No Backing Down
Posted December 23rd, 2021
2008-Born Boys From Barys Are Bound For Champions League
Located in the central region of Kazakhstan, Barys is based out of Nur-Sultan; a city with a metropolitan population of 1.2 million. The youth hockey program has made a name for itself in recent years, competing at elite-level international events such as the World Selects Invitational, and most recently, the inaugural 2022 Champions League.
They are one of five international teams competing at this year’s event, and Barys opens up tournament play with three straight American opponents. In order, they face Little Caesars, Yale Jr. Bulldogs and Windy City Storm before closing out action with two Finland-based teams in Kiekko Espoo and Kiekko Blues.
Barys represents the very best that Kazakhstan has to offer, going 5-0-0 in the first round of the country’s national championships earlier this year. The team out-scored its opponents 43-9 in those contests, and advanced to the final rounds of nationals slated to take place later this season. But how will they hold up to international competition?
“We are very happy to participate in this tournament and compete with some of the best hockey teams in the world,” said head coach Ramazan Kaidarov. “It is a great opportunity to gain valuable experience from playing with peers, as well as showcase our skills and team spirit. We will play our best and represent our club Barys and Kazakhstan in this international tournament.”
The defense is littered with lefties. Five, in fact, as Mansur Makeyev is the lone righty amongst Ilkhan Bolatov, Svyatoslav Evplov, Kirill Krutskiy, Mansur Oraz and Arman Tolen. They play in front of a pair of large goaltenders, in 5-foot-10 Arseniy Kuchkovskiy and 5-foot-6 Nikita Kulakov.
On offense, Barys carries the most forwards in the tournament with 11; almost four full lines. Temirlan Aiboluly, Anuar Akhmetzhanov, Yerlan Akhmutinov, Nar-Ulan Baiken,Tair Bigarinov, Alan Kenzhegali, Yegor Kim, Bexultan Makysh, Daniel Podvalov, Adilkhan Sattar and Zhakhanger Tieukhan can be explosive. Accustomed to playing on an Olympic rink, their game plan may change slightly playing on a smaller NHL-sized sheet of ice. If opponents give them time and space, it’s a group that can be dangerous with the puck.
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