Posts Tagged ‘Latvian national team’
Latvian goaltender Martins Raitums who plays for the Beibarys Atyrau and is a candidate for the Latvian national team World championship roster is currently leading the Kazakh league regarding both the goals against average and save percentage.
Kazakh media also note that the coaching staff of Ertis Pavlodar must be biting their elbows, as in the past summer the first rumours told that Raitums is about to join Ertis, however the club chose to sign Slovakian Stanislav Petrik instead. Petrik is not among the leading goalkeepers in the league. With the back-up goalie in the form of Ukrainian national team player Vadim Seliverstov, Beibarys goalie line is considered to be the best in the league.
Currently Raitums has played 20 games, helping the team to win in 15 of them, and posting a goals against average of 1.68 pucks. Raitums has also reflected 93.43 percent of the shots and had two shutouts.
Finnish SM league club HPK has made two announcements today – Latvian forward Kaspars Saulietis, who was in the club for a try-out, has signed a one-year contract, but another Latvian Armands Berzins, who played parts of past two seasons with Dinamo Riga, has joined the club for a try-out.
Armands Berzins played full 2008/09 with the Dinamo Riga. He was third line center between Lauris Darzins and Mikelis Redlihs. The line had great chemistry, as all three had played together also in Latvian national team and HK Riga 2000, however Armands had one disadvantage – throughout the years he became too slow for his line partners. Dinamo Riga signed center Martin Kariya for 2009/10 and Berzins not only lost his spot on the third, but also on the fourth line, as fourth line center often was 1990-born Ronalds Cinks (KHL requires an U20 player on the roster, if the team is willing to play four full lines).
Berzins and Saulietis are not the first Latvian in HPK. In 2005/06, when HPK became the league champion, both Janis Sprukts and Kaspars Astasenko were on the roster, but during the 1990’s also Rodrigo Lavins and Vjaceslavs Fanduls spent one season with the club.
Finnish Suomi-Sarja (third tier) club Hermes, where five Latvian where trying to earn a spot on the team’s roster, decided to sign two of them – defender Gints Purins and forward Gatis Gricinskis. Both players signed a one-year contract with the club. Renars Undelis is still with the club, while Janis Bullitis has been released.
Still, they are only few of the Latvians, currently for a try-out in Finnish clubs. Edgars Cermnihs and Vadims Vabiscevics are still trying to impress the coaching staff of S-Kiekko (Suomi-sarja). Older brother of Gints Purins, Janis, is currently fighting for a spot on the Mestis (second thier) club Kiekko-Vantaa roster. Also Latvian national team forward Kaspars Saulietis is pursuing his try-out at HPK of SM-liiga.
Outside Finland, Elvis Zelubovskis is for a try-out in Vastervik IK of the Swedish Divison 1, but the 17-year-old is currently in Salzburg, trying to earn a spot on the second team’s roster.
39-year-old Latvian veteran Andrejs Ignatovics has joined Polish club TKH Torun. Latvian forward spent previous season with Brest of French 2nd league.
During his long career Ignatovics has played in seven World Championships for Latvian national team, but his career highlight is the 2001/02 season, which he spent in Djurgarden of Swedish Elitserien.
Andrejs is joining already two Latvians at the club – Toms Bluks and Edgars Adamovics. Between 2007 and 2009 all three of them played together in ASK Ogre.
TKH Torun will soon begin a three team tournament, whose winner will qualify for a spot in Polish league.
Dinamo Riga has made their second cuts and, as a result, Kenneth Bergqvist, Eriks Ozollapa, Sergejs Pecura and Igor Biryukov have been released from the team. In the same time, Juris Upitis and Raimonds Vilkoits will continue to prepare for the season with HK Riga.
The amount of players with try-out contracts has decreased largely and currently only Edgars Lusins, Vitaly Karamnov, Ainars Podzins, Juraj Simek and Juris Stals have a contract for the next season. Still, only Vitaly Karamnov was on the roster in yesterday’s exhibition game (Lusins was dressed as the second goalie).
Another player currently still with the team is 19-year-old defender Martins Jakovlevs, who is not likely to win a spot on the roster. However, in case on injuries, he might be a great call-up, because he has born in 1991, which makes him U20 also for the upcoming season – in order to dress four full lines in the KHL, at least one of the players must be U20.
While Kenneth Bergqvist showed rather disappointing performance at the yesterday’s game, Eriks Ozollapa and Igor Biryukov did not even have a chance to show themselves in front of the fans. The fact that Sergejs Pecura has also been released is a little bit more surprising, as he played four games for Dinamo in 2008/09, but, prior 2009/10, was traded to Krylia Sovetov for rights to Latvian Ainars Podzins. At the end of the previous season he even played for Latvian national team at the World Championships.