Donbas retain title

Donbas retain title

Davide Tuniz08 Apr 2017Davide Tuniz»
 

Donbas Donets'k secure the second consecutive title after a positive season for Ukranian hockey despite the usual financial problems for the clubs

 
 
 
 

Donbas Donets'k confirm the title of Ukraine League won last season by beating HC Kremenchuk in six games of playoffs final, with a decisive 2-1 victory. The second tile could be considered the 5th consecutive, since Donbas didn't compete in the league from 2013 to 2015 because of the political situation in Eastern Ukraine. The club moved from original venue to the city of Druzhkivka, 90 km from Donets'k.
Donbas and Kremenchuk close the regular season both with 99 points. Kremenchuk easily beats in the semifinals 2015-2016 silver medallist Generals Kyiv, that began the season with a strong roster and victory ambitions but had to face a serious financial crisis that forced club to release the best players closing the season with many junior players. Donbas had a more complicated post-seson facing the newest Kryvbas Kryvyỹ Rih, eliminated after 5 games. Kremenchuck, despite considerable investments, collect the second silver medal in four seasons.
In February an home defeat 3-2 against Kryvbas was fatal for Donbas coaching staff: the club decided to terminate the contract of head coach Anatoli Stepanischev ans assistants Evgeny Brul and Andrei Sryubko, despite a positive campaign of current Ukraine champion. Sporting Director Sergei Viter was named interim coach but the good results have convinced the club to confirm Viter on the bench.
After the last game, Kremenchuk goalie Eduard Zakharchenko was named Ukraine League MVP, while last season winner Denis Kochetkov received the title of playoffs MVP. Belarusian forward Ilya Korenchuk(Kremenchuk) was the league Top Scorer

Executive Director of the Ukrainian Hockey League and former player Sergei Varlamov shared his impressions of the season

"The Ukraine League was a success, despite the difficulties of some teams. It is very important that both semifinals and the finals series were played at a high level. When everyone thought that Kremenchuk surrendered, the team found the strength to return to the fight, won the second match and had all the chances to continue the series but Donbas reacted and does not allow them to do that.  I'm very pleased with the season and especially how UHL finals were held " - said Sergey Varlamov.

Historical team Berkut Kyiv was back with junior department after some years in the beer league and win the Ukraine Junior League (YUHL) after a dramatic final won 3-2SO against Bilyỹ Bars Bila Tserkva

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