International Ice Hockey Federation

With Beresnevs to Moscow

With Beresnevs to Moscow

Long-time Latvian national coach returns

Published 09.02.2016 15:44 GMT+2 | Author Martin Merk
With Beresnevs to Moscow
Leonids Beresnevs behind the bench of the Latvian team that recently won the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey U20 World Championship Division I Group A. Photo: Andreas Robanser
Former Latvian national team coach Leonids Beresnevs will succeed Alexander Beliavski as head coach for the 2016 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship in Russia.

The contract was approved at an extra-ordinary board meeting of the Latvian Ice Hockey Federation. Beresnevs signed a contract valid until the end of the World Championship with options for automatic extensions until the Final Olympic Qualification in September 2016 and, if the team qualifies for the Olympics, until 2018.

Beresnevs grew up in Russia during the Soviet times but moved to Riga when he was 20 and spent most of his career as a player and coach in Latvia.

The 57-year-old has worked for the men’s, U20 and U18 national teams for many years. He first led the team from 1996 to 1999. In 1996 he became the first coach to earn promotion to the top division with Latvia and one year later he led the team to a seventh-place finish at the 1997 Worlds in Finland – the highest placement in history for Latvia that was also matched in 2004 and 2009.

Beresnevs again coached the team at the 2005 Worlds and the 2006 Olympics although with less success. He also coached the U20 national team during eight seasons and led it to the top division by winning the Division I tournament in December.

Beresnevs returned to Latvia last summer after two seasons behind the bench of Kazakh club team Arlan Kokshetau and is the currently also the head coach of SK Riga of the Latvian Virsliga.

In Moscow, Latvia will compete in the top division of the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship for the 20th year in a row. In Group A they will play against host Russia, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Norway, Denmark and Kazakhstan.

Latvia hasn’t reached the quarter-finals in World Championships since 2009 but did so at the 2014 Olympic Winter Games in Sochi.

From 1st to 4th September Latvia will host on of the three Final Olympic Qualification tournaments in Riga with Germany, Austria and a qualifier as the opponents.

 

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