CSKA Sofia is back!

CSKA Sofia is back!

01 Apr 2013 | Jeffrey Haglund

First title since 1986 for the traditional club from the capital now with ambitious plans for the future


CSKA is champion in Bulgaria again!

This is the first title for the “Reds” in champion’s league ice hockey since 1986. "CSKA" finished the 2012-2013 championship league play with a total of 33 points, undefeated, ahead of second place NSA and third place, and former champion, Slavia.

In the last game of the championship, CSKA beat a re-energized Slavia 7-5.  This was the closest game of the season as the Red’s swept the field not losing a single game all year.  CSKA literally dominated all other teams in the league with consistent play, value on training, and signing the best players to Red’s contracts.

Also exciting for the team is that the Bulgarian Ice Hockey Federation issued annual awards this season only to CSKA players. The best goalkeeper was Konstantin Mikhailov, the best forward was Slovakian Juraj Dusicka, and the best defenseman was Bogdan Stefanov.

Besides Dusicka, other players that made significant contributions to the success of the team were Martin Boyadjiev, Rosen Hristov, Stanislav Muhachov,  Niki Bojanov, Pepi Mihov, Sasho Panev, Krasimir Monov and Nasko Atanasov.

Young forward Ivan Hodulov came to Sofia from Slovakia and left his mark: in 3 games played, he scored 12 goals and served 11 assists

Although there were numerous standouts on the CSKA club this season, in an interview with Kiril Hodulov, the head coach of the Reds gives credit to the entire club.  Hodulov said, “We had the best players in Bulgaria, but it was a collective effort from the whole team, we really worked hard in training. And we can forget the great role our President Ivelyn Todorov had: his will to invest made the diference”

In inquiring about the motivation behind the success of the Reds this year, the CSKA leadership decided they wanted to make ice hockey more powerful this year from the top down.  They set out to attract the most powerful players, ones with integrity and good modeling.  By doing this, the children saw better hockey showcased and the organization focused on developing a tight connection between the professionals and the youth.  This connection between the professionals and youth will in turn develop the entire system at CSKA as the youth see the behavior on and off the ice of these driven professionals.  So the move at CSKA is to develop the youth program and up, but at the men’s level, their sights are set on excelling in international play.

CSKA has set its sights on winning their level at the 2013 Continental Cup.  They want to establish the club as a respectable and powerful team.  Coach Hodulov said, “We want to take our hockey program to the next level, bring it back to the way it was in the ‘80s, looking dominant and doing a lot of winning.”  From the way they performed this year it looks like they are going to do just that for years to come.

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