About the League
Junior Hockey League media relations department continues the series of jubilee season reviews for every team. Loko Yaroslavl has become the most successful team of the league. Under Dmitry Krasotkin’s command, the ‘railway men’ won three Kharlamov Cups in four years.
3rd place in the Western Conference, 96 points in 64 games, 221 goals for, 128 goals against
Dmitry Krasotkin went into his fourth Junior Hockey League season with a team that once again had gone through major roster changes. Loko Yaroslavl were no strangers to occasional slumps, yet remained one of the top teams of the Western Conference. This time they didn’t set any records for consecutive wins but the ‘railway men’ were still consistent at getting points. They put together their traditional 13-game winning streak over the stretch that last from October to November. Loko’s toughest games were against the top team of the West – SKA-1946 St. Petersburg. Yaroslavl lost both game in the Northern Capital to their recent Kharlamov Cup opponents and didn’t do any better on home ice either. Yaroslavl had a tendency to struggle in the games against St. Petersburg teams. Loko beat JHC Dynamo St. Petersburg just once. However, they did beat SKA-Varyagi four times in a row.
As many as five netminders almost equally split the season. Former U18 Team Russia goaltender Daniil Isayev played 22 games, Vladislav Okoryak – 27, while Daniil Yakovlev, who made his VHL debut for CSK VVS Samara this season, got the nod 14 times. Speaking of developing talent, Yaroslavl junior hockey school has been busy. It’s suffice to that 27 Loko alumni made their KHL debut this year. All of them had Junior Hockey League experience. As per tradition, Yaroslavl didn’t have a clear-cut favorite up front. This time it was Maxim Denezhkin who had the most points and goals. Anton Malyshev went to compete for JHL Challenge Cup along with Daniil Misyul, who also made his debut for Lokomotiv late in the season.
Top-scorer: Maxim Denezhkin – 39 (22 goals, 17 assists) points
Top goal-scorer: Maxim Denezhkin – 22 goals
Most assists: Yegor Manin – 26 assists
Top defenseman: Anton Lukichyov – 21 (4 goals, 17 assists) points, plus-21
Starting goaltender: Vladislav Okoryak – 27 games, 16 wins, Goals Against Average – 2.08, Save Percentage – 0.918 on average per game
Yaroslavl went through the opening two round of the playoffs without a single loss. Neither Russkie Vityazi, nor JHC Dynamo St. Petersburg could beat the reigning champions. Dmitry Krasotkin’s men lost their first game in the 2019 post-season campaign only in Game 2 of the semifinal series against Mamonty Yugry. However, it took the ‘railway men’ a lot of effort to win two games in Khanty-Mansiysk. Loko once again made it to Kharlamov Cup Finals where they went up against Avto Yekaterinburg, who made a surprise appearance. Despite Yaroslavl looking a heavy favorite in the bout, the series between Western and Eastern champions went all the way to Game 7.
Interestingly enough, at first it didn’t seem that Loko would have any serious trouble as they looked solid in the opening two games and won them both in Yekateriburg. Vitaly Solovyov’s men also know and love winning on the road and Loko couldn’t do anything about it at Arena-2000 as Avto tied the series 2-2. Yekaterinburg went on to win Game 5 as well, putting Loko up against the wall. Avto also had a 2-goal lead late in the third period of Game 6. And that’s when Yaroslavl pulled off a miracle. Artur Kayumov and Kirill Slepets got a goal each to send the game to overtime, and Georgy Ivanov’s marker ensured Game 7. Maxim Denezhkin scored the only goal in the deciding matchup. Thus Loko Yaroslavl has become the first Junior Hockey League team to win three Kharlamov Cups.
Top-scorer: Kirill Slepets – 10 (4 goals, 6 assists) points
Top goal-scorer: Grigory Denisenko – 6 goals
Most assists: Nikolai Kovalenko – 6 assists
Top defenseman: Anton Malyshev – 6 (2 goals, 4 assists) points, plus-6
Starting goaltender: Vladislav Okoryak – 10 games, 8 wins, Goals Against Average – 1.18, Save Percentage – 0.952 on average per game