Dinamo Ak-Bars top Russian regular season table

Dinamo Ak-Bars have confirmed they will play in the Russian championship final with top spot in the regular season confirmed with two rounds of matches to go.

It sees the club – formerly known as Dinamo Kazan – move a step closer to a 20th national title and add to coach Arak Margaryan’s legend at the club.

They moved 14 points clear of Dinamo Elektrostal at the head of the table after 20 games and a goal difference of +56.

Top spot was actually confirmed when Elektrostal lost one of their away games to TsOP Moskomsport and lost out on the chance of top spot.

Ak-Bars will meet Rot-Weiss Köln in the men’s ABN AMRO EHL Ranking Cup in October, continuing their continuous record of playing in each season of the EHL.

It is a side that has enjoyed a busy year of action compared to many of their EHL rivals with nine club members contesting the EuroHockey Championships for Russia: goalkeepers Marat Gafarov and Ivan Ozherelyev, defenders Denis Shchipachev and Semyon Matkovsky, midfielders Nikolai Yankun and Denis Starienko, forwards Pavel Golubev, Alexei Sobolevsky and Linar Fattakhov all part of their panel.

Ivan Lutsevich has joined from HC Minsk; just four of their wider squad have not played matches in the EHL before.