About the League
Junior Hockey League media relations department continues the series of jubilee season reviews for every team. Russkie Vityazi managed to return to playoff contention after missing post-season last year. Maxim Bets, who was appointed head-coach of the team mid-season, has done what he was asked of. However, the team didn’t put much of a fight in the playoffs.
Russkie Vityazi Сhekhov
6th place in the Western Conference, 88 points in 64 games, 193 goals for, 161 goals against
With Maxim Bets at the helm, Russkie Vityazi enjoyed a much more consistent regular season than a year ago. After that they had the same task ahead of them as they had had two years ago – eliminate Loko Yaroslavl from the playoffs. Back then Russkie Vityazi managed to steal a game on their ice and lost the series in four games. Chekhov team struggled to get points early in the season but they found their rhythm closer to December and began beating among others top teams from St. Petersburg and Moscow. This time Russkie Vityazi didn’t have to battle for the playoffs hard as they secured their spot in mid-February. They also went on to rob Krylia Sovetov Moscow of their playoff hopes.
Nikita Goncharov led Russkie Vityazi in goals and points. He also made his debut for KHL team, playing a total of 13 games. Zakhar Bardakov was right behind him and earned an invitation to U18 Team Russia. Captain Grigory Khrapsky and Maxim Rastvorov scored over 30 points each. Gleb Kozhemyakin led all Russkie Vityazi defensemen in points for second consecutive year with 28. Mark Verba represented the team at JHL Challenge Cup. Not only did he win the coveted trophy, he also scored one of the goals and was selected to play at KHL All-Star Game for Team Chernyshyov Division. He won in Skills Competition as well as the All-Star Game. Goaltenders Daniil Chechelev and Kirill Cherepanov split the games equally.
Top-scorer: Nikita Goncharov – 36 (26 goals, 10 assists) points
Top goal-scorer: Nikita Goncharov – 26 goals
Most assists: Grigory Khrapsky – 24 assists
Top defenseman: Gleb Kozhemyakin – 28 (6 goals, 22 assists) points, plus-14
Starting goaltender: Daniil Chechelev – 32 games, 18 wins, Goals Against Average – 2.25, Save Percentage – 0.915 per game
Russkie Vityazi once again faced reigning and future Kharlamov Cup champions Loko Yaroslavl in the opening round and got swept in three games. However, while Chekhov gave Loko a run for their money the previous time, this time around they couldn’t score a single goal in the whole series. Second period was key in Game 1 as Dmitry Krasotkin’s men netted three unanswered goals. Vladislav Chervonenko had scored another one before that.
Loko won Game 2 the next day by the same final score. Timur Akhunov and Mikhail Belyayev scored in the opening two periods of play, while Alexander Kalinin and Chervonenko added a tally each in the third stanza. Game 3, which was held in Chekhov, was decided by just a single goal as Ilya Nikolayev found the back of the net. Despite heavy support of their hometown fans, Russkie Vityazi couldn’t get anything in the back of Loko’s net. Maxim Bets’ team finished the season with three consecutive shutout losses, while Loko Yaroslavl went on to win Kharlamov Cup.
Starting goaltender: Kirill Cherepanov – 3 games, 0 wins, Goals Against Average – 2.30, Save Percentage – 0.910 on average per game