Mārtiņš Karsums | Photo: Raimonds Volonts / Riga “Dinamo”
The team of the Continental Hockey League (KHL) Riga “Dinamo” will meet with the team of Yaroslavl “Lokomotiv” in the second home game of the 14th season today. The match “Arena Riga” will start at 17.00.
Dinamo started the season with three away games – first a 2: 3 loss to Yaroslavl’s Lokomotiv and Moscow’s CSKA teams, followed by a 6: 5 victory over Beijing’s Lunar Red Star. In the first home game with 1: 6, Chelyabinsk’s “Traktor” was destroyed
Lokomotiv has also played four games, winning the only victory against the people of Riga. After that, the Yaroslavl hockey players gave up the St. Petersburg SKA at home with a 3: 4 post-throw, but then with the same result in regular time – Minsk’s “Dinamo”. Before the game in Riga, the trip to Yaroslavl started with a 1: 3 loss to Moscow’s CSKA.
In the continuation of the home games, the Riga club will meet with the teams of Nizhny Novgorod “Torpedo” and Nursultan “Baris”. The two teams KHL have met 34 times, ten of them winning for the Rigans. In eight cases it happened in regular time, twice – after the post-match throws. Yaroslavl has celebrated 24 victories, of which 19 – in regular time. Last season, Lokomotiv hockey players won in all four duels, once superior to post-match throws.
Dinamo was the only team to finish the regular championship last season with less than ten games won. “Dinamieši” won only five matches in the regular time, but in the extra time four more successes were celebrated. Of the three most productive players of the last season, only Lauris Dārziņš remains in the Riga club. He stood out with 23 (7 + 16) performance points in 41 games, being the third most productive team. The leader with 39 performance points (16 + 23) was now Miks Indrašis, who is already playing in the Moscow region “Vitjaz”, while the closest follower Mārtiņš Dzierkals stood out with 24 (10 + 14) points.
The Riga team played four official test matches in the off-season – on August 13 in Pinki against the Latvian national team (5: 1), as well as two games in Finland against Helsinki “Jokerit” on August 19 and 20 (0: 5 and 2: 5). In their last test match, the “dynamics” in Daugavpils lost 2: 3 to Minsk’s “Dynamo”. Meanwhile, the Yaroslavl had seven test games before the season, winning four.
“Dinamo” currently ranks last in the Ritumu group tournament table with two points in four matches – 12th place, being in the third place in the league from the end, but “Lokomotiv” with three points in the West is tenth. Defenders Kristaps Zīle and Rīss Skārlets, as well as Finnish striker Jere Karjalainen cannot play for Rigans due to injuries. “Dinamo” head coach this season is Russian specialist Sergey Zubov, but he is assisted by Valery Kulibab, Oleg Orehovsky and Edgar Lushin. Edgars Buncis performs the duties of the General Manager. The Rigans have not played in the Gagarin Cup for seven consecutive seasons, remaining last place in the league last season.