‘07 club cracks Top 10 in Russia
For the first time since Dec. 7th, No. 10 Avangard Omsk boosted themselves into the Top 10 in Russia among the 2007 World Rankings. Winners of their last 10 games, a two-game sweep of Metallurg Magnitogorsk was just the lift the club needed to be back among the best-of-the-best of their birth year.
The club is mainly led by the prolific forward trio of Rodion Kazantsev (10G, 20A), Nikita Kharionov (14G, 15A) and Artem Kitchenko (10G, 17A). What has helped is the last lines of defense between the pipes that Avangard is equipped with. Between Alexander Federov and Danai Shaikov, the team has been able to skate to a 22-4-0 record. Federov has posted a 1.96 goals-against average and .920 save percentage. Shaikov has suited up in slightly more games, recording an even more pristine 1.61 goals-against and .939 save percentage.
With upcoming games against teams such as Traktor Chelyabinsk and Yugra-Yukior, these players will be vital for Avangard to continue its success. The more victories that can be piled up in their remaining tilts can only help to solidify Metallurg’s position down the home stretch of the 2022-23 season.
SKA St. Petersburg on the rise
SKA St. Petersburg found themselves maneuvering their way up the Russian standings in not one but two different birth years in the latest rankings. A true testament to their program depth and ability to continually develop players throughout their youth hockey journey.
First, ‘08 SKA slid up from No. 8 to No. 5, thanks in large part to four decisive victories. A run that was highlighted by a 5-0 shutout over No. 10 SKA Strelna. At 31-0-1, the lone blemish in their record thus far was a tight 1-0 shootout loss to Dynamo St. Petersburg.
‘09 SKA St. Petersburg was also up to No. 7 after handling the SKA Silver Lions and Dynamo Junior St. Petersburg. Both teams were outscored 15-1 and the wins extended a current four-game winning streak for the club.
Marlboros stand tall in ‘09 Toronto matchups
Another team that benefited from success against teams in close proximity to them were the ‘09
No. 23 Toronto Marlboros. They bested No. 1 Toronto Jr. Canadiens in a hard-fought 1-0 game before finding their offensive footing in a 7-0 shutout against the No. 9 Canadian-ranked Toronto Red Wings.
In fact, in their previous two meetings with the Jr. Canadiens, they were also victorious. Not many teams have beaten the Jr. Canadiens this year once, let alone three times. Two shutouts against Top-10 opponents, one of which is the top team of the birth year will surely build confidence for the team towards the end of the season and into the GTHL playoffs.
Be sure to check out the complete world rankings, including Top 10s by country and World Top 25s for each of the 2006, 2007, 2008, 2009, 2010 and 2011 birth years.