Belarus will host the largest youth ice-hockey competition in Europe for the first time

2 December 2013, 17:48 (msc)

The Gazprom Neft Cup is the biggest sports event in the “Gazprom for Children” programme. In the seven years since its inception the Gazprom Neft Cup has developed into the largest youth ice-hockey tournament in Europe. In 2014, the event will use a new format: the number of participating teams has increased from 16 to 24 and two groups of young hockey players (12 teams in each group) will compete for the Cup.

West Group (matches in Minsk):

Atlant (Moscow Region), Dinamo (Minsk), Dinamo (Moscow), Dinamo (Riga), Donbass (Donetsk), Jokerit (Helsinki), Lev (Prague), Lokomotiv (Yaroslavl), Severstal (Cherepovets), SKA (St. Petersburg), Torpedo (Nizhny Novgorod) and CSKA (Moscow).

East Group (matches in Omsk):

Avangard (Omsk Region), Avtomobilist (Ekaterinburg), Ak Bars (Kazan), Barys (Astana), Metallurg (Magnitogorsk), Neftekhimik (Nizhnekamsk), Rubin (Tyumen), Salavat Yulaev (Ufa), Sibir (Novosibirsk), Traktor (Chelyabinsk), Yugra (Khanty-Mansiysk) and Yamal (Salekhard).

The super-final between the winners of the two groups will be held on April 25 in Omsk.

On November 28, Minsk hosted a meeting of the Organizing Committee of the West group. The meeting was attended by the Aide to the President of the Republic of Belarus for the Development of Physical Training, Sport and Tourism, Maxim Ryzhenkov.

It was decided that matches of the West Group teams will be held on April 20–22 at the Chizhovka-Arena Ice Palace. The Arena, which is currently under construction in preparation for the World Ice Hockey Championship next year, will be the most up-to-date and best equipped ice-hockey venue in Belarus. The opening match of the West Group teams will be between Dinamo (Minsk) and SKA (St. Petersburg).

Chizhovka-Arena Ice Palace

Special attention was paid to the communications programme of the West stage. Preliminary partnership agreements have been reached with Belarusian broadcasters which will cover the Tournament. Russian coverage will be provided by the traditional Russian TV-channel partners of the Gazprom Neft Cup: NTV Plus Broadcasting Company, Russia 2 and Sport (part of All-Russian State Television and Radio Broadcasting) as well as KHL (Continental Hockey League) TV.

Accommodation and catering for the teams and work by teams of volunteers were also discussed. Gazprom Transgaz Belarus agreed to be the general partner of the West Group teams.

Alexander Dybal, Head of the Tournament Organizing Committee and member of the Board of Gazprom Neft, said: “Belarus has rich ice hockey traditions, and top-quality modern infrastructure has been put in place. All of these factors and, particularly, the support of the President of Belarus have played a key role the selection of Minsk as the venue for the West Group matches. Preparations are going ahead at full speed, and we expect the Minsk stage of the Tournament to be held to the best international standards.”

FOR REFERENCE:

The first game of the Gazprom Neft Cup (Continental Ice-Hockey League Youth Ice-Hockey Tournament) was held in 2007. The geography of participating teams has steadily expanded and the event is now the largest youth ice-hockey tournament in Europe. It is held in two countries, Tournament games are professionally refereed, and matches are held at ice arenas certified for professional matches. The main Tournament trophy is made by the same craftsmen as the Gagarin Cup. Each year the name of the winning team is engraved on the Cup, and the team keeps the trophy until the next Tournament. Traditionally, the opening ceremony, and the first and final Tournament matches are broadcast live by KHL TV.

The Tournament site: http://www.gazprom-neft.com/hockey/

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