«I WAS PRACTICING FOR THIS TEAM RUSSIA CAMP RIGHT AT THE BEACH». U20 TEAM RUSSIA AT BLACK SEA CUP

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19.05.2018 в 13:52

«I WAS PRACTICING FOR THIS TEAM RUSSIA CAMP RIGHT AT THE BEACH». U20 TEAM RUSSIA AT BLACK SEA CUP

U20 Team Russia’s Black Sea Cup camp started on May 18th. Even though, the tournament will commence only on May 26th, Russian players already have a few things to say. Junior Hockey League media relations department found out about Pavel Shen’s namesake on Team Canada, what games of the upcoming FIFA World Cup Russian players are going to visit and why they will have to compete among themselves on top of facing Team Denmark and Team Switzerland.


Arseny Akhmetov

HC Kapitan Stupino
Goaltender

- Kapitan is within HC Sochi system. Does it mean that you’re going to feel at home at this Black Sea Cup?

- Yes, you could say that the tournament is going to be held on my home ice. I have already been called up to a few practices with HC Sochi and even played in one game at a pre-season tournament. So this Black Sea Cup is also an opportunity to show what I’m capable of to my KHL team’s coaching staff.

- Many players have never been to Sochi. Will you be able to guide them to local sights?

- My friend Stepan Starkov was also called up to team Russia. He has already played a few regular season games for HC Sochi in the KHL. We’re going to talk to other guys and see what their preferences are. Stepan and I can certainly give them a little tour.

- Do you know anybody else on the team except Starkov?

- I know everybody. Hockey world is small so I had time to meet everyone through U18 Team Russia and playing in Kazan.

- You’re going to play against some of them because Russia will feature two teams at the tournament.

- It’s great that there are going to be two teams because everyone is going to see a lot of ice-time. The game between the two teams is going to be a try-out of sorts and definitely not an exhibition game. Everyone has something to prove to the coaching staff.

- You get a lot of ice-time at Kapitan but your statistics could have been better this past season.

- It was Kapitan’s first year after coming back to Junior Hockey League. Almost everyone on our team made their debut at such level and made their first step towards men’s hockey. That explains the mistakes and mediocre statistics. The most important thing is that I get a lot of ice-time. It’s especially important for goaltenders.

- The season ended very early for Kapitan. What did you before getting called up to Team Russia?

- I was on vacation at the sea when Kapitan general manager called me and told about the invitation. I began getting ready for the camp right there at the beach. I jogged and did a few exercises. I was on vacation with my teammates so they helped me prepare. They played volleyball with me, swam and also did some exercises.


Pavel Shen
Salavat Yulaev Ufa
Forward

- How did you like the game between Russia and Canada at the world championship?

- It was an even game but with a sad outcome for our team. Special teams should have done a better job.

- Canada’s top line features Connor McDavid and Brayden Schenn, who is almost your namesake.

- I can’t say that I follow him closely. It’s just that he often makes it to NHL highlights so I know that he used to play for Philadelphia and now’s he’s on St. Louis.

- Let’s talk about the upcoming Black Sea Cup. Do you know anything about your opponents – Team Denmark and Team Switzerland?

- Denmark and Switzerland have relentless teams who can win every game. For example, back in 2016 at the World Juniors quarterfinal Russia beat Denmark only in overtime and made it to the semifinal round. I know Niko Hischer on Team Switzerland. He is predicted to go high in the upcoming NHL Entry Draft. So I’m excited to play against both teams.

- Moreover, you’re going to play against another Team Russia.

- This time they called up a lot of players to Team Russia. We’re going to live together but play on different teams. Every team is going to have their own coaching staff. I think, we also going to have different practices. We’ll see after the tournament who practiced better.

- Half of those players who were invited to Sochi had went with Valery Bragin to Four Nation Tournament in April. Do you think they’re going to split the team into ‘newcomers’ and ‘veterans’?

- I think it’s going to be a mix. Many players couldn’t come to Czech Republic because they were still busy in the playoffs. For example, players from Reaktor, Loko and SKA-1946. The season was also still going in America and a lot of guys were called up from there.

- Mark Rubinchik finished the 2017-18 season as a WHL player but he’s coming into this tournament already as a Salavat Yulaev defenseman. Have you met him?

- I’ve known Mark since one U18 Team Russia camp. Next season we’re going to play within the same system so we’re going to see each other more often.

- After the tournament in Hodonin you posted a picture on Instagram captioned ‘Good end of the season’. Does it mean that you didn’t expect to be called up to Team Russia?

- I meant club season. Actually, the 2017-18 season is over and this Black Sea Cup should be considered as the first pre-season tournament. We’re getting ready for the 2018-19 season and the upcoming World Juniors.

Artyom Nikolayev
SКА-1946 St. Petersburg
Forward

- You’re going to make your debut on Team Russia at this Black Sea Cup. How do you feel about it?

- Actually, I was invited to the camp before the Four Nation Cup in Hodonin but I didn’t make the trip to Czech Republic. Although, we were told back then not to relax and be ready to play at the Black Sea Cup. So I didn’t go on vacation and kept practicing.

- Have you been to Sochi before the tournament?

- I came here a few years ago on vacation. Some SKA players have already played at Black Sea Cup and they told me that coaches give a lot of free time at the tournament. So I will probably have the time for a little walk around town and the beach.

- 51 players were called up to the camp, which will be divided into two teams. They’re going to face each other late in the tournament.

- It’s the first time in my career that we’re going to play basically against ourselves in an official game. I can tell you right now that it’s not going to be a scrimmage game. Everybody is going to try to prove themselves in Sochi to make the World Juniors team. Besides, SKA-1946 and Loko players may end up on different teams so we’re going to try to get our revenge for losing in the Kharlamov Cup Finals.

- Klim Kostin is going to come to the camp. You’ve known him since you both were in Rus Moscow junior hockey school.

- Of course, I know Klim. We’re definitely going to have a talk and share news. He’s a great player. He proved that he can play in North America.

- Just a few days after the Black Sea Cup, FIFA World Cup is going to commence in Sochi as well. Do you plan to go to a few games?

- I’m going back to St. Petersburg and catch a few games there. I don’t have the tickets yet but my friends are on it. Hopefully, I can see it with my own eyes.


Yegor Filin
Krasnaya Armiya Moscow
Forward

- You competed at Four Nation Tournament in Czech Republic back in April. How did you spend the time after the tournament?

- After Hodonin I practiced in Chekhov with Zvezda and then went home to Penza where I had a few practices with Dizel. I know Dizel head-coach, so I gave him a call and explained everything to him – I hadn’t skated for two weeks and had to report to Team Russia soon. He understood me and invited to practice with his team. So I came prepared for Team Russia.

- There are twice as many players on Team Russia now than at the Four Nation Tournament. Have you met anyone who just joined the team?

- I know Dmitry Samorukov and I practiced together with Klim Kostin in the past month, so we’re not going to have any trouble with chemistry.

- Russia is going to be split in Team Red and Team White. Which team do you think is better?

- Best players are going to be those who will end up competing at the World Juniors.

- Just a few days after the Black Sea Cup, FIFA World Cup is going to commence in Sochi as well. Do you plan to go to a few games?

- No, I’m to Turkey right after the tournament. I haven’t had a vacation yet. As for the World Cup, I’ve already bought tickets for the game between Portugal and Iran in Saransk. So I’m going to see Cristiano Ronaldo in action.

Nikita Anokhovsky

Loko Yaroslavl

Forward

“Even though Loko had a very long season, I don’t feel tired joining Team Russia,” says Anokhovsky. “I had a week off after the finals and then went back to practice”.

- Have you put winning Kharlamov Cup behind you already?

- The emotions have settled a bit already and now I’m look forward. On vacation I took the cup to my place and celebrated the championship. It’s a little sad that I won’t be able to attend Lokomotiv season-closing ceremony because of the tournament. We recently went to FC Lokomotiv’s stadium but I wanted to close the season at Arena-2000 as well. Although, right now I’m eager to play at Black Sea Cup. I want to play on Olympic ice for the first time.

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