22.05.2018 в 13:22


Goaltender Vladislav Yugov weighs in on the past season, talks about evacuation from a hotel in Yekaterinburg and his first steps in hockey.


- Vladislav, what’s your take on the 2017-18 season for Kuznetskie Medvedi?

- As a team, we didn’t get a good result. We could have done a lot better. We missed the playoffs because we had a lot of new guys on the team comparing to the previous season. There were a lot of guys who had never played at Junior Hockey League level before. In the end, we didn’t do the necessary things to get a better result.

- How would you grade the season for you personally?

- I think I did alright but I could have done better. I had some good and even a few great games but I also had a fair share of mediocre games. I remember one game in Yekaterinburg the most. It was a good game and we won 3-2 in the shootout. Incidentally, after that game we got on a bit of a roll.


- That game in Yekaterinburg was prefaced with a not so pleasant story.

- Yes. We had dinner and went to bed. Everybody went back to their rooms to get ready for the next day’s game and that’s when the alarm went off. The hotel was notified that there may be a bomb in it. Everybody had to leave the hotel. They checked the hotel for about three hours and we had to stay outside the whole time. After we understood that it was going to take a while, we went to the nearest shopping mall and just sat at a bowling alley waiting for them to finish the sweep. Standing outside wasn’t very comfortable. It was early in October and it was raining. However, this whole story didn’t throw us off the rails and we still beat Avto.


- While Kuznetskie Medvedi missed the 2018 Kharlamov Cup Playoffs, they did win bronze medals the year before.

- Winning bronze medals brings back only great emotions and memories. We had a group of guys and everybody battled till the end. We must have lacked energy in the semifinal series against Krasnaya Armiya and that’s why we were unable to make it to Kharlamov Cup Finals. We had such a great atmosphere at our home games that season! It was so great to play in front of such a crowd! Personally, I had a lot of fun seeing all those fans cheering for us. I want to thank them once again! Everybody on the team loved to play in such an atmosphere.

After the season we were given the medals. The event took place at Metallurgs’ Theater and it was well-organized. I have only positive memories about it. I enjoyed everything. I keep that medal with all other – at home at a special shelf.


- Early in the season Kuznetskie Medvedi were coached by Alexei Korshkov. However, during the season he was succeeded by Alexander Kitov, who made his return to the team. He did the coach swap affect your team?

- After Alexander Sergeyevich Kitov was given another job at the club, our team was a little thrown by that. But when he came back as the head-coach, he brought back the old atmosphere and pulled us all together. After the New Year’s we gradually went back to the brand of hockey we were supposed to play.

- After the 2017-18 season you were called up to practice with Metallurg’s professional team.

- Of course, it was exciting to practice with Metallurg. It’s a different pace of hockey and organization. Everything new is always exciting. I enjoyed the experience. Now I want to become a regular on the team as soon as I can.

- This was your fourth season within Metallurg system, which means you must have participated in the master-class, organized by Columbus Blue Jackets and Team Russia goaltender Sergei Bobrovsky.

- You’re absolutely right. Sergei and goaltending coach Ian Clark showed us various technical moments and goaltending stuff. They showed us a lot of useful things. I learned a lot from it and now use their advice in my practice. I have only positive emotions from talking to Sergei. When Bobrovsky was asked a question, he was answered it and gave examples from his life. I got a lot of great information. It’s always exciting to talk to hockey players of such caliber.

- Had you visited any other master-classes before that?

- I went to a camp at Alexander Viyukhin goaltending school. I practiced there with Eduard Reyzvikh and Oleg Shilin, who now play for Avangard in the KHL.


- How did you first come to hockey?

- You could say that hockey in my life happened as an accident. My mother came back from work one night and said that she’d just found about this hockey school and she wanted to know if I would be interested in it. I was interested by that so we went there. It was an open ice rink on the block. I put the skates on and stepped onto the ice. I enjoyed it and fell in love with hockey right then and there. All this happened in my hometown of Karasuk. I put the skates on for the first time when I was 9 years old. It just so happened that we moved to Novosibirsk that winter and I signed up for Sibir junior hockey school.


- You didn’t play in goal at first, did you?
When we moved to Novosibirsk, I went on playing defense for another couple of years. And then when I turned 12, our coach offered me to play in goal because I had the right complexion. I agreed. Why? Because I wanted to play and the position didn’t matter to me much. I was never afraid of being hit by the puck. And I never wanted to switch back to skater.

- What goaltenders do you like the most?

- I don’t have any idols when it comes to that but, obviously, I look at certain goaltenders’ styles. There a few guys in the KHL and NHL that I like and even learn from them.


- Kuznetskie Medvedi’s vacation ends on June 25th. How’s your vacation going so far?

- I already had a vacation. I went to Turkey and spend some time at home with my family. I’ve already began getting ready for the season. I practice on ice with some other guys. Some of them even have VHL and KHL experience. For example, one of them is CSKA’s Konstantin Okulov.


- Do you like reading?

- Yes, when I have the time. I don’t have any favorite books. Right now I read Meditations by Marcus Aurelius.


- Did you do well in school?

- I was a B-student in Grade 9. And then I had to make a choice either to continue studying hard or pursue the thing I love the most.


- What was the class you were really good at?

- Mathematics. Although, I never had any problems at other classes.


- Did you do anything that got your parents in trouble?

- I had a fight once. I stepped up for a classmate.


- Did you win?

- Yes (smiles).


- If had a chance to invite your favorite celebrity to dinner, who would it be?

- Alexander Sergeyevich Kitov.


- What is your favorite cuisine? Do you think you could go vegan?

- I wouldn’t go vegan because I like meat. Aside for that, I’m not very picky about food. I like everything. I do have a favorite meal, though, of course. It’s pancakes with condensed milk and mors (a type of fruit drink, close to cranberry juice).


- Don’t you think that Alexander Kitov is going to get angry when he’s going to find out that pancakes is your favorite meal?

- I don’t think it’s going to be a big deal (laughs).