Latvian Hockey News Report

By Didzis Rudmanis

Archive for the ‘Latvian league’ Category

Does Latvian championship even matter to the federation?

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(written by Ivars Zvirgzdiņš and originally published on Sportacentrs.com)

Shortly before the start of the 2012/13 season, Latvian hockey federation has published calendar for the upcoming season of the Latvian league. After a thorough exploration, myself being a mundane Latvian hockey follower, I was struck with dozens of questions and thoughts regarding the current state of Latvian hockey.

The first and most important question is in whose interests was the new calendar created. Much time isn’t needed to find an answer to it – already last year both Prizma Riga and Juniors Riga had problems with starting both in MHL B and Latvian league. Several of Juniors Riga games were rescheduled and there were others problems with Juniors’ participation in the league as well. For example, the federation seemed to not notice Juniors Riga decision of ignoring a few regular season games versus Lithuanian Energija Elektrenai, despite the fact that the club didn’t have MHL B games at that time. In the upcoming season Metalurgs Liepaja-2 will become already the third club that will play in both MHL B and Latvian league.

But let’s return our attention to the calendar of the next season! First of all, this year there will be eight teams participating in the league (there were 10 teams last year). This season SK LSPA/Riga has decided to drop out of the tournament and at this point also Energija Elektrenai isn’t among the competitors of the league.

Only eight teams participating in the tournament is nothing new or tragic, as the league has experienced already several such seasons in the past. The unfortunate part of the story begins, when we count the number of games each team will play – there are going to be a total of 112 regular seasons games, meaning only 28 matches for each of the teams. Also the playoff stage will start only with the semifinals (instead of six teams fighting for the title in the previous years). For a comparison, the newly established Latvian Enthusiast league (an amateur one) each team is planned to have 19 games and playoffs starting from the quarterfinal stage. Continuing our comparison, both EBEL and Belarusian league has more than 50 games in their regular season.

The motivation of decreasing the game pressure on the three teams participating in MHL B is apparent, but immediately another question arises – does the effort of growing our upcoming junior generation in the Russian hockey system leave the other Latvian players, who are already past their junior age, without a chance of playing a proper amount of games during the season? We have plenty of examples of players showing what they are really capable of when they have already reached 25 years or even older. There must be certain circumstances under which such players could develop, and one of them is a chance of playing a decent number of games. Could 28 games per season be considered a decent number or do we once again have to rely on Russia or some other European country on the development of Latvian players?

The number of Latvian hockey talents is far from being rich, thus we have to be able of acknowledging them and offering them a chance of proper development. Still, we also have to point out that a notable proportion of the younger players don’t even wait until they reach 20 years and become useless to the Latvian hockey scene – many players opt to play abroad starting from a very early age. Who can even estimate how many talented players Latvian hockey has lost in such a way?

Returning to the issue of the participation of the Lithuanian team Energija Elektrenai, we must conclude that there is no consensus reached yet, as clearly it is a clash of two different interest groups. Already prior the previous season team’s participation in the league wasn’t clear until the very last minute, and the situation seems to be same now as well. Although Latvian federation hasn’t confirmed Energija’s participation, in Lithuanian press the executive members of the team are telling about team’s intentions of renovating the Elektrenai ice rink and club’s readiness of competing in the Latvian league. It seems that, in the name of the three teams participating in MHL B, Latvian federation is ready to give up our years long cooperation with the Lithuanian team. It is quite odd, as Latvian federation expects a helpful hand from other countries, yet we are not willing to help the development of hockey in other countries.

To sum up, there is only one real conclusion – dear Mr. Lipmans (head of Latvian federation) and the owners of the Latvian teams, perhaps the time has come to cease imitating activity and start working on the development of the league? A development, whose aim would be clear to the Latvian hockey fans and most likely to the Latvian hockey federation as well.

Written by Didzis Rudmanis

September 3, 2012 at 20:42

The Major List: Latvian league roster applications

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This article(let’s be modest, this list) reveals approximately 70% of all the players, who will step on the ice for a Latvian league game next season. Today a list of roster applications was published in Sporta Avize. However, HK Ogre and Lithuanian Orakulas Vilnius have not submitted applications as of yet.

HK Ozolnieki/Monarhs

The team has not added a single player to the roster, the teams will still consist of veteran Latvian players, who have played for Ozolnieki/Monarhs (Vilki Riga, HK NIK’s Brih Riga) for many, many years. Naturally, team also includes several younger players, like Kristaps Stigis or Aldis Pizans.

HK Ozolnieki/Monarhs roster:

G Kristaps Stigis 1987
G Sergejs Kuznecovs 1978
D Aldis Pizans 1989
D Aleksandrs Siskovics 1972
D Andris Vegners 1979
D Edgars Rozentals 1976
D Janis Lukasevskis 1970
D Mihails Bogdanovs 1976
D Nikolajs Jakovlevs 1972
D Vadims Solovjovs 1970
D Vitalijs Goncaruks 1979
F Artjoms Ogorodnikovs 1989
F Eriks Bisenieks 1982
F Janis Vegners 1977
F Maris Dreilings 1970
F Nikita Krilovs 1985
F Nikolajs Jerofejevs 1986
F Olegs Koreskovs 1984
F Peteris Ostosovs 1972
F Romans Glazkovs 1984
F Sergejs Povecerovskis 1960
F Vadims Romanovskis 1978
F Viktors Lobacovs 1986
F Vilnis Vabolis 1967
F Vitalijs Gurevics 1972

Metalurgs Liepaja-2

Metalurgs farm club has only a couple of minor additions, but most of the new faces on the Metalurgs Liepaja-2 roster will come from the Metalurgs U18 team.

Metalurgs Liepaja-2 roster:

G Janis Kalnins 1991
G Nauris Grinvalds 1990
G Vadims Miscuks 1993
D Arturs Kuzmenkovs 1993
D Edgars Siksna 1993
D Gatis Bruders 1991
D Reinis Demiters 1991
D Romans Sevcenko 1991
D Sandis Sostaks 1993
F Bruno Zabis 1991
F Daniel Bogdziul 1994
F Davis Paipa 1991
F Egils Kalns 1991
F Pauls Hodzko 1993
F Peteris Pujats 1990
F Renars Kalinovskis 1993
F Rodijs Razmuss 1990
F Sergejs Tarabrins 1992
F Valters Freijs 1994
? Dmitrijs Labovskis 1993

DHK Latgale

DHK Latgale roster:

G Arturas Kuzmicius 1990
G Raivis Cimoska 1993
G Ruslans Kurelass 1991
D Andrejs Kondrovskis-Kudrjavskis 1993
D Edgars Apelis 1989
D Imants Lescovs 1994
D Kalvis Ozols 1993
D Sergejs Petuskovs 1991
D Vadims Sinakovs 1992
D Vladislavs Balakuns 1988
F Aleksandrs Kercs 1967
F Andrei Lukin 1989
F Arnis Kusins 1991
F Arturs Sevcenko 1994
F Deniss Baskatovs 1993
F Deniss Martjusovs 1984
F Eduards Bullitis 1986
F Egidius Bauba 1977
F Ivans Kokins 1991
F Jevgenijs Fjodorovs 1993
F Kristians Drelings 1993
F Leonards Rimjans 1994
F Ralfs Barkevics 1993
F Renats Vabiscevics 1990
F Rihards Grigors 1992
F Sandis Virkstenis 1991
F Vitalijs Lescovs 1991
F Vladislavs Lescovs 1993
? Marks Zeldess 1993

Zemgale

Zemgale roster:

F Andis Abolins 1986
? Lauris Dzerins ?
D Aigars Mironovics 1976
D Hardijs Paradnieks 1987
F Eriks Ozollapa 1987
D Kriss Kupcus 1990
F Henrijs Uzraugs 1990
D Otomars Plinta 1990
D Rihards Strauss 1993
F Arturs Batraks 1990
G Kristaps Kruze 1993
D Kaspars Kragis 1992
D Miks Komuls 1993
F Janis Zarins 1993
F Dairis Zarins 1992
G Renars Kazanovs 1984
F Arturs Abolins 1994
G Janis Auzins 1991
F Edgars Cuss 1992
F Janis Sahno 1991

SK LSPA/Riga

SK LSPA/Riga roster:

G Karlis Zakrevskis 1993
G Ronalds Burnickis 1988
G Silvestrs Kulins 1993
D Andrejs Smirnovs 1992
D Arvis Petunovs 1993
D Dmitrijs Ankudinovs 1991
D Maksims Krutjko 1993
D Ojars Smaukstelis 1993
D Viktors Sorins 1992
F Armands Holms 1991
F Dags Laucins 1992
F Gints Leitis 1992
F Ivans Dmitrijevs 1992
F Janis Zarins 1991
F Juris Ziemins 1993
F Karlis Hirss 1992
F Lauris Ziemins 1989
F Livars Lans 1993
F Maksims Firsovs 1991
F Oto Everss 1992
F Pauls Krumins 1993
F Pavels Tribuncovs 1993
F Rihards Kepitis 1992
F Sandis Saulite 1993
F Viktors Rutkovskis 1993
? Rozenbergs ?
? Zagars ?

Prizma Riga

Prizma Riga roster:

G Janis Liepa 1993
G Raivis Turks 1993
D Ansis Brikainis 1993
D Edvins Kolcins 1992
D Freibergs ?
D Nauris Buskevics 1993
D Renars Zeltins 1994
D Ricards Berzins 1992
D Rinalds Audziss 1993
D Vladislavs Dudins 1992
F Aigars Pauce 1993
F Artjoms Sutovs 1994
F Daniels Riekstins 1994
F Edgars Dzirkalis 1993
F Edgars Kurmis 1993
F Edgars Opulskis 1994
F Eduards Zenins 1993
F Filips Plostnieks 1994
F Justas Steponaitis 1993
F Kristaps Riekstins 1993
F Mikus Hermanis 1993
F Rihards Malinovskis 1990
? Ancs ?
? Brants ?
? Mackevics ?
? Mitjanovs ?
? Savrinovics ?
? Zarovs ?

Written by Didzis Rudmanis

August 24, 2010 at 10:44

Posted in Latvian league

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Bullitis resigns with DHK Latgale

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Also Latvian league clubs are continuing their preparation for the upcoming season and DHK Latgale has announced that it has resigned 24-year-old forward Eduards Bullitis, who played for the club already last season, informs club’s homepage.

Last season he finished just behind Lithuanian teammate Egidijus Bauba, who collected 58 points and was the league top scorer. Bullitis finished with 56 points. By the way, also Bauba will play this season in DHK Latgale.

The team has also made several addition to their roster, which includes Lithuanian goalkeeper Arturas Kuzmicius, 18-year-old forward Rihards Grigors, who appeared in eight games for HK Ozolnieki/Monarhs last season, defender Edgars Apelis, who played for Dinamo-Juniors Riga last season. The club will also see the return of Aleksejs Matvejevs, who spent the last season with Bietigheim-Bissingen U20 of the German U20 league.

September 11 – the kickoff of Latvian league 2010/11

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Although Latvian Hockey Federation’s meeting took place already August 11, the new press secretary of the federation decided that there was no need to inform the public about the conclusions made any earlier than five days later.

It was clarified that the league is going to start on September 11 and will have six rounds, which means that all seven(eight?) teams would have to play 36(42?) games. However, federation is still working on the calendar.

As of yet, participation of seven teams has been confirmed:

  • Metalurgs Liepaja-2
  • DHK Latgale
  • HK Ogre
  • HS Riga/LSPA
  • Prizma Riga
  • Zemgale
  • HK Ozolnieki/Monarhs

During the meeting teams came to an agreement that the league will also include a Lithuanian team, who would play their home games at Vilnius’ Siemens Arena, which has the capacity of 8750. At this point I have something very important to make clear – even in the very brightest days of Latvian league(mid-1990’s) 5000-seat Rigas Sporta pils was almost never sold-out. In the past two seasons an attendance of 500 would have been considered a shockingly high one. Also, there is no clue, which is the Lithuanian team willing to play in Latvia. Is it ambitious Vetra Vilnius, who was never really established(without a single personnel/player signed) and failed to enter KHL this summer?

A few days ago it was also announced that on September 1-4 already the sixth Sergei Zholtok Memorial Cup will take place. It is an exhibition tournament, where usually four U20 national teams take part. This year the tournament will include Latvian, Belarusian, Danish U20 teams, as well as the Russian U18 team.