On the 18th of December, 1949, one of the oldest surviving teams in Russian hockey, Metallurg Novokuznetsk, began competing in its first official tournament: the RSFSR Championship, and throughout their 65-year history, “the Blacksmiths” have rarely slipped below the level of the elite of Russian hockey.
To mark the anniversary, a number of commemorative events will be held in Novokuznetsk on the 18th and 19th of December. Today, the city’s Palace of Sport hosts a celebratory friendly game between Metallurg and Avangard Omsk, featuring many stars of Siberian hockey from the 70s, 80s and 90s.
Meanwhile the Palace of Sport foyer is hosting a photo exhibition, where visiting fans will be joined by many local dignitaries as well as current Metallurg player, who will hold an autograph and photo session. There will also be an important event at the stadium before today’s game: the ceremonial raising to the rafters of the playing jersey worn by one of the Novokuznetsk hockey school’s finest graduates: the two-time world champion, champion of Russia and Gagarin Cup winner, Sergei Zinovyev. The festivities continue tomorrow, when the city mayor, Sergei Kuznetsov, hosts an official reception at the Eurasia ZSMK Cultural Center.