Soviet Sport recounts the final months of Alexei Cherepanov’s life through the words they wrote about him.
Journalists mourn… “He cut my gum. But it’s nothing, I’ll live…”
October 15, 2008, â„–152(17647)
My god, how difficult it is to force oneself to believe that Alexei Cherepanov is no longer with us… This season it was rare an issue of Soviet Sport managed to go by without mentioning the talented forward and remarkable young man whom it was simply impossible not to love. We bring you extracts from our publications from the last two months. We’ll remember. We’ll keep silent. We’ll weep…
- “At present we have many young guys on the team,” said Jagr. “But young doesn’t meant green.”
- What do you mean?
- I very much like our guy wearing number seven.
- That’s Alexei Cherepanov…
- This player has a big future.
- Is it not time for him [to go] to the NHL?
- That is a question I can’t answer for you now. Time is needed to watch how steady the young forward is.
- “It’s the first hat trick in my adult career. I wanted very much to show that on Avangard not only Jagr is strong,” said the principal hero after the game with Slovakian team Skalitsa on the opening day of the Ufa tournament.
In the ninth minute Cherepanov strikes from the slot from a laid out position, and the referee, having seen this small hockey masterpiece a few times, gives the “Good” signal to the visitors bench in compliments to the hero.
Jaromir is pleasantly surprised with his effectiveness: in the last seven games he has 8 goals to his account. The Russian starlet — 19-year old Alexei Cherepanov, who has scored the winning goal, tries not to lag behind the well-known Czech. Even during the summer the “Siberian Express” confessed that since the appearance of Jagr in Avangard he studies Jaromir every day. Lessons from the great Czech are saved for future use…
Over eight and a half minutes before the siren Cherepanov compels the audience to stand up in a single impulse. He scores for the sixth match in a row (!) and repeats the team record Zatonsko established back in 1999.
- In the practice locker room Jagr spends 10 minutes occupied by the song “Vladimir Central” by singer Michael Krug. Jaromir’s young teammate Alexei Cherepanov is the last road block on the Czech’s road to the world of great tennis.
- “Uncle Jagr, give me your autograph,” the young Cherepanov cracks on exiting from the locker room (how endearingly he called him “uncle Jagr”). Jaromir does not refuse.
- “So you’re off to the Kremlin Cup, uncle Jaromir? Will you play with Safin?”
- “No, I won’t be with Safin, he’s so bad is impossible to beat him,” counters the Czech and hurries to his car…
Nine games in a row the 19-year old Avangard forward did not leave the ice without gathering points. But in Saturday’s game with CSKA this spectacular streak was broken, despite the inspired play of the “Omsk Express”. In the second period the Hawks played three lines. Alexei took the ice often, but… Before the siren in the second period the hook of CSKA defenseman Roman Kukhtinov’s stick got him in the face. The forward, having dropped his stick and gloves to the ice, left the ice.
- “He cut my gum,” complained Cherepanov to the Soviet Sport correspondent after the game. “But it’s nothing, I’ll live. And I’ll be even more prepared for the next game in Chekhov…”
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