Despite the Kazakh federation’s report that 34-year-old Latvian defender Atvars Tribuncovs has joined Beibarys Atyrau of the Kazakh league, he has signed a contract with Belarussian Extraleague club HC Gomel till the end of this season.
Still, there was some truth about the report – Tribuncovs indeed was willing to join Beibarys, but for some unknown reason it did not work out, and he never arrived at Atyrau. Instead, he joined HC Gomel, having a fantastic debut – in his first game with the club Tribuncovs posted a goal and added two assists.
In the past the 34-year-old defender has played for many seasons in such leagues as Russian Super League, Swedish Elitserien, DEL. He spent also majority of 2008-09 with Dinamo Riga of the KHL. In 2009-10 he played for HC Karlovy Vary of the Czech Extraleague. However, late in the season he was loaned to a Czech 2nd league club and failed to sign a contract during the summer. Before joining HC Gomel, Tribuncovs played several games for HK SMScredit.lv of the Latvian league.
Latvian U20 national team with a 3:1 victory over Belarussian U20 team finished it’s triumph at the Division 1 tournament in Babruysk, Belarus, returning to the Elite division for the 2012 tournament.
Janis Kalnins finished the tournament with the best GAA, as well as SVS%, although the best goaltender award went to British goalie Ben Bowns (who reflected a total of 198 shots, three times more than Kalnins did). However, the best defender award went to Ralfs Freibergs of the Latvian team. The top scorer of the Latvian team was Juris Upitis with 8 (3+5) points, closely followed by the 16-year-old talent Zemgus Girgensons with 7 (4+3) points. Head coach Leonids Beresnevs announced Ronalds Kenins as the MVP of the Latvian team.
Latvian U20 results:
|December 13||Great Britain U20||6:1||Girgensons (2x), Biezais (2x), Pelss, Upitis|
|December 14||Ukraine U20||9:0||Freibergs, Biezais, Upitis, Girgensons, Tubelis, Pelss, Kalvitis, Salija, Jansons|
|December 16||Japan U20||2:1||Bicevskis (2x)|
|December 17||Italy U20||1:0||Girgensons|
|December 19||Belarus U20||3:1||Dikis, Zabis, Upitis|
Latvian U20 statistics:
(in bold – players eligible to play at the 2012 World U20 Championship)
Latvian defender Aleksandrs Galkins who played for HK Riga of the MHL has joined another MHL club – Belarussian Zubry Minsk, reports kasjauns.lv. Galkins already spent the whole previous season in Belarus, while playing for HK Brest of the Belarussian Extraleague.
With 13 (2+11) points in 27 games Galkins was the leading HK Riga defender in scoring. Also his +/- of +8 was third highest among the defensemen of the club. However, one of the main reasons why Galkins might have left the club was the time on ice which had dramatically decreased since the beginning of the season.
This will make Galkins the fifth Latvian in foreign MHL clubs, as both Aleksandrs Kercs Jr. and Edgars Ulescenko are playing for the other Belarussian club in the league – Yunost Minsk, while Ronalds Cinks and Artjoms Dasutins are playing for accordingly MHC Krylia Sovetov and HK Sheriff.
Just several days after Kaspars Astasenko was released from Kazakh league club Beibarys Atyrau, the number of Latvians in the club has been increased to five, with the signing of defenders Atvars Tribuncovs and Sergejs Tjoluskins, reports Kazakh federation’s homepage.
After failing to make the Beibarys Atyrau roster, 27-year-old Latvian Sergejs Tjoluskins signed with Lindlovens IF of the Swedish Division 1, where he played 22 games. Atvars Tribuncovs, however, began the season with HK SMS Credit of the Latvian league. 34-year-old defender in the past has played several seasons in such leagues as Russian Super League, Swedish Elitserien, DEL. He spent also majority of 2008-09 with Dinamo Riga of the KHL.
The very first news on Latvians joining Beibarys appeared in August, when Beibarys held their pre-season camp in Latvia and three Latvians joined the club for a try-out. A little while later another two Latvians joined the camp, but at the end of the camp only Raitums, Birzins and Smirnovs were signed, leaving Elvis Zelubovskis and Sergejs Tjoluskins without a contract. Later on also Kaspars Astasenko joined Beibarys, however he was released from the club after playing 14 games.
As Kazakhstan is a country far, far away, the information about the three Latvians playing for Beibarys Atyrau is usually far from being easily found, however recently some team statistics were released, making it possible for us to evaluate Latvian performance so far.
Martins Raitums, who was presented in summer as one of the biggest names to join the Kazakh league so far, is currently the starting goalie of Beibarys. Still, the second goalie Vadim Seliverstov has played a solid amount (14) of games too. And, no matter in how competitive league a goalie is playing, a SVS% of 94.17 is still a very respectable figure.
The 35-year-old Latvian defender was released from the club already more than a week ago. His return to the professional ice hockey, after not playing for the whole 2009-10, didn’t turn out as successfully as he might have wished. Earlier in the season he did not play at all, in order to regain his form, however after 14 games played he was released from the club. It is said that the reason behind it was Astasenko’s lack of attitude.
Latvian defender Birzins, who played for Dinamo Riga farm club last season, has found himself dressed for only 10 out of 30 Beibarys games so far and he is one of seven Beibarys defender with a positive +/-. This season there have been a total of 13 defenders playing for Beibarys.
27-year-old Andrejs Smirnovs is a regular player on Beibarys roster, and on the team’s top scoring list he is ninth. The team’s top scorer currently is Andrei Pelevin with 27 points.