Fifth time for 'gold'
Neman Grodno win 22nd Belarusian Extraleague Ice Hockey Championship, defeating Yunost Minsk by winning four of the six final matches, to claim President's Cup
Neman Grodno win 22nd Belarusian Extraleague Ice Hockey Championship, defeating Yunost Minsk by winning four of the six final matches, to claim President`s Cup
During the sixth match in the final series, Neman`s Vyacheslav Lisichkin managed to leave the score at 2:1, ensuring victory over the Minsk club. Grodno also won last year, and have now claimed the Presidential Cup five times, against six for Yunost (the current record holder).
Yunost and Neman battled for the title in 2011 and remain firm rivals, being ice hockey leaders. Neman forward Stanislav Lopachuk asserts, "Those with some bias concerning the Belarusian championship may change their opinion after this final. I think that the level of play was close to that seen in the CHL. Yunost was set on winning, but Neman was somewhat faster and stronger. Plus, we had fantastic support from our fans, which played its part in our victory."
Neman`s joy at winning was evident, with players tossing helmets and head coach Sergey Pushkov into the air! Camera bulbs flashed and champagne popped in celebration, with fans cheering in delight.
Many of Neman`s players now face their next challenge in Polish Tyсhy, on April 11th and 12th, for two matches against Poland. The second national team features several players from the Grodno club.
The President congratulated HC Neman on its victory in the national championship, saying, "This is the second season that you`ve won the championship title fairly, through determination. You`ve shown us a convincingly high level of professional skill, and it`s particularly pleasing to see a regional club winning, showing that sport is developing in every corner of our country. In order to win, you don`t need to be located close to the capital and sponsors. The main thing is to be the strongest, through huge efforts from sportsmen, trainers and all those who work daily towards victory. Your game brought real pleasure to fans and I`m sure that it will be an example for imitation by thousands of young hockey players. Keep playing as you have done!"