These clubs met 3 years ago in Omsk for the main game of the season, when the Dynamo and Avangard adult teams played for the Gagarin Cup. Victory on that occasion went to the Moscow team. In 2015 much younger players from the same clubs are meeting in Omsk to decide who wins the Gazprom Neft Cup.
The Dynamo Moscow hockey school has a great history. Top Russian players who learnt their hockey there include Alexander Ovechkin, Ilya Nikulin and Maxim Afinogenov, to name just a few. Dynamo’s 2004 boys are also full of promise. They showed no fear against the West Group favourites, CSKA, beating them in the semi-finals and then overcoming Vityaz with a score of 3:1 in the West Group final game at the St Petersburg Ice Palace.
The Moscow boys found Omsk wet and chilly. “We flew through Moscow, the journey took 13 hours. The main thing now is to eat and asleep. We’ll practice tomorrow morning,” said Mikhail Vasilevsky, the Dynamo head coach.
The players looked at the new city through the glass walls of the airport with evident curiosity, despite their exhaustion.
“We’ll have a good night’s sleep, and everything will be fine. We came through to the Super Final because we are a strong team. We don’t play as individuals — we work together. We’re not thinking about medals, we’ve come here for the Cup!” said the defender Kirill Beshkorov.
“We are still strong, strong enough to win. We have to be brave, we’ll be playing in a big arena, we mustn’t be nervous about the big crowd,” said another Dynamo player, forward Kirill Guryanov, evidently apprehensive.
It’s true that the Avangard supporters have been in full voice at games to date, and the Omsk players have won all the games with decisive scores.
“We expect the stands to be full. The boys are not used to it, but it’s good when there are so many people. It is always better when there’s a full house — it makes for a great hockey event,” Mikhail Vasilevsky added.
Dynamo has a clear schedule in Omsk: sleep tonight, then practice tomorrow morning, and tomorrow evening play the main game of the season for the Gazprom Neft Cup! The Super Final game starts at 16:30 local time (19:30 Moscow time), and a special pre-game programme at the Omsk Arena begins one hour earlier.