Latvian Hockey News Report

By Didzis Rudmanis

Posts Tagged ‘Maris Gravitis

Latvian Legion in Kazakhstan

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If during the past season five Latvian players played for Kazakh club Beibarys Atyrau, this season the number of Latvian players in the Kazakh league will certainly grow.

As of now, both Martins Raitums and Andrejs Smirnovs have signed new contracts with Beibarys Atyrau and will stay with the club also for this season. Let me just remind you that Raitums had a tremendous season with Beibarys last year and at the end of the season received the best goaltender award. Similarly to last season, also this year Beibarys is holding its camp in Latvia, so, as a result, the number of Latvian players there is rumoured to be as high as 7 players (including ex-Metalurgs Liepaja players Valerijs Filimonovs and Maris Gravitis).

Four other Latvian players are currently rumoured to have a try-out contract with Kazakh clubs as well. Forwards Edijs Brahmanis and Vladimirs Mamonovs are said to be in the Sary-Arka Karaganda camp in Italy, while defensemen Edmunds Kniksts and Sergejs Tjoluskins are both fighting for a place on Arlan Kokshetau roster.

Notably, six ex-Metalurgs Liepaja players currently have try-out contracts with Kazakh league clubs. The main reason behind that is the tough financial situation of the Latvian club. Just after the previous season club even announced that it might lack finances, in order to compete in the Belarussian Extraleague. Currently the team’s average age is under 21 and during its first pre-season exhibition games it has lost to Kazakh VHL club Kazzinc-Torpedo twice (1:4 and 0:2).

Metalurgs finishes last at Continental Cup

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For the past couple of days Latvian club Metalurgs Liepaja participated in the Continental Cup third round, which was held in Rouen. Unfortunately, Liepaja lost in all three of its games, finishing last in the group. The winner of the group (Rouen) qualified for the Continental Cup Final Four.

Throughout the history of Continental Cup the only Latvian club to play in the Final Four was HK Riga 2000, who finished in the second place in both 2006 and 2008. However, in 2008 the tournament was held in Riga, so that HK Riga 2000 had a guaranteed place there.

Final standings:

Rouen 3 2 0 1 0 12:6 7
Coventry Blaze 3 2 0 0 1 15:9 6
Cracovia Krakow 3 1 1 0 1 10:12 5
Metalurgs Liepaja 3 0 0 0 3 7:17 0

Metalurgs Liepaja games:

November 26 Coventry Blaze 1:6
November 27 Rouen 1:4
November 28 Cracovia Krakow 5:7

Metalurgs Liepaja player statistics:

Vladimirs Mamonovs 3 2 1 3 0
Edgars Brancis 3 2 1 3 2
Juris Stals 3 1 1 2 4
Yuri Navarenko 3 0 2 2 27
Viktors Blinovs 3 1 0 1 0
Edmunds Kniksts 3 1 0 1 4
Janis Andersons 3 0 1 1 0
Toms Zeltins 3 0 1 1 0
Arturas Katulis 3 0 1 1 2
Nerius Alisauskas 3 0 1 1 2
Vents Feldmanis 3 0 1 1 4
Kristers Freibergs 3 0 0 0 0
Gunars Skvorcovs 3 0 0 0 0
Vitalijs Pavlovs 3 0 0 0 0
Maris Gravitis 3 0 0 0 0
Lauris Bajaruns 3 0 0 0 2
Koba Jass 3 0 0 0 2
Valeri Bobkov 3 0 0 0 2
Renars Demiters 3 0 0 0 4
Valerijs Filimonovs 3 0 0 0 4
Maris Jucers 3 5.71 126:03
Dmitrijs Zabotinskis 2 5.56 53:57

Metalurgs Liepaja wins Polish national team

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Latvian club Metalurgs Liepaja spent the last few days in Poland, where it took part in the Sosnowiec Cup, as a part of the team’s pre-season schedule. On August 21, the last day of the cup, Metalurgs Liepaja managed to win over Polish national team and finish the tournament in second place.

On Day 1 Metalurgs Liepaja faced HC Ocelari Trinec of the Czech Extraleague and lost 2:4. Goals for Liepaja were scored by Edgars Brancis and Vladimirs Mamonovs.

Metalurgs line-up:

Dmitrijs Zabotinskis

Vents Feldmanis – Yuri Navarenko; Vladimirs Mamonovs – Artem Gnidenko – Valerijs Filimonovs

Arturas Katulis – Sergei Gubin; Edijs Brahmanis – Edgars Brancis – Gunars Skvorcovs

Renars Demiters – Edmunds Kniksts; Lauris Bajaruns – Vitalijs Pavlovs – Toms Zeltins

Nerius Alisauskas – Glebs Rogoza; Koba Jass – Maris Gravitis – Maris Dilevka(Aldis or Edgars Abolins)

The roster of Metalurgs Liepaja stayed exactly like this for the rest of the tournament. On Day 2 Metalurgs won local Zaglebie Sosnowiec 5:2 with two goals scored by Ukrainian Artem Gnidenko, as well as Lithuanian Arturas Katulis, Vladimirs Mamonovs and Valerijs Filimonovs. In the team’s 2:1 win over Polish NT the goal scorers were Filimonovs and Skvorcovs.

On September 3 Metalurgs Liepaja will play their last exhibition game against Dinamo Riga. The team will begin the regular season on September 8, when it will play against Khimvolokno Mogilev.

Metalurgs Liepaja is ready to start

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It has been already some time, since the Latvian club Metalurgs Liepaja began their thirteenth pre-season camp. For the fifth time the team will play in the Belarusian league. After the current Latvian champion Dinamo Juniors Riga ceased their existence, Metalurgs will also take part in the Continental Cup.

The team is traditionally built around long-time Metalurgs veterans, such as Filimonovs, Zabotinskis, Feldmanis, Mamonovs. The team consists also of many younger players, who have learned the game of hockey in Liepaja. Besides Lithuanian Nerius Alisauskas and Russian Sergei Gubin, who have played in Liepaja for several years, this season the team also includes Lithuanian defender Arturas Katulis and two Ukrainians – Yuri Navarenko and Artem Gnidenko. All three have appeared in several Worlds Championships for their respective national teams.

Two players, who played for Metalurgs almost since the first day, Eduards Ivanovs and Juris Ozols after the previous season have decided to retire from hockey. Eduards Ivanovs already has been announced as one of the Metalurgs-2 Liepaja coaches for 2010/11.

Metalurgs Liepaja current roster:

G Dmitrijs Zabotinskis Latvia 1980
G Maris Jucers Latvia 1987
G Janis Kalnins Latvia 1991
G Nauris Grinvalds Latvia 1990
D Vents Feldmanis Latvia 1977
D Edmunds Kniksts Latvia 1982
D Renars Demiters Latvia 1986
D Nerius Alisauskas Lithuania 1991
D Glebs Rogoza Latvia 1991
D Karlis Liepins Latvia 1990
D Martins Gipters Latvia 1989
D Sergei Gubin Russia 1977
D Arturas Katulis Lithuania 1981
D Yuri Navarenko Ukraine 1979
F Valerijs Filimonovs Latvia 1979
F Vladimirs Mamonovs Latvia 1980
F Maris Gravitis Latvia 1981
F Edijs Brahmanis Latvia 1983
F Gunars Skvorcovs Latvia 1990
F Sergejs Danilovs Latvia 1989
F Vitalijs Pavlovs Latvia 1989
F Toms Zeltins Latvia 1986
F Aldis Abolins Latvia 1985
F Lauris Bajaruns Latvia 1989
F Arturs Mickevics Latvia 1991
F Edgars Brancis Latvia 1985
F Maris Dilevka Latvia 1992
F Artem Gnidenko Ukraine 1980