Posts Tagged ‘Eriks Sevcenko’
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)
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.”
This evening Latvian U20 national team played already the second game of the sixth Sergei Zholtok Memorial Cup held in Riga. After winning the Belarusian U20 team 3:1 yesterday, Latvians suffered a loss to Russian U18 team 3:5, with four goals scored by Maxim Shalunov.
The game set off in a relatively high tempo, with both teams crushing the net, however, in the sixth minute of the game Maxim Shalunov scored already on the first powerplay of the night. Minutes later Latvians took the initiave of the game and tied the score, when Girts Jansons put the puck in after a rebound from Denis Perevozhchikov’s pads, scoring already his second goal of the tournament. Already late in the period Shalunov scored just another goal.
The second period began with two powerplays for the Latvian team, and in the latter of them Latvians crushed the net with many shots, however Perevozhchikov kept the puck out of it. In the middle of the period Shalunov and the only 1994-born player of the tournament Mikhail Grigorenko were put in the same powerplay unit and almost immediately Grigorenko increased Russian lead to 3:1. After a horrible mistake by defender Raimonds Tubelis, Shalunov was left alone in the front of the net and faced no problems beating Janis Kalnins. However, with a couple of minutes left in the period, Edgars Abolins scored a one-timer goal to make it 4:2.
In the third period Russian team had paced down, which allowed Latvians to attack most of the time and led the Russian defenceman to earn several successive penalties. Latvians were down by two goals and the game could have been turned around, if it was not for the admirable performance of Perevozhchikov. When there were only three minutes left in the regulation, Raimonds Tubelis once again forgot about Shalunov, who scored already his fourth goal of the night. With one minute left in a game, during a delayed call, Reinis Demiters managed to shoot a heavy shot, which found its way to the back of the net, but that was the end of it. Russians celebrated a 5:3 victory.
Generally, Latvian first line (Upitis – Bicevskis – Biezais) proved themselves to be capable of surrounding the opposing net and they had many great chances throughout the game. Another notable players was the second line center Ronalds Kenins. As of defenders, Martins Porejs left the greatest impression for me. With around five-six more additions to the team, I feel optimistic about the Latvian opportunity to win their U20 World Championship Division 1 group and once again play in Elite Division in 2012.
Latvian team roster:
Eriks Sevcenko – Martins Jakovlevs; Juris Upitis – Maris Bicevskis – Elvijs Biezais
Reinis Demiters – Martins Porejs; Miks Lipsbergs – Ronalds Kenins – Vladislavs Dobrenkijs
Romans Sevcenko – Toms Taurins; Arturs Mickevics – Edgars Abolins – Maris Dilevka
Raimonds Tubelis – Ronalds Gritans; Egils Kalns – Bruno Zabis – Girts Jansons