On the 23rd of June, 2012, the Arena Traktor in Chelyabinsk hosted a game to honor the memory of Alexander Kalyanin and Gennady Churilov, two of the Lokomotiv players who tragically perished in the Yaroslavl air disaster of 2011, and who were born, raised, and learned to play hockey in the Southern Urals region. The event was organized by friends of Alexander and Gennady to provide support to the bereaved families of the deceased players and as a way for local people to pay their respects to the two players who died at such a young age.

Around five thousand supporters attended the event, and after observing a minute’s silence in memory of Alexander Kalyanin and Gennady Churilov they were treated to a highly entertaining game. Team Gennady Churilov took to the ice in a blue uniform bearing the number 21, Churilov‘s name, and the emblem of his home city, Magnitogorsk. Team Alexander Kalyanin played in a white uniform, sporting the number 28, Kalyanin’s name, and the emblem of Alexander’s birthplace, Chelyabinsk. At the end of regulation time this lively encounter was tied at 6-6, but in the shootout Denis Mosalyov, current Gagarin Cup holder and former Magnitka forward, sealed a victory for the Magnitogorsk team.

After the game some of the Lokomotiv pair’s nearest and dearest – Alexander Kalyanin’s father, Gennady Churilov’s brother, and the players’ girlfriends – appeared on the ice, and team captains Sergei Piskunov and Ilya Proskuryakov presented them with commemorative statuettes and hockey jerseys as mementos of the occasion. To round off the event, the players gave a two-hour autograph session in the foyer of the Arena Traktor.

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