will you learn the language?
Podzins: “I’ve already promised that to the fans! But now I have no time, I’m always playing. It would be easier if everyone would talk to me in Latvian, I’d quickly learn many words.”
You dreamed for the whole life to play for Dinamo. And now you play for them. Is it like you
Podzins: “It’s even better! I’m happy because my dream came true. In spite, I’m the youngest player of the team everyone treats me very well. They take care about everything and you only have to play. The coaches and the players, in both first and junior team, make everything possible so that you can really develop and I’m very grateful for this.”