The Latest World Hockey Rankings are out, with plenty of news, notes and more to monitor
It’s mid-October, and youth hockey worldwide is in full swing. The latest youth hockey rankings continue to identify some of the top teams in the world. Swedish clubs embark on District and Group play, Canadian leagues like the GTHL, CSSHL and LHEQ have started games, Finnish teams are a few weeks into Group schedules, and the U.S. and Russia have been going strong for more than a month.
Here’s everything you need to know before exploring the updated youth hockey rankings:
A Big Upset Among ‘06s
Previously ranked No. 14, Krylia Sovetov propelled themselves into the top five with a big win on Monday. Egor Sidorov’s shootout goal gave Krylia a 4-3 win over Dynamo Moscow. Both teams check in the Top 10 of this week’s world rankings, with Krylia peaking at fourth overall. That victory puts Krylia’s record to 8-2-1, with four of those wins coming against other Top-25 teams. They trail only CSKA Moscow amongst Russian teams, who previously defeated Krylia 6-0 on Aug. 24th. The top two teams in Russia are slated to meet three more times this season, the most recent matchup is scheduled for this Sunday.
Tough Stretch Coming Finland’s Best
Will we get some clarity or confusion later this month when the top four 2007-born teams in Finland face off? No. 2-ranked Kärpät and No. 4-ranked Tappara are set to clash on Oct. 23rd; They are the top two teams in Group 1 of the U16 SM-Series. They met a month ago, and back-to-back third-period goals from Juuso Juka and Elias Tiensuu secured the 4-3 win for Kärpät. That game included four lead changes as the two teams proved to be neck-and-neck.
The top two teams in Group 2 will take the ice on Oct. 28th when No. 1 Kiekko-Espoo plays No. 3 HIFK. It will be the first of two scheduled meetings between the ranked opponents, with the second matchup coming in December. This matchup will also feature the top four scorers in the country, with HIFK’s Oliver Torkki (19) and Matias Vanhanen (17) going head-to-head with Aleksi Kilpeläinen (17) and Aapo Vanninen (16) from Kiekko.
Both of these matchups should prove to be pivotal in the upcoming weeks.
A Trio of 2010 Teams Remain Unbeaten
Top-ranked CSKA Moscow is an astonishing 18-0-0 to start the season, just months after completing its U12 season with a 36-1-2 record. They’ve been held to less than five goals in a game just twice, defeating No. 3 Spartak Moscow 2-1 and No. 7 Vityaz Podolsk 4-3. CSKA’s remaining schedule features nine matchups against opponents currently ranked in the top 10 in the country. They’re fueled by a dynamic duo of Nikita Sinikin (48 points) and Roman Andreev (40) who account for 55 percent of the team’s total offense.
In Sweden, Viggbyholms IK maintains a 16-0-1 record, with tournament championship wins at the Nicklas Backstrom Cup and Nordic Youth Trophy. The lone ‘blemish’ on the team’s record is a 1-1 tie to Leksand IF Vit at the Farsta Games a month ago. Through that stretch, only two teams managed to score more than two goals in a single game against Viggbyholms. Goaltenders Elias Ådeby, Oscar Bergström and Douglas Ottoson have provided steady play between the pipes early on this season. Over the next few weeks, several Swedish programs split into two teams for Group Play, with Viggbyholms being one of them. Its Röd (red) team is 1-1-0 in Stockholm’s Group 2 while Blå (Blue) is 0-1-1 in Group 3.
No team at any age group in the United States remains undefeated with as many games played as the Minuteman Flames. The No. 4-ranked team in the world from Massachusetts is 12-0-1, with four wins over Top-10 American teams. The lone tie came two weeks ago against in-state rival and No. 8-ranked team in the world, Boston Jr. Eagles in the form of a 4-4 tie. Averaging 4.9 goals scored per game, the Flames are a tough offense to contain. Over the next few months, they’ll play more than 30 league games in the Eastern Hockey Federation (EHF). The league currently has three teams ranked in the top 20 among 2010s with the Flames, Jr. Eagles and Middlesex Islanders.