Latvian Hockey News Report

By Didzis Rudmanis

Posts Tagged ‘DHK Latgale

Hvorostinins and Birzins return to Latvia

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Latvian hockey players forward Vitalijs Hvorostinins and defender Ricards Birzins have left their clubs and returned to Latvia. While Hvorostinins played for the Val-d’Ior Foreurs of the QMJHL, Birzins spent the larger part of the season with Beibarys Atyrau of the Kazakh league.

18-year-old Hvorostinins who was picked this summer by Foreurs during the 2010 CHL Import Draft has returned to Latvia, rejoining DHK Latgale of the Latvian league, and playing already his first game with the club. Hvorostinins already played for DHK Latgale last season. For a longer period of time Hvorostinins was injured, managing to play only three games for the Val-d’Ior Foreurs, however he did not manage to earn a single point.

In the same time, defender Ricards Birzins has decided to leave Beibarys Atyrau. As of mid-December (latest statistics I got hold of) Birzins had been dressed only for 10 out of 30 games played at that moment. The lack of trust from the coaching staff must have been the main reason why Birzins has left the club. Ricards has now returned to Riga. As January 31 which is the trade deadline for majority of leagues in Europe is drawing closer and closer, hopefully Ricards will manage to find a new club.

Latvian U18 crushes Austrians twice

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During the past two days Latvian U18 national team in Riga played two games against the Austrian U18 team, crushing it both times with 7:1 and 7:2. The top scorer of the Latvian team was 1994-born Roberts Lipsbergs, who scored four goals.

Latvian U18 national team missed several key players. First of all, it was 1994-born Zemgus Girgensons, who is having a superb season in the USHL, also Edgars Klavins, who is one of the leading scorers of the Swedish U18 league, wasn’t in Riga. Edgars Kurmis, who plays for HK Riga, was in Denmark with the Latvian U20 team. Another possible miss-out was Artjoms Dasutins, who is playing for HK Sheriff of the MHL.

Latvian U18 results:

7:1 Austria November 12
7:2 Austria November 13

Latvian U18 statistics:

Player GP G A P PIM YOB Team League
F Roberts Lipsbergs 2 4 0 4 2 1994 ?
F Regnars Kalinovskis 2 2 1 3 0 1993 Metalurgs Liepaja-2 Latvia
F Arturs Birstins 2 2 1 3 2 1993 SC Riessersee U18 German DNL
F Martins Lavrovs 2 1 2 3 16 1994 Arlanda J18 Swedish U18
D Edgars Siksna 2 1 2 3 4 1993 Metalurgs Liepaja-2 Latvia
F Juris Ziemins 2 1 2 3 0 1993 HK Riga MHL
F Toms Andersons* 2 0 3 3 4 1993 ?
F Valters Freijs 2 1 1 2 2 1994 Metalurgs Liepaja-2 Latvia
F Rihards Remins 2 1 1 2 4 1993 Prizma Riga Latvia
F Nikolajs Jelisejevs 2 1 1 2 2 1994 DHK Latgale Latvia
D Kristaps Nimanis 2 0 1 1 0 1993 ?
F Sandis Sostaks 2 0 1 1 2 1993 Metalurgs Liepaja-2 Latvia
F Rinalds Rautensilds 2 0 1 1 0 1993 ?
D Pauls Zvirbulis 2 0 0 0 2 1993 ?
D Andrejs Kondrovskis-Kudrjavskis 2 0 0 0 0 1993 DHK Latgale Latvia
D Janis Eisaks 2 0 0 0 4 1994 ?
D Emils Potapovs 2 0 0 0 2 1994 ?
D Patriks Skuratovs 2 0 0 0 0 1994 ?
D Kriss Lipsbergs 2 0 0 0 4 1993 HK Riga MHL
F Ricards Kondrats 1 0 0 0 0 1994 ?
Player GP GAA YOB Team League
G Vadims Miscuks 1 4.12 1993 Metalurgs Liepaja U18 Latvia U18
G Nils Grinfogels 1 1.00 1994 ?
G Rihards Cimermanis 1 0.00 1993 ?
  1. Toms Andersons is playing in Switzerland, but the club is unknown.
  2. Players, whose teams are unknown, are playing outside either Latvian or Latvian U18 league.

Pelss talks about his own past

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Once Edmonton Oilers had picked Latvian forward Kristians Pelss in the seventh round of the 2010 NHL Entry Draft, a lot of people wondered, who is this kid. As months passed and Pelss arrived to Edmonton, some of them were resolved, but not a lot about his earlier days was learned. We now offer not only some background info about the player, but also a small conversation with Pelss.

Kristians has began 2010-11 by posting a goal and adding a single assist in 10 games for the Edmonton Oil Kings of the WHL.

Pelss, who was born in Preili, for the first time stepped on ice in Daugavpils, where he began his junior career. At the age of 16 he managed to earn a spot on the DHK Latgale team, which played in the Belarusian league – a professional league, comparable to British Elite Ice Hockey League, French Ligue Magnus or even Austrian EBEL. In 2009-10, when DHK Latgale, due to financial problems, returned to playing in Latvian league, which currently is a half-professional league, Pelss joined Dinamo Juniors Riga, the farm club of KHL’s Dinamo Riga.

Pelss statistics:

2008-2009 DHK Latgale Belarus 31 3 4 7 17
DHK Latgale-2 Latvia 22 9 11 20 24
Daugavpils U20 Latvia U20 8 3 9 12 16
Latvia U18 WJC-18 D1 4 0 1 1 6
2009-2010 Dinamo Juniors Riga Belarus 46 6 3 9 28
Latvia U18 WJC-18 6 2 1 3 0

Kristians also did not mind answering us a couple of questions about his earlier days of his hockey career.

Who encouraged you to start playing hockey?

– When I was eight years old, my father took me to Daugavpils, where at that time an arena had been recently opened, and already before my first practice he bought me a full equipment – by then I never once had skated, but I learned that fairly quick and I really enjoyed it. Before turning to ice hockey, for several years I attended Judo lessons.

Do you consider yourself an alumnus of Metalurgs Liepaja or Daugavpils hockey school? After all, you have spent reasonable time in both of the cities.

– Despite the fact that I gained a lot also during my time in Liepaja, I am without a doubt an alumnus of Daugavpils hockey school, because that is where I started to play and that is where I grew up as a hockey player.

When you returned to Daugavpils, you had just turned 16 years old – did you expect to make the roster of DHK Latgale, who played in the Belarusian league, straight away?

– No, but prior 2008-09 I was coached by Jurijs Agureikins, who let me practice and play together with one up to three years older players than myself, which I am truly thankful to him.

How did you feel, when, being 16 years old, you started playing among professionals?

– Straight away I felt the difference between junior and professional hockey. Still, at least in my opinion, I got used to the professional hockey pretty fast, as my teammates helped me a lot, often saying what I ought to do in different situations.

What relationship do you have with Vitalijs Hvorostinins? [Hvorostinins also comes from Preili and now plays for Val-d’Ior Foreurs in the QMJHL]

– Well, I could say that he is my best friend – we grew up together and for a longer time played together. Also now we regularly talk to each other on Skype, encouraging one another and that really helps, when you don’t see your friends too often.

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 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 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.

Three Latvians drafted in the CHL Import Draft (updated)

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Today Latvian forwards Kristians Pelss, who was drafted into the NHL by Edmonton Oilers three days ago, and Vitalijs Hvorostinins, as well as defender Ricards Berzins(Richards Berzins), were drafted during the CHL Import Draft. Pelss was picked by the Edmonton Oil Kings of WHL #19 overall, while Hvorostinins was selected by Val-d’Or Foreurs #30 overall, but Berzins was picked by Owen Sound Attack #58 overall.

Let me just remind you that last season Pelss played for the Dinamo-Juniors Riga in the Belarusian league. Pelss, who learned the game of hockey in Daugavpils, scored nine points in 48 games last season. He also played in the U18 IIHF World Championship in Minsk, where was one of the Latvian national team leaders, although managed to score only two goals.

Vitalijs Hvorostinins, just like Pelss, learned the game of hockey in Daugavpils and, instead of Pelss, Hvorostinins played in local DHK Latgale last season, scoring 23 (9+14) points in 30 games. He also played several games for the Daugavpils U18 team.

Ricards Berzins spent previous season with HS Prizma/Pardaugava 92 in the Latvian U18 league and did not make the Latvian U18 national team. In 2008-09 he also played 20 games for Latvian league club HS Prizma/Hanza Riga. Before this draft, his name was rather unfamiliar around the Latvian hockey community.

The highest-ever drafted Latvian player in the CHL Import Draft was Agris Saviels, who was the number one draft pick in 1999. He was picked by Owen Sound Attack. In a more recent history, Kaspars Daugavins was the third overall pick in 2006. He was chosen by Toronto St. Michael’s Majors of OHL. Last year Daugavins made his debut in the NHL, playing a single game for the Ottawa Senators.