Hockey club "Avangard": history and achievements
Today, Avangard Hockey Club is one of the most popular in the whole country. The team has been listed for quite a long time in the leaders of the Continental Hockey League (KHL) and claims to win the main trophy of the tournament - the Gagarin Cup.
The Avangard hockey club (Omsk) was founded more than half a century ago - in 1950. During this time, the team changed a lot of names: Spartak, Khimik, Shinnik, Kauchuk, Aeroflot.
The first official match of the Omsk club dates back to 1951. Then in the championship of the RSFSR, the team played with its geographical neighbors, the Novosibirsk Pishevik. Four years later, Avangard Hockey Club (Spartak at that time) debuted at the USSR Championship - and again in the match against the Novosibirsk team. The meeting of two "Spartacus" (Novosibirsk then also took this very popular name) ended in victory for Omsk with a score of 5: 2.
In the elite division of the Soviet hockey club hit only four years later,in 1959. However, later Omsk could not achieve anything more serious in the framework of the Soviet championship. It is understandable, because the national hockey of those times is, first of all, two great Moscow clubs - CSKA and Spartak. Sometimes they diluted this eternal confrontation with two other clubs from Moscow: Dynamo and Krylya Sovetov. It was in these four teams that the best hockey players of the country gathered, which formed the backbone of the USSR national team.
The club gained real fame much later - with the start of the Russian championship in the nineties. Then hockey became much less centralized, since powerful hockey schools appeared in Magnitogorsk (Metallurg), Kazan (Ak Bars), Ufa (Salavat Yulaev), Tolyatti (Lada). Omsk was no exception.
Modern Avangard is a hockey club that rivals respect and fear. And for good reason: in 1994, the team won the biggest victory in history over the Karaganda “Builder” with a score of 14: 0.
With the advent of the new millennium the Avangard hockey club became known not only in the country, but throughout Europe. Omsk successfully performed not only in the domestic championship, but also in international tournaments: the Engelberg Cup (2006/2007), the Continental Cup, the Volvo Cup, as well as the European Champions Cup.
Since 2008, Avangard has become a member of the Kontinental Hockey League. The debut season in the KHL began tragically: one of the main talents of the Omsk club, Aleksey Cherepanov, died. During the match with Chekhov's “Vityaz”, the 19-year-old striker stopped his heart. Doctors could not save the player.
Avangard is a hockey club whose composition has been staffed with truly star players at different times. That there is only one legendary Jaromir Jagr, who played for Omsk twice: first, from 2004 to 2005, and then from 2008 to 2011. In addition to Jagra, Avangard was played by Maxim Sushinsky (Russia), Alexey Kalyuzhny, Sergey Kostitsyn (both Belarus), Roman Chervenka (Czech Republic).
Undoubtedly, the main success in the history of the club is the gold medals of the Russian Championship of 2004. Then Avangard in five matches of the final series beat Metallurg Magnitogorsk. Also in the asset of the Omsk club there are silver medals of the seasons 2000/2001, 2005/2006, 2011/2012.
The Gagarin Cup, the main KHL trophy, is still only in the team’s plans. In 2012, Omsk went to the finals of the tournament, but in the end lost to Dynamo Moscow. Ironically, the puck, which made the Dynamo champions, was thrown by the former player of the Omsk team - Czech Jakub Klepish.
Now it’s not very clear when Avangard will be able to reach the new peak - the Petersburg and Moscow “Army men” are very strong, as well as the Ufa-based Salavat and Ak Bars from Kazan.
Omsk citizens can only boast of winning the Eastern Conference Cup (2012), which is awarded to the strongest team of the East in the regular season.
Hockey club "Avangard" is otherwise called "hawks." Team emblem is a direct reflection of this nickname. It combines the capital letter of the club "A" and a flying hawk, violently attacking the enemy. The logo appeared in the last century, its creation dates back to 1998. Its author was a local advertiser Stanislav Ivanchenko.
The hawk is a symbol that perfectly characterizes the avant-garde game philosophy. This team preaches the values of power, speed and aggressive hockey, which is a sort of Russian continuation of the "Canadian" style. The will to victory and perseverance are the inalienable attributes of the Omsk club, which have been inherent in it at all times.