No. 2 Pens Elite Travel North to take on No. 13 Vaughan Kings
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 two cross-border tilts between Canadian and U.S. squads, as well as a Sweden team kicking off its first action of the season vs. a top-10 opponent.
RINK Hockey Kelowna Heads to the States
Following time off for both teams, the ‘07 Dallas Stars Elite and RINK Hockey Academy Kelowna will face off in a cross-border matchup on October 9 in Fargo, ND.
|Sunday, October 9 @ 8 am CDT|
Southwest Youth Ice Arena
Currently sitting just outside the U.S. rankings, the Stars have had a very successful start to their season. With a 9-2-2 record, they have been able to remain competitive against fellow teams in the 2007 birth year. The schedule includes more dates against top-ranked opponents as the season carries on, so it will be a good measuring-stick game for Dallas to build upon early.
Kelowna comes into this matchup finding themselves propelled to the eighth spot in the Canadian rankings thanks to a season-opening victory against Delta Hockey Academy back on September 24.
What the boys from RINK bring into this game that cannot be taught is size, highlighted in the form of hometown defenseman Marcus Sadovia. He looms over the blueline at 6-foot-three, 165 lbs. and is one-of-six skaters on the roster north of six-feet tall. Having a significant size advantage could make it difficult for Stars players to knock anyone off the puck.
And let’s not forget, Louis Gu and Liam Russell, who tower between the pipes for Kelowna at 6-foot-one and 6-foot-four, respectively.
International Top-25 Matchup Among 2011s
The 2011-born Pittsburgh Penguins Elite will travel north of the border for a contest against the Vaughan Kings on October 8.
|Saturday, October 8 @ 5:05 pm EDT|
Pittsburgh has stormed out of the gates, making quick work of the opposition en route to a 9-0-1 record. The Penguins would be a major measuring stick for any club. Yet for Vaughan, the task becomes a bit taller as they have yet to suit up for any games so far this season.
What may make a victory even more daunting for the Kings is the explosive nature of Pittsburgh’s offense, leaving little time for Vaughan’s defensive corps and goaltenders to settle in for competitive game action.
Täby HC, Viggbyholms IK Meet in a Battle of Top-10s
As regional play began last weekend among youth teams in Sweden, Täby HC and Viggbyholms IK look to both solidify their spots in the Top 10 for 2007-born clubs when they face off against each other on Saturday.
|Saturday, October 8 @ 5:40 pm CET|
Tibble Ice Hall
Each club has a comfortable feel for their squads at this point in the season, as both have taken part in a fair number of games.
Täby (9-2-1) and Viggbyholms (6-3-0) were both placed in the Elite Division at the 2022 Sweden Hockey Trophy, and have since been active in district play in Stockholm. Currently, each team sits atop their individual groups within the district, with Täby having a 4-0-1 record, and a 3-0-0 record for Viggbyholms.
Statistically speaking, depth is a strong component of the style of play that has helped bring these programs early-season success. Across district play, many of the top scorers can be found hailing from these teams.
Täby’s Marcus Nordmark led his team with 13 points in 5 games. A versatile playmaker, Nordmark uses his slim frame to dart around defenders, with a knack for finding open lanes to fire off perfect passes to teammates. His nine points are tied for second among all skaters in the group. Behind him, four other players from Täby are tied with seven points.
While Täby’s balanced attack certainly stands out on paper, Viggbyholms’ lineup should impress even more. When browsing the top-10 scorers within their group, all are names of players from Viggbyholms, topped off by Ludwig Hellgren, who has peppered the opposition from all angles on the ice, tallying seven points (4G, 4A) in just three games.
And if that isn’t impressive enough, he also notched two goals in five games for Stockholm North at the 2022 TV-Pucken tournament, helping them to a 5-0-0 record in group play.
With both teams loaded up on offensive talent, this head-to-head matchup should be thrilling to watch, and will have fans reaching for the popcorn.
Battle for St. Petersburg Supremacy
Dynamo St. Petersburg and SKA St. Petersburg have seen a lot of each other lately.
After Dynamo defeated SKA in the final at the St. Petersburg Cup for 2007-born teams, the two programs squared off the very next day, with SKA emerging as the victor from a 5-2 result.
The two teams will meet again for the third time in eight days this Saturday, so the adage of “knowing one’s opponent” should be prevalent here.
|Saturday, October 8|
Given how the past two games between these two programs have gone, there’s sure to be similar fireworks when they take to the ice.
Offense is the name of the game for these teams, and after trading goals in their first two matchups of the season, don’t expect this to be a low-scoring affair.
Dynamo boasts a versatile forward group that is comfortable when the shot count is high, and they spend most of their time in the offensive zone. Alexander Kotov and Erik Pastukhov lead the charge, amassing a resounding 18 points in all contests.
Kotov did most of his damage at the St. Petersburg Cup, where he tallied six goals and seven assists. Supporting the 5’8” forward’s dynamic scoring ability have been Daniil Prokhorov (14G, 1A) and Gleb Semenov (4G, 11A).
SKA will roll out their own strong offensive unit, led by Andrei Korablev’s 13 points (9G, 4A). But what SKA has that Dynamo does not is a defenseman who can strike from the blue line with incredible accuracy like Makar Timashkov.
Timashkov’s ability to get shots through to the net with ease lends another option to SKA’s attack, and one they will hope to exploit if their forwards are shut down at any point in the game. The sturdy D-man has garnered nine points thus far, and if his teammates keep feeding him the puck, those numbers will only rise.