A new No. 1 crowned as Dynamo Moscow tops ‘07 Russian teams
There’s a new club at the top of the ‘07 rankings in Russia, and it’s the first time they’ve been there since Dec. 21st. Following a solid stretch of play that saw them nab victories over No. 3 CSKA Moscow, Atlant Mytishchi and Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, Dynamo Moscow is back as No. 1. Mikhail Melikov, the club’s leading scorer, tallied four points in the 9-1 victory over Atlant. This season, he has produced 27 goals and 47 points.
While Dynamo was a familiar name in the No. 1 spot in Russia, a new team cracked the Top 10 among 2007-born teams in the U.S. With a strong 10-2 victory over Compuware, No. 10 Victory Honda’s offensive outburst gave them enough of a jolt to catapult over the previous spot holder. Braden Wade and Nolan Makinski both notched hat tricks and Luc Plante scored a goal and four assists in a five-point night. The victory also continued a nine-game unbeaten streak for the team, which ended the following day with a 3-2 overtime loss to Fox Motors.
Playoff time for ‘07s in Finland
The regular season concluded over the weekend, and with it, brought some movement among Top-10 teams. In these final matchups before playoffs, No. 3 Ilves and No. 5 Jokerit experienced some decent boosts from crucial wins. Ilves got its business done in two matchups versus No. 4 Kärpät, winning by scorers of 13-3 and 4-0. In the 13-goal explosion, seven skaters notched two or more points, led by Jalmari Melanen’s one goal and four assists.
Jokerit put forth a solid team effort in a 4-1 victory over No. 6 Lukko. Aapo Niemelä (2G) and Taavi Aarvala (2A) connected for the final two goals of the game, solidifying both the win and two-point performances.
With strong finishes to group play, both Ilves and Jokerit earned spots in the top four of the overall group standings. As a result, they have earned first round byes in the playoffs, along with No. 2 Tappara and No. 1 Kiekko-Espoo. They will now await the winners from the first round to see who they will open their playoff schedules against.
MoDo comes out flying at U16 Sweden Nationals
The opening round of Sweden’s U16 SM-playoffs has come and gone, and No. 3 MoDo Hockey has raised eyebrows with its performance thus far. The power trio of Elton Hermansson (3G, 3A), Vincent Wedin (2G, 4A) and Erik Häggblad (1G, 5A) have lifted their club to new heights. By securing wins over fellow ranked opponents like No. 1 Nacka HK and No. 4 Djurgårdens IF, its position among the country’s elite has been strengthened.
The road doesn’t get any easier, as entering the second round MoDo finds itself in the dreaded ‘group of death’ along with top-ranked Nacka, No. 2 Täby HC and No. 6 Södertälje SK.
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.