Lausanne are coming off the first playoffs semifinal of their history… and will play the Champions Hockey League for the first time in history. We mean, life is good on the shores of the Lac Léman these days. The Lions Vaudois are in a group that includes Ocelari Trinec (Czech Republic), Lahti Pelicans (Finland) and Yunost Minsk (Belarus). The latter are Lausanne’s first opponents…
Therefore, let’s get to know more about the Belarusians.
Chizhovka Arena – Capacity 8’807
YUNOST MINSK LAST SEASON
If we exclude the KHL team Dinamo Minsk, it’s safe to say that Yunost Minsk is the most successful Belarusian club of the century! Lausanne’s next opponents in fact, played 13 finals in the last 16 years… and won 8 times the title! To note, moreover, that Yunost Minsk were able to make it all the way to the final in the last 6 seasons (2 titles won)… we mean, this club is a very good one in its country.
We think it’s safe to say that Mikhail Zakharov is Yunost Minsk’s Arno Del Curto… the 57 years old Belarusian in fact, has been the head of this club since 2000! Over the years, moreover and at various times, he also coached the Belarusian and the Ukrainian National teams. As a player instead, Zakharov played for Dinamo Minsk and then crossed the ocean and moved to North America… where, however, he played only in minor leagues. He hung up his skates in 1996 when he was 34 and after that he played his last games with Tivali Minsk and the National team of Belarus.
YUNOST MINSK WELL KNOWN PLAYERS
There are currently no players in the Yunost Minsk roster who can be linked to Switzerland… however, there are a couple of them who played for the Belarusian club in the past that can be linked to Switzerland. One in particolar, left Lausanne a wonderful memory…
Daniel Corso is now 41 and retired in 2018 after he had played the last four seasons of his career with Yunost Minsk. Yet, we’re pretty sure that the fans of Lausanne remember Daniel Corso very well… The Canadian forward in fact, played 29 games (40 points) with the Lions Vaudois during the 2012-13 season… most and above all, however, he played a key role during the NLB playoffs and the League Qualification series that brought Lausanne back to the NLA! During the post-season, Daniel tallied 25 points in 20 games. To note, finally, that Daniel Corso played also one playoffs game with Olten back in 2014… only one, right. That’s because he was assessed a game misconduct penalty during the first and only game played with the club. After that, he left Switzerland and moved to Belarus.
The 36 years old Finnish Jesse Niinimäki retired in 2018… and he played the 2016-17 season with Yunost Minsk. Previously instead, he collected 5 National League appearances (1 goal) with Davos during the 2007-08 season.
YUNOST MINSK CHAMPIONS LEAGUE EXPERIENCE
Yunost Minsk qualified for the Champions Hockey League for the third time after 2016-17 and 2018-19. Yunost were never able to get through the group stage. Yet, be very careful Lausanne… because Yunost Minsk have an impressive home record in this competition. 6 home games, 5 wins and only 1 defeat suffered (against Red Bull München).
PREVIOUS CHL HEAD TO HEAD VS SWISS CLUBS
Yunost Minsk never played against a Swiss club in the Champions Hockey League.
MEET THE TEAM… YUNOST MINSK
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Yunost Minsk vs Lausanne HC
Lausanne HC vs Yunost Minsk