Diamond on the chest. Spartak Moscow defenseman got to hoist MHL Challenge Cup in his rookie season.
Spartak Moscow junior hockey school alumnus Akim Trishin got into hockey at a young age. He was just four years old when his father bought him his first hockey equipment and brought him to Sokolniki. This season the young defenseman made his debut on Spartak’s major junior team.
Trishin’s own take on his rookie season so far is that it’s been good but he also says he needs to learn to make quicker decisions on the ice. Trishin will talk a lot about the pace of the game in Junior Hockey League. He also spoke about his music playlist that he puts on in the dressing-room after a win, the way Spartak coaching staff deal with long road trips and MHL Challenge Cup.
“The moment I was invited to play for the major junior team? You don’t ever forget things like that,” reminiscences Trishin. “I got a call from the management and they told me to show up at 4pm the next day to sign a contract. I was extremely happy. I can’t say I had a hard time in my rookie JHL season. Sure, the pace of the game and your approach to it is different. Sometimes we play four games in five days but we always get a few days off after that. You get used to this rhythm pretty quickly. Junior hockey school coaches teach you how to skate and stickhandle and other basics.
“It’s different in major junior. We are taught how to think. We work on certain skills and plays. At first I tried to do what I know on the ice and listened to my coach. The team has treated me well ever since I got here. We went to a restaurant together right before the season. We talked about all kinds of things, joked and laughed about. I hang out mostly with Mikhail Bulimov and Roman Skhodtsev.
“We even room with Bulim at Spartak baza. That’s why I spend most of my spare time with him. We hang out with other guys who live at baza. We go on walks together and the movies. We like to laugh so we watch a lot of comedies, but we also like action and horror movies.”
Trishin is one of the few Spartak players who made a name for themselves in their rookie season. He is currently fifth among Spartak defenseman in points with 9 assists in 51 games. He also leads Spartak in plus/minus with plus-10. Trishin’s productivity and skill didn’t go unnoticed – in his rookie season Akim was selected to play in the JHL All-Star Game – MHL Challenge Cup. Trishin played for Team West and got to hoist the coveted trophy by the end of the night.
“I didn’t expect to be selected to play at the MHL Challenge Cup,” says Trishin. “I wasn’t with the team when they were selecting players – I was ill. Then I came to a practice and the boys tell me – You and Anton [Pervov] will play in Ufa at the MHL Challenge Cup. To be honest with you, I didn’t believe them. I thought they were pulling a prank on me. And then coach told me the same thing. That’s when I got excited. I have good memories of that game. There were a lot of fans in the stands, the ambience was really cool. I will remember that day for a long time.”
Spartak Moscow have a progressive coaching staff that doesn’t shy away from unorthodox ways of motivating their players. Trishin spoke about the red-and-white do for fun on the road.
“Early in January we went on the road to St. Petersburg,” said Trishin. “Our assistant coach Alexander Vladimirovich [Filippov] made us a deal. He said if we’d win two games out of four, he would shave off his moustache and goatee. If we’d win three games, he would dye his hair red and his beard black. If we’d win four games, he’d shave off all of his hair. We won three games and he kept his word. He did what he promised – he dyed his hair red and his beard black.”
One of the ways Trishin gets his himself motivated for the games is listening to the music. But that’s not all. You’re about to find out what music you’d hear if you happened to find yourself in Spartak’s dressing-room after a win.
“On the road to the game, I listened to the music that gets me pumped up,” said Trishin. “The tracks may vary but mostly it’s rap music. Whenever we win we put on 80’s and 90’s music in the dressing-room. Ruki Vverkh and that kind of stuff.”