Top ‘06 American teams meet for first time this season

When looking across the premier youth hockey teams in the United States, two names that pop up frequently are Shattuck-St. Mary’s and Chicago Mission. Two storied clubs who have already met at the ‘07 and ‘08 age groups will finally collide at the ‘06 level this weekend. 

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Saturday, December 10 @ 2:00 PM ET

For No. 1 SSM (31-1-1), this season has gone just about as well as one could hope thus far. There are just two blemishes among their incredible record, a 6-5 overtime loss to the No. 10 Dallas Stars Elite on Oct. 8 and a 3-3 tie with the Boston Jr. Eagles on Oct. 22. Since the tie, they have rattled off 13 consecutive victories.

However, throughout all their games, they have yet to play the No. 10 Mission. Making up for lost time, the two will stand against each other on the ice with a two-game series beginning Saturday.

Shattuck has numerous players throughout their lineup with impressive stat lines, including six goals and 30 points from Brandt Harpe alone. But the team’s best strength is between the pipes, led by goaltenders Jack Hirshorn and Harry Boettinger

Between the two of them, the duo has only let in 60 goals across all contests. Statistically, you’d be hard pressed to find a better tandem in youth hockey. Hirshorn has collected a 1.79 goals-against average, .907 save percentage and four shutouts. Additionally, Boettinger has amassed a 1.98 goals against, .918 save percentage and two shutouts. 

The biggest challenge for Chicago (18-6-4) will be trying to solve these two goaltenders as they will likely be seeing both in the two-game set. One thing Mission has done well up to this point in the season is score, recording a plus-52 goal differential. If there is one club who can solve SSM’s goalies, it’s them. 

Chicago hopes these two games can be a jumping off point for a strong month of December. It was an up-and-down November for them, as they went 2-2-1. 

Pete’s Pick: SSM is one of the strongest ‘06 teams in the world, and they have done most of the talking with their on-ice results. I expect Chicago to put up a fight, but the depth and goaltending of Shattuck is just too much to overcome in two games. Shattuck takes two very close games.

Craig’s Pick: Shattuck and Mission have nine shared opponents this season. In those games, Mission has an average goal differential of plus-2.16 whereas Shattuck has a plus-4.9 goals per game. The transitive property isn’t always a perfect predictor tool, but in this case, I think Shattuck is way too much for Mission to handle. Clean sweep for SSM with a pair of decisive wins.

‘07 Don Mills out for revenge vs. Mississauga

Back on Nov. 21, the No. 18 Mississauga Senators (18-15-2) shut out the No. 20 Don Mills Flyers (18-10-1), 6-0. It was the first matchup of the season between the two, and served as an eye-opener for the Flyers. 

Now, just a few weeks later, they will have the opportunity to return the favor when these two clubs square off on Tuesday. 

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Tuesday, December 6 @ 8:25 PM ET
Victoria Village Arena

The Senators are coming off a 4-1 win over the No. 9 U.S.-ranked Pittsburgh Penguins Elite. Don Mills was also victorious in their last time out; a 4-3 win against the Toronto Nationals. With these programs close together in the Top 10 for Canada, this tilt could play a role in rankings implications. As a result, both teams should expect to receive a less than warm reception from the other, which could lead to some great action on the ice. 

Pete’s Pick: I’m tempted to go Don Mills here, but Mississauga beat them soundly last time they met. I could see them putting up more of a fight here with one game’s experience under their belt, but Mississauga wins this one, 5-2. 

Craig’s Pick: These two teams are much more evenly matched than Game 1’s first result of 6-0 would suggest. Nine of Don Mills’ losses have come at the hands of just six teams. Of those six opponents, DMF has turned around to beat three of them. It’s bold, but I’ll take a shot on the Flyers to make it four with a win over the Sens. 

‘08 Tappara, Pelicans look to carve out spots 

No. 3 Tappara Sininen (15-2-4) and No. 6 Pelicans Turkoosi (11-8-2) will face off for the third time this season on Sunday. And if the first two games are any indication, this one will boil down to whoever gets the favorable bounces. 

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Sunday, December 11

Tappara is one of the hottest teams in Finland. Unbeaten in their last 11, they have had solid wins against other Top 10 teams in their group such as No. 4 JYP and No. 7 Tappara Musta. Not to be outdone, the Pelicans too have wins over JYP and Tappara Musta, but also defeated Sininen in their first outing back on Oct. 8. 

In the second matchup, both sides played to a 2-2 tie.

Tappara brings in three of the top 10 scorers of their group into the contest. Jonatan Seppä(20G, 15A), Eemil Mattanen (11G, 14A), and Viljam Kivimäki’s eight goals and 24 points lead the way. 

Behailu Pussinen’s seven goals and 15 points is the most for the Pelicans, with Romeo Mikkonen (7G, 7A) and Joakim Koivunen (6G, 7A) close behind. 

Pete’s Pick: The season series has been very close, and this game could go in favor of either opponent. That being said, I like Tappara’s offense slightly better in this one and feel that could be the factor that boosts them to a victory, 3-2. 

Craig’s Pick: What’s weird about their first two matchups, is that the leading scorers from both teams were only mildly effective. A secondary assist from Romeo Mikkonen on one end; a power-play assist from Eemil Mattanen on the other. If one of the big dogs doesn’t step up and dominate this matchup, then the scales tip in favor of whoever has better depth. That, to me, is Tappara Sininen in another low-scoring contest.

CSKA, Vityaz hope for some separation among ‘08 clubs

The Top 10 among 2008-born Russia has a cluster of teams jockeying for position. No. 5 CSKA Moscow (17-6-2) and No. 7 Vityaz Podolsk (17-5-0) are right in the thick of things, with a big matchup scheduled for Saturday. 

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Saturday, December 11

Back on Sept. 22, CSKA defeated Vityaz, 4-1, helped largely by a goal and assist from Igor Poss. Nikita Gromakov has totaled 16 goals and 20 points on the season, trailed by Poss (8G, 8A) and Nikita Ovcharov (9G, 10A) for the team lead. 

Vityaz will aim to counterpunch their attack with the trio of Gleb Pugachev, Maxim Seldemirov, and Makar Dudar. Pugachev’s 15 goals and 33 points sit atop the club. Seldemirov’s 13 goals and 30 points and Dudar’s nine goals and 26 points round out the top three. 

CSKA got back in the win column last weekend after four consecutive losses with a 5-0 victory over Khimik. Vityaz was shut out by Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, 4-0. 

Stemming from this game, there should be some clarity into the middle of the field for Russian ‘08s, which could lead to some movement in the overall rankings. 

Pete’s Pick: CSKA seems to have gotten through a rare rough patch and is back to their winning ways. Some adversity is never a bad thing, and they clearly learned to clean up a few things as a result. They win 5-1. 

Craig’s Pick: This is a weird one because most of the country took a one-month hiatus for Federal District Championships. So it really comes down to who can get back into a rhythm the quickest after the extended break. I’ll go with Vityaz here, but I don’t like it due to the coin-flip nature of the matchup already and so much uncertainty after the long layover.

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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.

‘06 Russian teams continue season series

Fresh off a 5-0 victory against HC Balashikha, No. 14 Spartak Moscow (12-3-2) has its sights set on No. 5 Dynamo Moscow (10-3-0). The two teams have clashed once already this season, and Sunday’s matchup serves as the de facto tiebreaker. 

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Sunday, December 4

Spartak has relied on its potent offense to propel them through a recent stretch of success. Averaging five goals a game during their current six-game win streak have opponents trying to figure out how to stop them. Their attack can be attributed to the leadership of Silantiy Kozhushko and Ivan Kosarev. Kozhushko, known for being more of a playmaker, has collected 18 points, using incredible vision to find teammates anywhere on the ice. Kosarev sits closely behind with five goals and 15 points. 

Aiming to prevent them from finding the score sheet will be Dynamo’s goaltending duo of Sergey Vyskrebentsev and Ilya Podsukha. While getting a majority of the starts in net, Podsukha has garnered a 1.52 goals-against average with Vyskrebentsev sitting at a respectable 2.51 goals against. 

The season series is tied between these two programs, with Spartak taking the first game 6-2 and Dynamo edging out a 4-3 shootout victory back on Oct. 2. Ivan Ryabkin came up big in that one for Dynamo, as he netted a goal in regulation and the lone shootout tally. Bogdan Kiselev also added a goal and two assists for Dynamo. 

Pete’s Pick: Spartak has been playing great hockey lately, and I expect them to continue their hot streak heading into this matchup. While the goaltending for Dynamo is solid, they boast more depth up front offensively and will use that to their advantage. Spartak takes a close one 3-2.

Craig’s Pick: These two teams stack up super close. I like Dynamo’s goaltending situation just a little bit better than Spartak. Top forward Ivan Ryabkin plays a major factor in this one with multiple points, and Spartak gets a stellar performance out of whichever goaltender man’s the net. Spartak defeats Dynamo for the second time this season, 4-1. 

‘09 KalPa, KooKoo suit up for two

If KooKoo Black’s (10-2-2) recent six-game unbeaten streak is a sign that the team is firing on all cylinders, then KalPa P Black (10-2-0) will have its hands full. KooKoo, ranked No. 8 among 2009-born Finnish teams, will take on No. 4-ranked KalPa in a two-game series on Saturday. 

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Saturday, December 3

The play of KooKoo’s leading scorer, Aapo Vainikka has helped them jump to the first overall spot in Group F. Dynamic on both sides of the puck, he has notched 16 goals and 30 points through 14 games, sitting just outside the Top 10 scorers of his group. 

While Vainikka’s numbers are impressive, KalPa counters with the two leading scorers of their group, Veeti Pisto and Luukas Kokkonen. Pisto has found the back of the net an incredible 21 times over 14 games, and has added 25 assists as well. Kokkonen has struck for 21 goals and 37 points. 

Both players have also seen some playing time among U15 KalPa Musta’s club as well, showing that they have the talent to play up an age group.

Pete’s Pick: While KooKoo is riding a hotter streak, KalPa’s schedule has consisted of tougher opponents. However, KooKoo decisively beat KalPa E Keltainen earlier this season by scores of 5-1 and 9-1. KooKoo takes both games in a tight series.

Craig’s Pick: I think we’ll see a split in this one. Both teams have shown they’re the two best clubs in Group 4. KooKoo Black and KalPa Black appear to be sizably better than the seven other teams in their group. I fully expect them to trade blows in a heavyweight bout for group supremacy. Each team earns a dub this weekend.

Kings, Red Wings collide in 2011 Top 25 matchup

The No. 12 Vaughan Kings (22-5-1) and No. 25 Toronto Red Wings (13-7-5) will face off for the first time this season on Friday.

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Friday, December 2 @ 6:30 PM
Chesswood Arenas

Vaughan is eager to get back in the win column, as they were bested by the No. 1 Toronto Jr. Canadiens 6-1 last time out following a solid showing at the 2022 International Silver Sticks Tournament. The Red Wings have been unbeaten in three, settling for a 3-3 tie with the North York Rangers in their last tilt. 

The key to this game will be if Toronto’s defense can hold up to the explosive ability of the Kings to find the back of the net. A plus-93 goal differential is what most opponents have to contend with from Vaughan, compared to a plus-28 goal differential of Toronto. It will be a “bend, don’t break” mentality from Toronto. If they can weather the storm, a total team effort will be needed in order to take advantage of a key opportunity to build their resume. 

Pete’s Pick: Vaughan boasts one of the most prolific scoring corps of their birth year, and they will easily cruise past Toronto in this one 5-1.

Craig’s Pick: “Not so fast, my friend!” North York, Ontario, becomes Upset City on Friday. That’s right, the Kings are just 1-4-0 in their last five games against Top-25 teams. They played a lot of hockey — and a lot of good hockey — last weekend at Silver Sticks. This feels like a let-down spot to me, and the Red Wings take advantage, 4-2.

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One Team From Every Group With A Chance To Win The Tournament

A tournament that dates back to 1957, the International Silver Sticks is one of the oldest and longest running youth hockey events in North America. This season, some of the top teams from the United States and Canada clash at the 2007, 2009, 2011 and 2013 birth years. They compete with the hopes of winning one of the most unique trophies in the sport; a full-size silver hockey stick. One hundred AAA-level teams will compete in the top divisions of the tournament. We dive deep into the field to offer one team from each Group with the potential to win the whole thing.

2007 Division

It’s called 15O in the U.S., and U16 in Canada. At the end of the day, they’re all 2007-born players. This year’s field consists of 30 teams, three of them from below the 49th parallel. The No. 2 Bishop Kearney, No. 9 Pittsburgh Penguins Elite and unranked Cleveland Barons join a field that consists of the top nine teams from Canada. That’s right, from No. 1 Toronto Marlboros and No. 2 Don Mills Flyers down to No. 10 Halton Hurricanes, the 2007 division is stacked.

Group 1: Three teams have a legit shot at winning this group of five. Unranked Vaughan Kings could play spoiler, but it will come down to the matchup between Bishop Kearney and Halton. The Hurricanes have lost outright just once since September. They stay hot and win the group.

Group 2: This should come down to No. 7 Toronto Jr. Canadiens and No. 8 Southern Tier Admirals. The two teams played last month, and the Jr. Canadiens came out on top 3-1 at the Wendy Duffton Memorial Tournament. Nico Addy, Jake O’Brien and the Jr. Canadiens have a deep offense that gives them an advantage here.

Group 3: If the London Jr. Knights want to be talked about amongst the best in the country, they need to have a strong showing here. Ryan Roobroeck is one of the best forwards in the country, and he’s playing like it too. He has 45 goals and 77 points in 25 games for London and he alone could be enough for them to advance to the playoff rounds.

Group 4: Toronto Marlboros. That’s it. They’re the No. 1 team in Canada and should be considered one of the favorites to win the entire tournament. They’re 10-2-0 in the last month and should make quick work of pool play opponents. 

Group 5: Don Mills Flyers come in as the highest-ranked team in the field. However, they’ve already lost to pool opponents No. 6 York Simcoe Express 5-3 and unranked Toronto Young Nationals 4-3. The ‘favorite’ ain’t the favorite here; take the Nationals as an underdog in the pool, and potentially in the playoffs as well.

Group 6: It’s unfortunate that the No. 3 Mississauga Rebels and unranked Peterborough Petes open up pool play against each other. Odds are, the playoff bid for Group 6 will be decided on the first day of the tournament. Rebels run wild after an opening-day win and make a push deep into the final day of the weekend.

2009 Division

Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers, Middlesex Islanders and Pittsburgh Penguins Elite represent the U.S. among the field of 25 teams. MFJR sits at No. 7 in the country and the trio of American teams will compete with No. 1 Don Mills Flyers, No. 2 Toronto Jr. Canadiens, No. 4 Sun County Panthers, No. 5 Toronto Red Wings, No. 6 Toronto Titans and No. 8 Toronto Marlboros.

Group 1: The Jr. Canadiens are the No. 2 team in the country, and should be one of the favorites to win Silver Sticks. The Toronto Red Wings may be the only team to put up a fight in pool play, and that’s a team that the Jr. Canadiens have already defeated 8-1 earlier this season. 

Group 2: Ottawa Myers Automotive has played a tough slate of games this season and competed with the best in the country. They survive a really close, scrappy group where multiple teams finish with multiple wins and multiple losses. Ottawa takes that survive-and-advance mentality into playoffs and may even steal a game there as well.

Group 3: Sun County and Mid-Fairfield will meet for the third time this season, each team with a win apiece. The winner advances to the playoff rounds — and the loser may, as well — but the Panthers win a close one in the final game of pool play to lock up a spot.

Group 4: One more upset to keep an eye on. Watch unranked Huron-Perth Lakers give No. 8 Toronto Marlboros all they can handle on Friday night. It just might be enough for the Lakers to pull an upset and steal an automatic playoff bid out of Group 4.

Group 5: Don Mills Flyers should go 4-0-0 in pool play. They might not get tested until the quarters or semifinal playoff rounds. On one hand, it can be beneficial to cruise into the final four. On the other, DMF runs the risk of an upset when facing the first signs of adversity. Nonetheless, the Flyers should be one of the last teams standing on Sunday.

2011 Division

Once again, the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite and Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers will represent the U.S. in the 2011 Division just like their 2009-born counterparts. The difference here is PPE is No. 1 in the country and MFJR is No. 2, respectively. If the U.S. has a shot at winning a Silver Sticks tournament on Canadian soil, these two teams may lay claim to it. Five teams in the Canadian Top 10 will stand in their way, making the 2011 Division a close one to call.

Group 1: Mid-Fairfield, welcome to Canada! You get the No. 4 Vaughan Kings and No. 6 Oakville Rangers in pool play. It’s not a great draw for anyone in Group 1, but someone’s gotta survive. Advancing could come down to tiebreakers like goal differential or something wonky. Vaughan doesn’t give up much defensively, so maybe that gives them a leg up in a tight group.

Group 2: U.S.-based Rochester Coalition took top-ranked Toronto Jr. Canadiens to overtime last month. They might’ve surprised Toronto in the first go-round but that won’t happen again. Toronto takes care of business in a big way.

Group 3: Little Caesars is a storied program that has had a lot of success throughout this tournament’s history. Expect a strong showing from its only team in the field at any group. However, the automatic bid goes through Halton Hurricanes — a game that Caesars can win, but just not expecting it.

Group 4: It’s Elgin-Middlesex Canucks’ group to lose, but it won’t come easy. Both Middlesex Islanders and Toronto Titans provide big obstacles to tackle. As long as the Jr. Canadiens aren’t in EMC’s way — they’ve handed the Canucks two of their three losses this season — Elgin-Middlesex has a real shot at winning the entire tournament.

Group 5: If the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite don’t survive pool play, it’s a bad sign for Americans. Pens Elite have played nine games this season against Canadian opponents in preparation for this tournament. They’re 6-3-0 in those games and if PPE can’t make a run here, USA may be shut out of a Silver Stick championship altogether.

2013 Division

It’s the smallest field of teams with just 20, at the youngest age group of the tournament. It’s the most diverse field of the tournament, though, with a third of the teams representing the USA. World Hockey Hub does not provide rankings for this age group, however, there’s one team from each group below with a chance to win it all.

Group 1: Quinte Red Devils
Group 2: Little Caesars
Group 3: Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers
Group 4: Toronto Jr. Canadiens

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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.

‘07 Kiekko-Espoo, Jokerit set for weekend series

No. 8 Kiekko-Espoo (19-2-1) will square off with Jokerit (18-4-0) for a two-game series beginning on Friday. 

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Friday, November 25

Jokerit, the No. 5-ranked club in Finland, enters the weekend as winners of their last six. Leading the charge offensively has been Kalle Kulonummi with nine goals and 19 points and Rasmus Kämäräinen (13 goals, six assists). Rounding out the top three for the Helsinki-based program is Lauri Kouhia (nine goals, eight assists). 

K-Espoo, also winners of five straight, comes equipped with not only the third-best scorer of their group in Aapo Vanninen, but also the top goalie in Magnus Loponen. Vanninen sits behind Oliver Torkki and Matias Vanhanen of No. 4 Finnish-ranked HIFK with 10 goals and 36 points. 

One of the best at stopping the puck, Loponen has backstopped K-Espoo to the top of the group, compiling a 1.33 goals-against average and .938 save percentage. 

For Jokerit, the true challenge will be finding a way to beat Loponen. With evenly spread scoring at the top of their lineup, it will make secondary production among their bottom six forwards all the more crucial. 

Pete’s Pick: If Loponen starts both of these games, Jokerit will have a tough chance for victory. That being said, with balanced scoring throughout Jokerit’s  lineup, that could be their biggest factor of pulling out a win. The games will be close, but I see K-Espoo taking both. 

Craig’s Pick: With games on back-to-back days, you’re likely to see two different goalies get the start for both teams. The tandem of Sakari Savolainen and Pekka Korhonen have been very consistent for Jokerit. It’s a good one-two punch, and I like No. 5 Jokerit to earn a 1-1 split with top-ranked K-Espoo here.

Dynamo aims to prove themselves vs. CSKA

No. 5 Dynamo Moscow (14-6-0) will try to be the first 2010-born team to finally crack the armor of No. 1 CSKA Moscow (23-0-0) when they face off this Saturday. 

It will be the second game of their season series, with CSKA narrowly escaping with a 5-4 victory back in September.

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Saturday, November 26

In that game, Dynamo opened the scoring just 30 seconds into the first period before CSKA rattled off three unanswered goals. Dynamo would respond with three of their own to take a 5-3 lead. CSKA would add two late tallies to secure the win. 

Arseney Rychagov, one of Dynamo’s leading scorers with four goals and 15 points, assisted twice. Matvey Fedorenko found the back of the net as well, sitting second behind Rychagov with six goals and nine points. 

CSKA has arguably not only been one of the best teams among 2010-born Russian squads, but in all of youth hockey. On an unprecedented 23-game win streak, they have fared well against all types of competition. 

The main reason for their torrid start to the season? Goals…and lots of them. 

Averaging close to seven goals per game, no other team has managed to match that rate of production. Look no further than Nikita Sininen and Roman Andreev as the main sparks to the incredible attack. 

When looking at the stats the duo has been able to put up, one might think there is a typo at the numbers that pop up on the screen. Sininen’s 29 goals and 63 points and Andreev’s 30 goals and 55 points are spectacular figures. Consistency has been a factor in their ability to pile up the points. Sininen is riding a 16-game point streak, with Andreev’s personal streak at eight games. 

Given the way things played out last time these two went head to head, Dynamo knows they can score against CSKA and skate with them. If they do a better job at game management and tighten things up defensively, they could very well be the first ones to take down CSKA. 

Pete’s Pick: While it would be exciting to see someone finally take down CSKA, there are just too many things going right for them right now. Sininen and Andreev single handedly could take down Dynamo. Even if those two are not a factor, the remaining roster of talent is a tough task to handle for any club. 

Craig’s Pick: CSKA could run the table this year among 2010s. This game — and another matchup next month with Spartak — is among only a few true tests remaining on the schedule. I think Dynamo threatens with a lead early but CSKA’s offense gets them out of trouble with a 5-3 or 6-4 type of win.

Cross-border matchups highlighted at International Silver Stick

With the International Silver Sticks tournament kicking off over Thanksgiving weekend,, there will be plenty of cross-border matchups between Canadian and American teams to keep an eye on.

In the 2009 division, No. 7 U.S.-ranked Mid-Fairfield Jr. Rangers (20-7-3) are set to battle the No. 11 Sun County Panthers (17-2-0) on Saturday. 

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Saturday, November 26 @ 5:15 p.m. ET
Iroquois Park Sports Centre

Both teams are in the same group for round robin action, along with the Barrie Colts, Niagara North Stars and No. 16 Toronto Titans.

The two teams have split two other games this season, with the Jr. Rangers winning 6-3 on Oct. 29th. The Panthers pulled out a 3-2 victory the next day. With both clubs evenly matched, it will be interesting to see if the fireworks between them continue, this time in a tournament setting. 

Pete’s Pick: Given the fact that Mid-Fairfield was able to put up six goals in their first meeting, they have the ability to put tons of pressure on the Panthers’ defense. While Sun County kept things close in the second game, I see the Jr. Rangers putting up the goals again next time out for the win.

Craig’s Pick: Special teams will be the difference in this one. Three of Sun County’s six goals in the series with MFJR have come on the power play. In the 3-2 win, the Panthers were 2-for-2 on the man advantage while Mid-Fairfield was shut out in four attempts. This game follows a similar trend. I like Sun County to cash in with a couple PPGs and a 4-2 victory. Both could survive pool play and advance to the elimination rounds of Silver Sticks though.

Canucks, Islanders meet in Group 4 matchup

Switching to the 2011 division in the Silver Stick, the No. 9 Elgin-Middlesex Canucks (14-3-2) will lace up the skates against No. 22 Middlesex Islanders (15-4-1) on Friday. 

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Friday, November 25 @ 11:00 a.m. ET
Iroquois Park Sports Centre

The Canucks come into this game feeling great about the state of their game, currently in the midst of winning 10 straight. 

Both clubs tend to score more than allow goals, and their goal differentials are indicative of that. The Canucks bring a plus-54 goal differential into the afternoon while the Islanders have recorded a plus-40 goal differential.

Pete’s Pick: I think the Canucks edge out a win here. Simply put, they are feeling confident in every aspect of their game. Middlesex tends to play in lower-scoring affairs, so if its defense can hold, I can see this being a close one. Regardless, Elgin gets the win. 

Craig’s Pick: This one should be close, and likely low scoring. That favors Middlesex, in my opinion. They are 8-3-1 when producing three or fewer goals offensively. The Islanders are comfortable grinding out games, whereas EMC isn’t quite as battle tested. Nine of their 12 wins have been by three or more goals. If this turns into a dog fight, the Canucks could be in trouble. I like Middlesex to win a scrappy, ugly 3-1 game.

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‘08 Top 10 tilt between Chicago Mission, Penguins Elite

Kicking off our games to look forward to is a meeting between the No. 13 Chicago Mission (23-4-3) and No. 9-ranked among 2008 U.S. teams, the Pittsburgh Penguins Elite (20-4-0).

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Saturday, November 19 @ 6:50 P.M. CST
International Rink

Both teams are currently enjoying extensive win streaks, with Chicago victorious in their last three and Penguins in their last seven. While Pittsburgh does not boast as dynamic an offense as Chicago, they have recorded a plus-50 goal differential. Compare that to the Mission’s plus-80 goal differential, and it can be seen the two teams aren’t that far off from one another when it comes to attacking.

The danger here for either side is getting into a game where goals are traded left and right. The team that controls play in all three zones will end up in the win column, as a balanced approach will be key. 

Pete’s Pick: Chicago have proven to this point they are the team to beat among U.S. teams of their birth year, and this game should only further solidify that point. While Pittsburgh is certainly capable of keeping things close, the Mission will eventually pull away in a 6-3 win.

Craig’s Pick: I expect this game to be much closer than our WHH Rankings may suggest, with Mission at No. 1 and PPE at No. 9 in the country. Mission has a 3-2-2 record in seven games against fellow Top-10 ranked teams this season. They’re just a bit more battle tested in my book, so I’ll give Chicago the edge over Pens Elite… but it’s really close, 3-2. 

‘06 Lokomotiv eyes move up the rankings 

No. 15 Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s (7-3-0) plans to make some noise among 2006-born Russian clubs depending on how they come out against No. 5 Dynamo Moscow (8-3-0) on Sunday, Nov. 20.

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Sunday, November 20

Dynamo bested Lokomotiv 4-1 back in September. Their leading scorer on the season with five goals and 13 assists, Ivan Ryabkin, notched two helpers. Bogdan Kiselev, who sits just behind Ryabkin with eight goals and 15 points, kicked off the scoring in that matchup.

One of the biggest issues for Lokomotiv last time these two met was most of its point leaders were held off the scoresheet. Players such as Vadim Dudorov, Sergey Kudinov, and Alexey Elblaus were unable to crack through the opposition. Getting all three players going in the upcoming game will be crucial for Lokomotiv to even the season series. 

The biggest obstacle they will have to overcome will be between the pipes. Sergey Vyskrebentsev manned the crease in their last game. However, Ilya Podsukha, who has donned the pads for a majority of Dynamo’s games, serves up a pristine 1.30 goals-against average.

Expect both teams to empty the tanks in this one, as they do not meet again until the new year at the end of January. 

Pete’s Pick: Lokomotiv got a late goal to pad some stats last time these two teams met. I expect Dynamo to pick up where they left off, as Lokomotiv’s offense will not be able to crack whomever Dynamo puts in goal. Dynamo takes this one 5-1.

Craig’s Pick: Lokomotiv is playing much better hockey than the last time these two teams met, but I still don’t think it will be enough. Dynamo is a more complete team with higher end scorers in Kiselev, Roman Gorodilov and Ryabkin. I think they open it up even more in the rematch; Dynamo wins 6-2.

‘07 Pelicans look to crack Finnish Top 10

Sitting at 11-5-0 on the season, the Pelicans have a prime opportunity to strengthen their resume among Finnish ‘07 clubs with two upcoming games against No. 8 Kiekko-Espoo (14-1-0) this week. 

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Wednesday, November 16

The first game will take place Wednesday, Nov. 16, serving as the first time this season the two will be facing off against one another. The Pelicans have been a bubble team for much of 2022-23 action, just on the cusp of sliding into the top 10. 

The opportunity to make some noise has presented itself, now all they have to do is capitalize on it. 

Luka Arkko and Juho Piiparinen both lead the Pelicans with 18 points apiece. Both were instrumental in the team’s most recent victories  against KalPa and Jokipojat.

Kiekko-Espoo has handled most of the competition among group play, with a lone blemish being a 7-3 loss to Jokipojat earlier this month. A run of play that has them comfortably atop the table of 2008-born Finnish teams as well as within the world rankings

Since that loss on Nov. 5, they have rattled off three wins, overcoming teams such as KalPa, KJT Haukat, and Jukurit.

Aapo Vanninen, Kiekko-Espoo’s most prolific playmaker, has assisted on 23 goals and has tallied 10 of his own. Just behind his 33 points is Aleksi Kilpeläinen‘s 11 goals and 29 points. 

Pete’s Pick: The Pelicans have slowly been gaining steam as the season has progressed, taking part in some close matchups against the best teams of their group. While I expect them to put up a fight, the overall team talent Kiekko-Espoo possesses will be too much to overcome if this becomes an offensive display. Kiekko-Espoo wins 4-2.

Craig’s Pick: Kiekko is the top team in Finland for good reason. However, they were caught asleep at the wheel yesterday with a surprising 7-3 loss to unranked Jokipojat. There’s no way Vanninen and Kilpeläinen allow that to happen a second time. I think an angry KE squad makes a statement with an 8-1 victory. 

‘07 SSM hits the road for series vs. BK Selects

No. 9 Shattuck-St. Mary’s (17-5-3) will get some bonding time away from their home rink when they head to Rochester, New York, for a three-game series against the No. 13 Bishop Kearney Selects (19-8-6) this weekend. 

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Saturday, November 19 @ 1:00 p.m. EST

In the early stages of the season, these two programs played to a 3-3 tie, proving that their close proximity in the standings is no fluke. Shattuck had an eight-game unbeaten streak end at the hands of No. 5 Chicago Mission last weekend, while Bishop Kearney come in as winners of their last two over the Mississauga Senators and Compuware.

The Selects like to fill up the net, so all eyes will be on the goaltending of Grayson Hanggi and Garrett Glaser for SSM in this one. Their play has led to modest goals-against averages, with Glaser getting the slight advantage of a 1.57 goals-against to Hanggi’s 1.83 goals-against. 

Pete’s Pick: These are probably the games I am most looking forward to this week, as both teams are so similar in their approach to offense, defense and overall roster construction. That being said, someone has to come out victorious, so I see Shattuck taking a very hard fought series 2-1. 

Craig’s Pick: Bishop Kearney has played 16 — yes, sixteen — games against teams ranked in the Top 10 of their respective countries this season. Shattuck, on the other hand, has yet to play a game outside the State of Hockey. I think the travel could play a factor here, and BK being battle tested and at home, gives them a huge leg up. Shattuck is likely traveling 1,000 miles by bus to the Empire State. I’ll take BK to win the first two games and Shattuck to steal the final matchup before heading home.

Follow WHH on Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, TikTok, Discord and YouTube for the latest news, rankings, highlights and more from the world of youth hockey!

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.

‘07 Chicago Mission, SSM battle for supremacy

The 2007-birth year is set for some fireworks when the No. 1 Chicago Mission (23-6-2) head to Minnesota for a matchup with No. 2 Shattuck-St. Mary’s (15-4-3) on Nov. 11. Heading into these tilts, Shattuck is in the midst of an eight-game unbeaten streak.

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Friday, November 11 @ 6:00 p.m. CT
Shattuck-St. Mary’s Ice Arena

With this being the first game in a three-game series, bragging rights won’t be the only thing on the line. These matchups could have serious implications when it comes to the top 10 rankings for the U.S. 

Chicago bested SSM 2-1 back on Sept. 16 at the Minnesota Blades showcase. Despite that low score, Shattuck should be prepared for the explosive offense Chicago possesses with a current plus-80 goal differential. 

Shattuck consists of nine players with 10 or more points, led by Gavin Katz’s 16 goals and 13 assists. Their main advantage, however, lies in net with Marlborough, Mass. native Garrett Glaser. The last line of defense will be crucial in attempting to skate away with a win. 

If Glaser’s 8-2-1 record and 1.57 goals-against-average are any indication, it will take all of Mission’s firepower to remain on top. 

Pete’s Pick: Shattuck has the ability to skate with Chicago and put up a fight, so I see them taking at least one game out of the three. But Chicago’s offense will be too much over three games, so the Mission take the series 2-1. 

Craig’s Pick: It always seems to be a low-scoring affair when these two teams get together. Shattuck gets Mission at home, but the Sabres are just 3-3-1 in games with five goals or fewer scored this season. Five goals or less? Mission wins. Six goals or more? Shattuck wins. Mission takes the three-game series 2-1.

Dynamo looks to top CSKA in ‘06 Moscow matchup

No. 1 CSKA Moscow (14-1-0) and No. 3 Dynamo Moscow (8-2-0) will both bring extensive streaks into their meeting this weekend. 

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Sunday, November 13

Winners of six straight, CSKA lit the lamp seven times in their last win against HC Balashikha

Dynamo’s defense stood tall in a 5-0 shutout of Khimik last weekend, increasing their streak of victories to four. 

Back on Sept. 11, CSKA edged Dynamo 3-2 in a thriller of a game. After Eduard Mishkov opened the scoring for Dynamo, Maxim Zaitsev tied things up just about a minute-and-a-half later with a top-shelf snipe. Kurban Limatov would add a tally for a 2-1 Dynamo lead but Ivan Okunev’s two goals towards the end of the game would propel CSKA to the victory. 

This will be a skill vs. skill matchup, with both squads made up of players who pile up the points. Statistically, CSKA’s numbers jump off the page a bit more. Taking up the top of the stat sheet are the likes of Arseny Vorobyov (14 goals, 16 assists), Nikita Frolov (6 goals, 18 assists) and Ratmir Aubakirov (11 goals, 10 assists). 

For Dynamo, they are supplied with the one-two punch of Ivan Ryabkin (7 goals, 14 assists) and Bogdan Kiselev’s seven goals and nine assists. 

Pete’s Pick: Both rosters are composed of a decent amount of skill, but CSKA has a bit more polish to their game at both ends of the rink. As a result, I see them taking this one 4-2. 

Craig’s Pick: CSKA’s top scorers were severely limited when these two teams first met eight weeks ago, and they still found a way to win with Ivan Okunev tallying two goals. I expect forwards like Arseny Vorobyov, Ratmir Aubakirov, Nikita Frolov and even Alexey Dontsov to get loose in the rematch and run away with this one a bit.

‘07 Western Canada RINK Hockey showdown

No. 8 RINK Hockey Academy Winnipeg (9-2-0), current owners of a four-game win streak, will face off against RINK Hockey Academy Kelowna (9-6-0) on Saturday. 

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Saturday, November 12 @ 5:00 p.m. ST
Barkman Arena

This matchup provides a solid opportunity for Winnipeg to not only build their resume in the World Rankings, but also solidify their position at the top of their group in the CSSHL. Sitting first with 37 points, they currently are 15 points ahead of second place Okanagan Hockey Adademy.

Winnipeg knows it has the ability to come out on top, as they won a 4-1 game against Kelowna back on Oct. 16. They too, will look to this game as a measuring stick opportunity. With their astounding offensive flair, a complete 60 minute defensive effort will be key for Kelowna to have any chance of a win.

The schedules of both programs continue to be full of CSSHL matchups, so it will be vital to bank as many points as possible in these games for playoff implications later on in the season.

Pete’s Pick: Winnipeg dispatched Kelowna with ease last time out, and I think it will be another victory for them in this one. They have absolutely dominated league play and have been in a decent groove the last few outings. Kelowna may put up a fight, but Winnipeg’s ability to fill the net will be too much for them to overcome.

Craig’s Pick: Winnipeg dominated play much more than the 4-1 score would indicate from last month. The boys from Manitoba put 51 — yes, fifty-one — shots on goal the last time these two teams met. RINK Winnipeg has outshot its opponent in every game this season as well. I think they do it again against their RINK family rivals, winning even more decisively than the first meeting.

Laval looks to settle score vs. Montreal

If these names look familiar to you, that is because we featured the first matchup of these 2011-born teams in our games of the week preview back on Oct. 24. 

This week, the No. 7 Patriotes Laval (6-1-3) will square off against National Montréal (8-0-0) for a chance at redemption. 

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Sunday, November 13 

In their last outing against one another, Laval opened the scoring thanks to a Tyler Stephen goal. Shortly after, Montréal would knot things up at 1 with Jonah Puma finishing off a pretty passing play. Taiyo Turcotte’s first goal of the season at the end of the first period gave Montreal a 2-1 lead. With Laval scoring the only goal of the second period, things were all even 3-3 heading into the final frame. Turcotte sniped his second goal of the game for a 3-2 lead before Thomas Thibault would pad it minutes later for the eventual 4-2 final. 

The last win by Montréal was a testament to the strength of their club, led by the scoring prowess of Leo Fernandez Pisanu’s 13 points (4 goals, 9 assists) across nine games. Laval’s offense is largely supplied by Shawn-Anthony Senat (7 goals, 4 assists) and Keironn Davis Diakite (4 goals, 7 assists). 

A victory for Laval would not only strengthen their ranking nationally among the top teams in Canada, but also would inch them closer to vying for the top spot in their LHEQ group, currently occupied by Montréal.

Pete’s Pick: While I almost went with my gut in saying Laval might get their revenge, logic tells me that Montreal will come out with some extra fire in their bellies to continue their win streak. They will use a victory here to state their case that they are one of the top teams in all of Canada and could very well find themselves in the top-10 come next rankings.

Craig’s Pick: If Shawn-Anthony Senat gets on the scoresheet by way of goals or assists, Laval wins. He’s the team’s leading scorer and main supplier of offense. I like the Patriotes to win the second matchup in the season series, but only if Senat gets going offensively.

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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.  

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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!

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. 

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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. 

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Saturday, October 8 @ 5:05 pm EDT
Canlan Sports

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. 

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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. 

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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.

Want to stay updated on all the games of the week and the top teams across youth hockey? Follow WHH on FacebookInstagramTwitterTikTokDiscord and YouTube for more!

Lokomotiv 2004 and Mikhailov Academy look to make moves in early-season matchups

Each week, World Hockey Hub will highlight a few of the most exciting upcoming games. From the hottest rivalries to the biggest tournaments, we focus on matchups that should have your attention this week.

Lokomotiv 2004 Yaroslavl Looks to Build Resume

Lokomotiv 2004 Yaroslavl will take on CSKA Moscow in a clash of 2006-born teams on Sunday, October 2.

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Sunday, October 2

Lokomotiv 2004 has found solid footing out of the gate, posting a 2-1-1 record. After starting their season off with a 6-1 blowout of Atlant Mytishchi, they fell to Yantar Moscow in a shootout. They quickly rebounded with a victory against HC Balashikha just a week later. In their most recent match last weekend, they fell to Dynamo Moscow 3-1.

Defenseman Daniil Brusnikin has been carrying the hot stick for Lokomotiv, tallying five goals thus far. Despite having a minus-3 rating, Brusnikin’s ability to easily weave into the attack for his club has contributed largely to their early-season success.

If Brusnikin can tighten up his defensive numbers, it could mean big things for Lokomotiv moving forward in a very competitive 2006 Russian group.  

Bolstering the Lokomotiv 2004 attack behind Brusnikin are forwards Matvey Kazakov (2G, 2A) and Kirill Ignatiev (3A).

CSKA has started out of the gates flying into the 2022-23 season, amassing an 8-1-0 record. They were ranked number 1 in the World Hockey Hub preseason rankings among 2006-born Russian clubs, and have proven thus far why they deserve the top spot.

They have made easy work of top-tier opponents such as Krylia Sovetov, Spartak Moscow, SKA Strelna, and Dynamo Moscow, scoring at least three goals in each game. Across all matches into this season, they have been getting it done at both ends of the ice, finding the back of the net 42 times, while only allowing 15 goals.

And who has been leading that potent offense? Look no further than the three-headed power trio of defenseman Alexey Rodionov (2G, 11A) and forwards Ivan Okunev (7G, 5A) and Alexey Dontsov (3G, 6A). All while being backstopped by the incredible goaltending tandem of Mikhail Egorov and Mikhail Astakhov.

However, they were dealt their first setback of the season with a 5-3 loss to Lokomotiv Yaroslavl on Sunday. Eager to get back to their winning ways, they will eye the upcoming game against Lokomotiv 2004 as a chance to prove that loss was nothing more than a minor stumble.

Throughout the course of past seasons, these two clubs have met a total of 21 times, with CSKA leading the all-time meetings 18-2-1.

Both contain depth and offensive-minded defenders; this will be an interesting matchup to see if Lokomotiv can prove they can skate with one of the premier teams in its age group.

Mount St. Charles Looks to Rebound

On Friday, the Long Island Gulls will travel to Rhode Island for an afternoon tilt against Mount St. Charles. With both teams firing on all cylinders as of late, this one is shaping up to be a meeting of two very talented 2007-born rosters.

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Friday, September 30 @ 2 pm EST
Adelard Arena

Rolling through a continued stretch of stellar play, the Gulls come into this matchup fresh off a weekend that saw them defeat Team Minnesota 5-2, bringing their overall record to 13-2-0.

In the midst of an 11-game winning streak the Gulls have been propelled by a potent offense. They have bombarded opponents with their high offensive ability, and have relied on tight-checking defense to prevent any opportunities in the defensive zone.

Currently maintaining a plus-37 goal differential, no team has been able to slow down the Gulls thus far.

For the host team, Mount comes into this game on the heels of a two-game weekend that saw them best the Oakland Jr. Grizzlies before falling to Little Caesars; their first loss of the season.

Much like the Gulls, Mount St. Charles has relied on a bombastic attack and stingy defense to keep the opposition at bay in most contests.

If these two clubs live up to their reputations, there might be some fireworks in store for this game… and both goaltenders should be prepared to see good amounts of rubber come their way.

Showdown set between Don Mills and Ottawa Myers

While many 2009-born Canadian teams are beginning to ramp up their action into this season, the Don Mills Flyers and Ottawa Myers Automotive have already gotten wins under their belts.

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Saturday, October 1 @ 9:20 am EST
Westwood Arenas

After kicking off their season with a 3-0 shutout of the North York Rangers, the Flyers have had a bit of a lull in their schedule. Ottawa kicked off their season on September 18 when they edged out a 5-4 win against the Upper Canada Cyclones.

With both teams still fresh into the young season, this matchup provides an opportunity to continue the success both clubs have found in the early weeks of the new season.

Mikhailov Academy Looks for a victory against Vityaz

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Sunday, October 2

Mikhailov Academy has started solidly this season, going 6-4-2 in twelve contests.

In the midst of dropping their last two games, they are in desperate need of returning to the win column. With three games having been played between these two programs, Vityaz has won all three, so Mikhailov Academy will have to do something it’s never done before.

This game affords Mikhailov Academy not only a chance for redemption in the all-time series, but to also bolster their standing in the 2008 Russian-born rankings. The club  currently sits in seventh.

The dynamic attack of Boris Borin, (8G, 7A), Nikita Fateev (6G, 6A) and Matvei Cheranev (5G, 7A) leads the way for Mikhailov Academy. All three players are paramount to any hopes of emerging victorious against Vityaz.

Vityaz has been an early bright spot among Russian clubs, and after recording a perfect 11-0-0 record to begin the season, their streak was halted with a 4-1 loss to CSKA Moscow. They rebounded last weekend with a winning effort, downing Khimik 6-2.

Refreshed and back in the win column, they know a matchup against Mikhailov Academy is just what is needed to continue their success.

And while Mikhailov Academy boasts some talented forwards, Vityaz can counter with a versatile group of their own.

Maxim Seldemirov’s penchant for finding the back of the net in just about any situation has propelled him to the top of the stat sheet, recording 15 points (8G, 7A). While not carrying the entire offensive output on his shoulders, forwards Gleb Pugachev (5G, 8A) and Timofey Gusarov (6G, 4A) can be relied on for consistent secondary scoring.

But Vityaz’s true secret weapon lies on the blue line in defenseman Vasily Savchuk. Savchuk’s six points (2G, 4A) and solid defensive numbers show that he can get it done at both ends of the ice.

All eyes will be on this one to see if Vityaz can continue their domination of Mikhailov Academy, or if a new script can be written in the next chapter of this series. 

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Top ’08 Canadian team aims to continue hot start

Each week, World Hockey Hub will highlight a few of the most exciting upcoming games. From the hottest rivalries to the biggest tournaments, we focus on matchups that should have your attention this week.

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Friday, September 23 @ 7:10 pm EST
Westwoods Arenas

The Vaughan Kings come into the 2022-23 season with lofty expectations.

For a team that finished last season with a 59-1-3 record, why would anyone expect anything less?

And if their start to this season is any indication, it seems as if they are picking up right where they left off, showing why the Kings deserved the top spot in our Canadian team rankings for the 2008 birth year.

Just three games into their campaign, the Kings have amassed 2-0-1 record, defeating the North York Rangers, Toronto Marlboros, with a 1-1- tie coming against the Barrie Colts last weekend. Their next matchup is slated for this Friday against the Mississauga Rebels.

The Rebels have one game under their belts; a 4-4 tie with the Don Mills Flyers.

Canucks, Jr. Rangers set for home-and-home matchups

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Saturday, Sept. 24 @ 1:30 pm EST
Kitchener Memorial Auditorium Complex

The newly-rebranded Elgin-Middlesex Canucks head into the weekend on the heels of a 4-4- tie vs. the Oakville Rangers last Sunday, bringing their overall record to 1-0-1.

On the other side of the ice, the Kitchener Jr. Rangers first action of this season will be against the Canucks.

Elgin-Middlesex debuted in the No. 8 spot amongst Canadian ’08-born clubs. Kitchener was not ranked, but will certainly raise some eyebrows with a competitive series this upcoming weekend. The two teams square off on consecutive days, with an opportunity to make an early-season statement.

Saturday will see the two sides meet in Kitchener’s home rink, with game two scheduled in EMC territory on Sunday. Both squads will have plenty to prove in these games.

For the Canucks, it serves as an opportunity to bolster their standing as one of the top teams in the country. The Rangers on the other hand, have a chance to prove that they can compete with the best this birth year has to offer.

Nacka ready to make noise at 2022 DIF Elitcup U14

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Friday, Sept. 23 @ 1:20 pm CET
Mälarhöjdens Ice Hall

After kicking off their season at the 2022 Farsta Games, Nacka HK is set for the upcoming DIF Elitcup for 2009 birth year squads from September 23-25.

Currently ninth in our preseason rankings, Nacka could use a successful run at this tournament to both raise their profile among fellow Sweden clubs. IFK Täby HC finds themselves on the outside looking in of the Top 10 Sweden rankings, and also kicked off their season at the Farsta Games. Both Nacka and Täby finished towards the bottom of the group in that tournament, but what will be interesting to see is if any emotion carries over into the Elitcup.

This meeting will be the second game of the tournament for each club, so both should have their legs underneath them and in prime playing shape. Nacka’s first opponent will be Rögle BK, while Täby opens their slate of games against the Malmö Redhawks.

These two teams both ended their tournament runs at the Farsta Games with back-to-back games against one another; Nacka took both via shutout win, 2-0 and 1-0. Sam Detterfelt led Nacka in points during the Farsta Games, with three goals and one assist, with Theo Carpenwall Grenalt (1G, 2A) and Dante Bovin (2G, 1A) both behind him with three points apiece.

One can be sure revenge will be on the mind of Täby’s players, so it will take Nacka everything they have to come out on the winning side in this matchup.

Dynamo Moscow, Lokomotiv 2004 highlight Russia schedule

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Saturday, Sept. 24 @ 1:00 pm MSK

Turning our attention to Russia, where Dynamo Moscow will be taking on Lokomotiv 2004 Yaroslavl in a battle of 2010-born teams.

Dynamo has had a successful start to their season, accumulating a 9-4-0 record. Lokomotiv has also had a solid start, going 10-4-0, with their most recent game being an 8-4 loss to first-ranked CSKA Moscow.  

Both clubs are off on the right foot, so this matchup is one to certainly keep an eye on. Dynamo currently sits third in our Russia Rankings and Lokomotiv not far behind at fifth.

It will not be the first time these two programs will be facing off on the ice this year, as back in August Dynamo bested Lokomotiv 5-3.

Overall, the two teams have suited up for eight games against one another, with Dynamo leading the all-time series 5-2-1, scoring 40 goals across their five wins.

Yegor Groza (3G, 3A) and Matvey Fedorenko (3G, 3A) lead Dynamo with six points (3G, 3A), while behind them are Maxim Goloshchapov with five points (3G, 2A) and Vladislav Gorbunov (4G) and Arseny Rychagov (4A) each with four points.

For Lokomotiv, they are led by Filipp Vychuhzhanin (2G, 4A) and Artyom Loginov (5G, 1A) whose six points each lead the team. They are followed closely by Anton Malinovsky (4A) and Mark Pritchin (2G, 1A).

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