Russia’s capital earns top spot in ’06 Federal District Championship

The Russian Hockey Federation hosted the U16 Federal District Championships in an 11-day showcase of its top talent in youth hockey. It is an annual event the features all-star teams from each of the country’s nine districts: Central, Far Eastern, Moscow, Northwestern, Southern, St. Petersburg, Ural, Siberian and Volga. This is a culmination of the best players in the age group from across the country and regularly serves as an evaluation opportunity for the Russian national team.

From Nov. 23 through Dec. 3, the all-star squads played in a round-robin tournament structure, with the winner going to the team with the most points in the standings after all games have been played. The Moscow Federal District posted a 7-1 record over the course of the 11 days, giving them 20 points in the standings for the top spot when all was said and done.

Moscow started strong, posting a 5-1 victory over the Far Eastern Federal District in the opening day of the tournament. In the second game, the Siberian Federal District dragged them to overtime, before Moscow was able to prevail with a 3-2 victory. From there, it was a 6-1 victory over Northwestern, 5-2 over Central, 5-2 over Ural and 5-2 over Volga. 

On Dec. 2, the boys from St. Petersburg dealt Moscow its only loss.

Moscow was fueled by a balanced scoring attack, with only one player cracking the top ten in scoring in the tournament. That was Sergei Savinov, who tied with five other players with 10 points in eight games. Danila Poroshkov was right behind Savinov with nine points, while four players – Vitaly Korolyuk, Ilya Pautov, Ivan Patrikhaev and Timur Kol – had eight. Those eight points for Patrikhaev and Kol came from the blue line; the two defensemen were both one point off from the tournament lead in that category.

Yaroslav Kuzmenko took care of the majority of the goaltending for Moscow; he finished with a 1.98 goals-against average. That average put him at No. 4 in the tournament rankings, but his 333:30 time-on-ice was at least a full game more than the three net minders listed above him. 

Mikhail Egorov also appeared in three games, and finished with a 1.04 goals against.

The Volga Federal District finished in second place in the tournament; their losses came to Moscow and St. Petersburg. Volga was led by a pair of talented scorers in Andrey Krutov and Nikita Rakcheev – they both led the tournament with 17 points each, as well as goals – Krutov had 11 and Rakcheev had 10.

The Central Federal District finished in third; Roman Lutsev posted a whopping 16 points in his eight games to finish just behind the two aforementioned Volga players.

Nikita Sotnikov of the Ural Federal District was the top goaltender at the tournament in terms of goals against. He posted a 1.13 goals-against average in 158:49 worth of time spent between the pipes. Georgy Plotnikov was close behind; the Central Federal District net minder had a 1.37 average after competing against elite competition for 218:31.

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