Ukraine League finally begins

Ukraine League finally begins

Davide Tuniz10 Feb 2015Davide Tuniz»
 

After months of uncertainty, finally Federation announced the start of the domestic league without traditional clubs

 
 
 
 
A lot of water flowed beneath the bridge since the promising 2012-13 season, when Ukrainians clubs launched the ambitious Professional Hockey League (PHL), with a TV channel, main sponsors, attracting well paid foreign players and a lot of projects for the future. The PHL folded after just a year, killed by economic crisis and fighting between the same clubs and the clubs against the Federation - Berkut Kyiv was kicked off from the playoffs after dominating regular season for not fulfilling its financial obligations to the League and to its players. Last year the League was less powerful, mainly due the political situation of the country, but had six clubs (even if Vynnytsa folded after six games) from Kyiv, L'viv and Bila Tserkva. Another club, HC Kremenchuk, played in Belarus Second Division, but was forced to retired before the playoffs due to the worsening of internal security conditions. Companion Kyiv won last league and applied for 2014-2015 Continental Cup, but later the team, without sponsorship and ice practice, announced its withdraw and disbanded.
Ukraine Federation tries to organize the Championship since September but at that time only two teams: Generals Kyiv and HC Kremenchuk confirmed the partecipation. After another tentative before Christmas, finally Federation announced the beginning of the Championship for February 12, surprisingly with the partecipation of four teams, considered by the Federation the minimum number to organize a decent tournament. Besides Generals Kyiv and HC Kremenchuk, two new teams join the League: Vityaz Kharkiv, another attempt to revive hockey in the city, after the tries in last seasons with Kharkivski Akuly and the short and illusory resurrection of Dynamo, both lasted one season and HK ATEK Kyiv, a team formed essentially by young players from Sokil Kyiv juniors, champion in 2006-2007 season and not active for many years

The clubs played a quadruple round robin for a total of 12 games each, before the playoffs. League should end in April

Obviously absent the Donbas Donets'k, Ukranian hockey lost another traditional teams, always present in last years: Companion Kyiv, Bilyy Bars Bila Tserkva and Levy L'viv, all for economic problems. A special mention in this obituary goes to Sokil Kyiv, the most famous and traditional Ukranian hockey club, winner of 12 out of 21 domestic championships. The financial crisis affected the club in last seasons now exploded hard. Club announced to partecipate only in the YuHL, the Ukranian Junior League, but in the last round, played in Kharkiv at the end of January, the team didn't show up, citing lack of money to afford the trip, earning two forfeited defeats.




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