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Sport / Hockey

"Who, if not Ilya Konovalov?!"

News of the KHL 07.02.2019 at 12:00

20-year-old Ilya Konovalov started the season in the MHL, has proved himself in the NHL, and now debuts in the first team of Russia against the Finns in native Yaroslavl. Fabulous story!

that Ilya will play against Finland, said his namesake sparrows. The head coach of SKA and Russian national team even threw up his hands when asked press: "In Yaroslavl? Who, if not Konovalov?"

Who, if not him?

on Tuesday I was able to talk with Ilya. A wonderful man, I tell you! We met at the gate in Novogorsk. Agreed, I took Konovalov in the car and we went on shooting.

half an hour via the ring road, on the prospectus of Marshal Zhukov – talking on the road. I admired how the young goalkeeper of "Locomotive" famously makes "biscuits". 42 games – 24 wins – 10 matches "zero"! In my eyes it's incredible!

"But Ilya Sorokin in the same age made 10 "crackers", when he moved to CSKA, modestly reminds Konovalov. Matches, he spent less. I'm not unique."

And I remember: Yes, Sorokin distinguished himself so in 20 years, and spent 28 games with 17 victories, and his ratio of goals against (1,06) rang like a taut string. I was even astonished at the wheel of pride of what we have goalkeepers.

I was just wondering, as in "the Locomotive" has dared at such experiment. As in mathar Legionnaire Alexandra Herring made a bid for a young goalkeeper, who in August played in Sochi at the tournament MHL.

Ilya told me that the camps were held with the main team. And the world Cup "the Locomotive" has delegated many who came of age because to win in Sochi was very important.

"it So happened that I was in the last season in the KHL trust - said Konovalov. – First were released in November, against the "Salavat Yulayev" and we won in overtime. Then – against the "Kunlun" in China, and we also won. Six matches – the team has won six times. Well, in the club and thought, "See, he can." Okay, so had the chance".

We come to Zhukov and see how large of an office building brought all people. Some sinister call, saying that there were explosives. In the Studio no one is allowed. "It is now three or four hours, now come the investigators with dogs", they tell us.

Never transfer I have not torn this reason. I stand, dumbfounded, as Jon's, whose diamond chair built a new railway club. But what to do? Sit in the car again, rushing in Novogorsk. Elijah comforts me: "Yeah okay! I still don't like to give interviews. And imagine if instead I got some kind of superstar?"

I remembered how in the beginning of September, the day before the flight to Los Angeles, join us for "Maybach" with a personal driver rolled Ilya Kovalchuk. "Yes, nothing would have happened. He would have went for".

And it's back through the ice Palace and Leningradsky. I spin the wheel and wonder why Konovalov does not remember me at the youth national team of Russia. "This year, I age did not fit, and in the past I didn't get it - looked like Ilya. – One of the guys went to the super series with Canadians. The other played a four Nations tournament in Balashikha. I was just there and spoke. We have won two..."

Later I learned that was told by the goalkeeping coach of the youth team Vladimir Kulikov: "last year, the Konovalov just lacked match practice. Ilya played in Balashikha very good, but the scales are not weighted in his direction. But now Illia such progress that much happy. This can be achieved through hard work and a serious trust on the part of "Locomotive". There's no other way".

Already in Kurkino decide to roll to the Mall. Tuesday – closed in the team. And this command six players of "Locomotive" - not just the Konovalov and defenders Alexander Elesin, Rushan Rafikov, and forwards Gregory Denisenko Denis Alekseev, Kirill Blind. Magnificent five and the goalkeeper. In the morning they were put into a van, flew for four hours from Yaroslavl to Novogorsk.

on the basis of the sit when the boys went to the movies? "Sasha, get me, I'll be – already freed!" Shake a firm hand Konovalov. Big, the goalkeeper's hand.

"I'm Sorry that it happened. Well, nothing, but swept. Come on, Eurotrip light!"

And you know, I didn't want this column to praise Konovalov to embarrass him in front of important start. On the contrary, show how good he is, the right guy. And these guys a lot in the NHL and our team. Really want to support them.