1 vs. 2 Compete for Top Spot

Oct 10, 2022 | Peter Rossi

Robin Kuzma, forward for Chicago Mission 2008-born club skates during a game.
Photo from Instagram | @robinkuz91

CSKA faces off against Spartak in all-Moscow matchup

Each week, World Hockey Hub highlights a few of the most exciting upcoming games in youth hockey. From the hottest rivalries to the biggest tournaments, we focus on matchups that will impact the landscape among top teams in the sport.

This week, we highlight a cross-border tilt between Canadian and U.S. squads, a Sweden team trying to crack the top-10 and two Russian powerhouses facing off against one another. 

View from the Top

There can only be one No. 1, and two of the premier teams at the 2010 birth year in Russia will square off this weekend to determine just who that is. CSKA Moscow (18-0-0) and Spartak Moscow (18-4-0) will not only have bragging rights on the line, but the outcome of this game may shake up the top of the Russian rankings.

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Saturday, October 15

These two programs have already faced each other twice this season, with CSKA emerging victorious both times by scores of 7-6 and 2-1. Rest will play a factor in this game, as both sides will be heading into this tilt following some time off. 

A rest that will aid the incredible scorers hailing from both sides.

On paper, the dynamic offenses for both squads are certainly noticeable. For CSKA, names like Nikita Sinikin (24G, 24A), Roman Andreev (23G, 17A), and Bogdan Doroshkevich (7G, 11A) certainly have raised eyebrows of opponents. 

Spartak comes equipped with their own set of high-profile scorers; Artem Korolev (16G, 18A), Alexander Sidorenko (10G, 12A), and Mikhail Isaev (8G, 10A) lead the group.

Amazing offensive output from two strong forward cores, but each team also boasts a player from the defensive side of the puck who can also rack up the points. 

For Spartak, that player comes in the form of Gordey Khotkov (8G, 13A) and for CSKA it is Mikhail Makeev, who has collected 17 points (1G, 16A) on the season thus far.

Given how the season has played out for both teams, both individually and the two games they have under their belt against the other, high offense and dazzling playmaking should be on tap.

How Swede It Is

With district group-play beginning this past week in Sweden, many top-10 clubs are in full swing. For 2007-born teams, a matchup between SDE Hockey (6-5-2) and IFK Täby HC (11-2-1) headlines the schedule. 

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Tuesday, October 11 @ 8:00 pm CET
Stockhagens Ice Hall

Täby is fresh off an 8-3 win against Viggbyholms IK. With that victory, they remain undefeated in group play. 

Their offense has been propelled by the balanced attack of 5-foot-7 forward Theo Stockselius (1G, 7A), dynamic play-making of Max Johannesén (1G, 7A), and strong goal scoring of Viggo Björck (5G, 1A). 

SDE — currently holding down the 10th spot in the Sweden rankings were bested by Viggbyholms in overtime in their last outing. Filip Thorling (1G, 2A) and Oliver Höglund (2G) were forces in the game for SDE, standing out as its two best forwards. 

A big focus for Täby will be staying out of the box, as SDE’s power play was firing on all cylinders against Viggbyholms. They went 2-for-2 with both goals coming from the hot stick of Höglund.

Knocking on the Door

Djurgårdens IF (5-1-0) will take to the ice against Flemingsbergs IK (8-4-2) for an ‘07 mid-week matchup, hoping to continue their impressive start to group play.  

Djurgardens IF Logo

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Wednesday, October 12 @ 7:30 pm CET
Mälarhöjdens Ice Hall

With a 6-2 statement win right out of the gate against IFK Tumba IK, Djurgårdens appears ready to prove why it’s one of the top teams in their group. 

William Håkansson (1G, 2A) and Kean Tollet (1G, 1A) have been early leaders among the forward corps for Djurgårdens. The team’s secret weapon, however, lies with 5-foot-9 defenseman Lucas Grahn. Not only bringing size and strong defensive play to the team’s blueline, he has a knack for finding the scoresheet as well. Grahn has one goal and two assists in one game. 

Djurgårdens is also prepared for a run of strong play in net thanks to Oscar Sääf. Displaying a calm demeanor in net, he turned aside 22 of 24 shots in their opening win.

Following an overtime loss to Södertälje SK 1, Flemingsbergs got back on track with a 5-3 win against IFK Tumba last weekend.

Samuel Palenik (2G, 1A), Carl Carlenius (1G, 2A), Sebastian Dahlqvist (1G, 2A) and Michal Horníček (3A) top the leaderboard for Flemingsbergs in the early stages of group play.

Flemingsbergs boasts their own star goaltender Lukas Furaev, who has solidly performed in his duties, racking up a 2.86 goals-against average and .933 save percentage. 

Comparing those numbers to that of Sääf, whose modest performance in net had led to a 2.00 goals-against average and .916 save percentage, it shows that both clubs are served with a strong goaltending.

This matchup may very well come down to who performs best between the pipes.

Top-ranked Vaughan Kings Travel to U.S. to Challenge Chicago Mission 

This one has been circled on the calendar since the rankings came out last week. On October 15, the No. 1-ranked team in Canada, Vaughan Kings (9-1-1), will meet with the No. 3-ranked team in the U.S., Chicago Mission (13-1-1). It will be a battle between two of the top 2008-born clubs in the world. 

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Saturday, October 15 @ 7:00 pm EST
BELFOR Training Center

Chicago is coming off a successful weekend where they swept fellow U.S. clubs Honeybaked and Compuware.

Vaughan started the season off with a nine-game unbeaten streak. That came to an end with a 3-2 overtime loss at the hands of the North York Rangers on October 2. Last weekend, they took to the ice against the Oakville Rangers, skating away with a 4-2 victory. 

It’s a rare Top-10 international matchup in a battle between Canada’s best and one of America’s top programs. The youth hockey world is in for a good one on Saturday.

Want to stay updated on all the games of the week and the top teams across youth hockey? Follow WHH on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Discord and YouTube for more!

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