About the League
Junior Hockey League media relations department continues the series of jubilee season reviews for all teams. Kuznetskie Medvedi had an unfortunate season in the Eastern Conference as they missed the playoffs.
Kuznetskie Medvedi Novokuznetsk
15th place in the Eastern Conference, 34 points in 60 games. 138 goals for, 246 goals against
2017 Junior Hockey League bronze medalists missed the playoffs for the second consecutive year. Novokuznetsk’s offense was decent but the team allowed too many goals. In fact, Kuznetskie Medvedi allowed 230 goals in 60 games – only Altay Ust-Kamenogorsk conceded more goals. As always, the team rotated a lot of players through their system in the regular season, while goaltending line saw the most changes.
Novokuznetsk lost a lot of games in the regular season to underdogs and their main competition. They also couldn’t get rid of their latest tendency of falling apart late in the game and uneven performance while having the lead. Alexander Kitov once again left the team mid-season and Kuznetskie Medvedi finished the year with Alexei Koledayev at the helm.
Junior Hockey League last season’s top-scorer Anton Ruban left the team and the ‘Bears’ struggled to replace him with a player of similar caliber. Kuznetskie Medvedi had five different netminders guard their net this year – Yan Sinkevich, who had joined Novokuznetsk from Taifun Primorie Region, played the most games. Defenseman Mikhail Bogdashkin represented the team at JHL Challenge Cup. He led all Kuznetskie Medvedi defensemen in points despite having the worst plus/minus record. 19-year-old Denis Sizikov provided the most fire power for Novokuznetsk in his second year with the club. Nikita Plyonkin, who had previously played only for Tyumensky Legion in his Junior Hockey League career, was tied with Sizikov with 17 goals for the ‘Bears’ but the latter had more assists.
Top-scorer: Denis Sizikov – 45 (17 goals, 28 assists) points
Top goal-scorer: Nikita Plyonkin – 17 goals
Most assists: Denis Sizikov – 28 assists
Top defenseman: Mikhail Bogdashkin – 27 (6 goals, 21 assists) points, minus-27
Starting goaltender: Yan Sinkevich – 42 games, 6 wins, Goals Against Average – 3.83, Save Percentage – 0.887