The Gazprom Neft Cup, the Seventh KHL International Youth Ice Hockey Tournament, concluded in Omsk on April 28. CSKA from Moscow became the winners of the greatest youth ice hockey competition in Europe. Traktor from Chelyabinsk won second place, while the Omsk team Avangard won the bronze prize.
The Gazprom Neft Cup is an important project that the company is carrying out to promote youth sports. A level of organization that meets the highest standards for grownup tournaments brought recognition from the athletic community for the competition. This year, over twenty leading Russian and foreign clubs of the Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) applied to participate in the tournament. Together with the KHL, Gazprom Neft in the near future will consider possible ways to increase the number of teams that will vie for this most prestigious European youth ice hockey trophy.
The competition took place over four days at Omsk’s two ice arenas, the Avangard Hockey Center, and the Omsk Arena, the largest sports arena in Siberia. Over 400 young athletes from 16 clubs competed for the main trophy in the competition. The games were serviced by KHL professional referees. The KHL TV television network broadcast live the opening ceremony and final game.
“We set ourselves the objective of making a youth tournament at the highest professional level with all of the attributes of the best grownup competitions,” says Alexander Dybal, head of the Tournament Organizational Committee and member of the Gazprom Neft Executive Board. “This is the second year in a row that we’ve managed to fill the Omsk Arena almost entirely for the opening ceremony and multimedia show, while the tournament games enjoy steady interest on the part of spectators. For ten-year-old athletes coming out on the ice in such an atmosphere, it’s a good experience and memorable emotions. We have ambitious plans to expand the tournament to 24 clubs, and we will decide in the near future together with the KHL how to provide a resolution of that task in 2014.