Belarus U20 wins the Future cup for the 2nd year in a row

By National Teams of Ice Hockey

Minsk-hosted traditional international Future Cup tournament has concluded. The final game witnessed a fierce competition between the Russian U18 junior team and the Belarusian U20 national team, as they battled for the top spot. With both teams boasting two victories each, the game was played with the motto “The winner takes all.”

It is intriguing that this particular game currently bore similarities to the previous one, where the Russian U17 and Kazakhstan U20 national teams clashed. Initially, the young players struggled to adjust to the style of their more experienced adversaries, resulting in their loss during the initial period. The sole distinction lied in the fact that the 18-year-olds conceded three goals within 20 minutes, as opposed to the 17-year-olds who only let in two. The penalties proved to be their downfall, as the Belarusians capitalized on the power play to score the first two goals.

The Russian juniors exhibited equal determination and inspiration during the second period, ultimately securing a victory and gaining a lead in the score by the break. A noteworthy aspect shared by both junior teams was the occurrence of a crucial event known as a “goal from the locker room”: Vadim Dudorov managed to score just 20 seconds after the game resumed (it is worth noting that the Russian U17 team took 31 seconds to achieve this feat in their match against the Kazakhstan team).

It is worth mentioning that the Russians’ resurgence in the game commenced with the goalkeeper. Pyotr Andreyanov initiated the offensive move, culminating in Dudorov’s successful goal. Subsequently, everything fell into place seamlessly, as Mark Slivchenko and Timur Kol managed to nullify the opponents’ lead in just over eight minutes. Furthermore, in the 33rd minute, Ivan Ryabkin propelled the Russia U18 team into the lead.

In the final period, the Russians were finally granted their first opportunity to play with a man advantage, and Kol capitalized on it, scoring two goals. The Belarusians effectively shut down any further chances for the Russians to level the playing field, resulting in the juniors maintaining a 100% success rate on power plays. Unfortunately, the game while shorthanded left much to be desired. It was now the Belarusians’ turn to turn the tide of the game and they did so by scoring two goals in the last seven minutes, one of which came during a power play. As a result, three out of the five goals conceded by the Russians during regulation time were a direct consequence of penalties. 

Dmitri Tukach secured the victory for the Belarusians, along with the coveted championship trophy for the second consecutive year, during the final minute of extra time in the game that went into overtime.