Junior Hockey League media relations department continues the Room To Grow series, in which we take a look at every team of the 11th season. Today we’re glance at Sakhalinskiye Akuly, who returned to the league and finished 12th in the Western Conference.
12th place in the West, 57 points in 64 games, 158 goals for, 175 goals against.
Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk returned to Junior Hockey League after missing a few seasons and despite missing the playoffs looked decent, leading all Russia’s Far East teams in points. Sergei Bazhukhin’s men, who gathered just a few days before the start of the regular season, surprised pundits on several occasions, including beating JHC Dynamo Moscow and JHC Dynamo St. Petersburg, JHC Spartak Moscow, Almaz Cherepovets and Krasnaya Armiya Moscow. Sakhalinskiye Akuly also beat their rivals Amurskie Tigry Khabarovsk and Taifun Primorie Region. The ‘Sharks’ managed to avoid heavy slumps this season. Their record losing streak lasted for just five games in December and was followed by a successful road trip around Moscow Region. Having gained consistency, Sakhalinskiye Akuly seem poised to compete for the playoffs next season.
Former Amurskie Tigry Khabarovsk netminder Grigory Kolupayev was the started for Sakhalinskiye Akuly this year and played 53 games. Junior Hockey League rookie Kirill Kuzmenko had 19. Alexander Baranov was invited to compete for JHL Challenge Cup as he led the ‘Sharks’ in points among defensemen. He played all 64 games, scoring seven goals and notching 13 assists for 20 points. As for offense, Ruslan Akhmetvaliev had no competition. Former Irbis Kazan and Sibirskie Snaipery forward joined Yuzhno-Sakhalinsk and led the team in goals, assists and points, surpassing two other key players – Stanislav Basnev and Vladimir Krotov.
Top-scorer: Ruslan Akhmetvaliev – 47 (19 goals, 28 assists) points
Top goal-scorer: Ruslan Akhmetvaliev – 19 goals
Most assists: Ruslan Akhmetvaliev – 28 assists
Top defenseman: Alexander Baranov – 20 (7 goals, 13 assists) points, plus-7
Starting goaltender: Grigory Kolupayev – 53 games, 21 wins, goals against average – 2.65, save percentage – 0.913 on average per game
Sakhalinskiye Akuly dressed 36 players for the 2019-20 Parimatch Junior Hockey League regular season – 3 goaltenders, 14 defensemen and 19 forwards.
Alexander Baranov and Daniil Glukharev played every regular season game.
The most productive line – Bozunov-Dolishnya-Basnev. The line combined for 17 goals.
Daniil Kuptsov led the team in penalty minutes with 140.