Bravo Sports Club

Kazakhstan Zholbarys: Hockey 5’s International B Champions

Copyright @Ricky Leung, www.fotop.net/Rickyleung8740

Copyright @Ricky Leung, www.fotop.net/Rickyleung8740

For the past week, Anvar Stamkulov and his Kazakhstan Zholbarys hockey team have been lighting up the rink with style.  Being first-timers to the Hockey 5’s tournament, no one knew a thing about these Kazakhs.  Very little attention was directed towards them until the Zholbarys players stepped on ice.  Their attractive play style immediately converted the locals into Zholbarys fans.   In no time, word got out and the hockey team from Kazakhstan became a hit.

Copyright @Ricky Leung

Copyright @Ricky Leung

Saturday at noon time, the Kazakhstan Zholbarys played the International B divisional semi-final game against 3rd-placed Shanghai Red Guards.  This would be Zholbarys’ first real challenge of the tournament as they were never seriously tested in any of their four previous games.  Sure enough the Shanghai Red Guards gave the Zholbarys a handful.  For the first time, the Zholbarys were not able to do whatever they wanted on ice and it took their players quite a while to get used to the game.

Both teams exchanged goals back and forth and the Red Guards managed tie the game 3-3 and pushed the game into overtime, which did not result in any further goals.  In the ensuing shootout, Zholbarys goalie Sergey Ossintsev became the hero as he managed to beat all three Red Guard shooters and led the team into the finals.

ThDU2G1146e finals between the Zholbarys and the Nordic Vikings was played later that day, and in front of Kazakhstan Consulate General to Hong Kong, Mr. Nurzhan Abdymomunov.  Despite having to
play two elimination games in one afternoon, the Zholbarys did not show fatigue and started to press on against their opponents right after the puck dropped.  However, Vikings goalie Jimmy Bjennmyr would steal the show from the Zholbarys as his spectacular performance yielded numerous highlight-reel saves.

Later , it was the Zholbarys offense that won the tug of war.  They finally solved Bjennmyr with their cross-crease passes and scored three unanswered goals.  Zholbarys goalie Ossintsev was also solid in net as his team beat the Nordic Vikings with a convincing 3-0 win.

The award presentation after the game was filled with touching moments when Zholbarys players received their awards from the hands of  Kazakhstan Consulate General to Hong Kong, Mr. Nurzhan Abdymomunov.  Captain and team owner Anvar Stamkulov was almost in tears when he emotionally hugged Mr. Abdymomunov just before receiving his award.DU2G1161

Zholbarys top scorer Mikhail Lazarenko had a bad day with only 1 point in 2 games, but still led all scoring in the International B division with 21 points.  Aleksandr Yadrishnikov, Rinat Omarbekov, and Oleg Onichshenko followed with totals of 19, 17, and 15 points respectively.  Forward Yevgeniy Yerger and defender Erik Levin played well in the last day of the tournament, they performed exceptionally and were key to winning the championship.

Junglok Athletic Club would like to congratulate the Kazakhstan Zholbarys on their 2014 Hockey 5’s International B Divisional Championship.  It was a good well done.

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