Young people capable of returning to the top. What does the triumph of the national team at Glinka / Gretzky say?
On August 7, in the Czech Republic, the Glinka / Gretzky Cup, the second most important tournament of junior teams (under 18) after the world championship, ended with the victory of the Russian national team. There is a temptation to reduce the significance of this victory – after all, Canadians did not come to the Czech Republic and Slovakia due to the coronavirus. Still, the success of the guys is very valuable.
Too much has been said in recent years about the development of our juniors. It’s just not clear when to wait for her first results. Is it possible to argue that the success of the U18 teams over the past two years is a direct consequence of the implementation of the program? What cannot be taken away is the concern that has been and is showing now about the team. The junior team is built into a system where the standards are the same for both it and the main national team. During this time, the Russian national team twice in a row (2019 and 2021) became the vice-champion of the world championship, twice in a row won the Glinka / Gretzky Cup. Let’s not forget the victory at the Youth Olympic Games in Lausanne 2020. 14 people from this team raised the main prize in the Czech Republic over their heads the day before yesterday. And six became vice-champions of the world in May, playing with rivals a year older.
Overseas researchers cite such a gradation of generations: those born in the 50-60s of the twentieth century are called “baby boomers”, the post-war generation rejoicing in the first stability. The next, born in the 70s and 80s, are Generation X. They are followed by the so-called millennials, people born in the late 80s to the turn of the century. Certain behavioral traits are characteristic of each generation. It is convenient for politicians, marketers, psychologists to work with them. This gradation is readily accepted in other countries as well.
The next generation is Generation Z. People (for the most part are still children) born after 2000, who know that once there were no mobile phones and the Internet, only from the stories of their elders. Usually, these elders just grumble that this is a “brainless generation of Tiktokers”, who can only sit on the phone for days, communicate using emoji, play toys and watch stupid videos. However, as practice has shown, you can work with them. And not only to work, but also to make him the best in recent years, to use their talent to the maximum.
The good news is that at the Glinka / Gretzky Cup our team played as expected. Of the two main favorites of the tournament, one stayed at home – the second should win. And no surprises. The Russians have minimized them in individual matches. Classically, they rolled into the tournament, putting the squeeze on the Finns in the end (5: 2), smashed the Swiss to smithereens (9: 2), solidly finished the stage with the Czech Republic (7: 3), knocking out the opponent with four pucks in four minutes. From the very first match, he began to show who is the main star, Matvey Michkov . But the next games showed that now the Russian national team is not a team of one Michkov and two or three leaders. There is someone to score and besides them.
In the stubborn semi-final with Sweden, I had to play two goals twice. Yes, Michkov scored a double here as well, but both Daniil Larkin and Daniil Grigoriev scored to the Swedes , 16-year-old Daniil Bout scored his only point in the tournament in this match . In general, there were four players born in 2005 in this team, and all of them showed that they had come not only to haul the instrument after their older comrades. They are ready to take responsibility, to go out in the most difficult moments of the game (the same Booth assisted Ivan Rogovsky with the score 4: 4 in the majority). The game with the Swedes became the most difficult for the Russians; in the final, Slovakia did not find any arguments against ours.
Let’s not forget about one more important point. Representatives of eight clubs play in this Russian team. And the fact that the level of their training corresponds to the national team also speaks volumes. We can say that there is no base club. There is a basic program, which is much more important and, as practice shows, more effective.
These shots will soon have a serious test. At the end of August in the Czech Hodonin, the Four Nations Tournament for youth teams will take place. Surely Igor Larionov will include one of the leaders of the current “junior”: the same Michkov, Ivan Miroshnichenko, goalkeeper Sergei Ivanov. They have proven that they are ready to try themselves at a higher level. Michkov can already be called a star, and recently he only confirms this status. The leader of the Russian team finished the Glinka / Gretzky Cup with 13 (8 + 5) points, a record for the tournament, scoring in every (!) Match.
Interestingly, all the winners of the last Glinka / Gretzky Cup play in Russian clubs. This is one of the main tasks of the “Red Machine” – to make sure that young Russian talents stay and play in their homeland. Not to hold back by force, but to motivate, creating all the conditions for development.