St. Petersburg to host matches of the 9th Gazprom Neft Cup Kids Hockey Tournament

7 October 2014, 11:00 (msc)

The 9th Gazprom Neft Cup KHL Kids Hockey Tournament will be held for the first time in St. Petersburg. Europe’s largest ice-hockey tournament for children will be hosted in 2015 by the city’s SKA hockey club. As has been usual in past years, the opening match will be played between the hosts, St. Petersburg’s young army team, and the current holders of the Gazprom Neft Cup, CSKA Moscow. The first game of the Tournament and the West Group final will be held at Petersburg’s main ice-hockey venue, the Ice Palace. Group stage matches will be played on the rink at the Jubilee Palace of Sport.

Like last year, children’s teams from 25 clubs will take part in the Gazprom Neft Cup, and they will be divided into two groups: West (St. Petersburg) and East (Omsk). As prescribed by the Tournament regulations, the Super Final will be held in Omsk, and the West Group winner will travel to that city on a special flight from St. Petersburg. The Tournament will be held in late April 2015. The organizing committee and the hosts in St. Petersburg will agree on the exact dates of the Tournament in the near future.

“SKA has gone to a lot of trouble to bring the West stage to St. Petersburg,” said the SKA Vice-President, Roman Rotenberg. “We will make the city’s best ice rinks available for the Tournament and give the organizing committee additional help holding the Tournament and for the communications campaign. Our club will do its best to ensure that the Tournament’s West stage become a permanent fixture in St. Petersburg.”

“We were glad to accept the invitation from SKA to hold the West stage in St. Petersburg,” said Alexander Dybal, head of the Tournament organizing committee and a member of the Management Board of Gazprom Neft. “The city is conveniently placed for a lot of the children‘s teams travelling from other cities. We will be offering the usual high level of Tournament organization and there will also be a special cultural program in St. Petersburg for all of the 12 teams.”

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The Gazprom Neft Cup KHL Kids Hockey Tournament , which was held for the first time in 2007, brings together teams in which all the players are under the age of 11. The geography of the participating teams is constantly expanding and the event is now the largest children’s ice-hockey tournament in Europe with a divisional model. All major costs of the Tournament, including board and lodging for the teams, transport, organization of the opening and closing shows, conduct of matches, advertising and media coverage, the prize fund and souvenirs, training seminars for coaches and a program of excursions for the teams are borne by Gazprom Neft.

The level of organization of the Gazprom Neft Cup is unprecedented for a children’s tournament: match referees are highly qualified, games are played on ice arenas that are certified for KHL matches, and Tournament action is covered by leading sports media. The Tournament Trophy was fashioned by the same craftsmen who made the Gagarin Cup (the official KHL trophy). Each year the name of the winning team is engraved on the Trophy, which is kept by the winners until the next Tournament. The Cup holders in the years since the Gazprom Neft Cup received the status of the official KHL children’s tournament were Avangard (2010), Ak Bars (2011), Traktor (2012) and CSKA Moscow (2013, 2014).

The multimedia opening show is on a level with shows at the games of leading KHL clubs, and the Tournament’s first and final matches are broadcast live on KHL-TV and SPORT television channels. The Tournament’s official partners include TV channels (Russia 24, Sport, NTV-Plus, KHL-TV), the internet site Championat.com and Sport-Express newspaper. The Tournament has an official website.

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