Hockey golden boy die

Also, like Ostap Bender, a character from a very popular Russian book, he wanted to go to Rio, a fairy city where everyone wears white pants and the suns never stops shining.

He wrote about this in his blog, opened just a week ago. He was going to contact his fans, he wrote about Jaromír Jágr with a great respect, he called the Czech hockey player “my forth coach”. He loved. He played. He was.

The day before yesterday the youngest Russian hockey player’s heart stopped. Alexei Cherepanov died.

No one really can tell what exactly happened on Monday evening, 3 minutes before the end of “Vityaz HC vs. Avangard HC” match. It was 17:35; the third period was going to end. 4:5, Avangard was behind. Suddenly the head judge stopped the match. Players and coaches are all around the “Avangard” bench. Everyone looked lost. Alexei Cherepanov lied unconscious on the floor. The doctors made useless attempts trying to bring the forward to consciousness…

“Wake up, Lyoshka!”

The match’s 57th minute became fatal for Alexei. Going to the bench he ran into one of his partners. Nothing serious – at least it looked like, especially when you compare that with usual hockey players’ accidents. But when Cherepanov got to the “Avangard” bench, his heart stopped. “Where’s the ER?!” people shouted loudly. Local doctors tried everything they could do, but there was no ER near though it should be. Everyone called ER, and it arrived… in 15 minutes. The doctors who came to help knowing about the heart attack – they had a discharged pacemaker.

They used epinephrine shots, closed-chest massage... The heart started to beat for 5 times, but the player kept blacking out. Jaromír Jágr couldn’t stop repeating: “Lyoshka, wake up!” But Lyoshka didn’t…

Straight line

Around 200 fans saw the ER off. The car immediately brought Cherepanov to Chehov’s city hospital. The doctors tried to get him back for an hour. But all they could was to beat the heart for a couple of minutes. All the city’s main persons gathered in the hospital. All “Avangard” players went to the church.

Monitor’s zigzags became straight. By 22:55 (Moscow time) Alexei Cherepanov was called.

Thursday morning was black for Omsk people. Omsk governor (and “Avangard” board’s president) Leonid Polezhaev and “Rangers” general manager Glen Sather offered ceremonial condolences to Alexi’s family.

Bet for a chocolate

“I made a bet with Vitya Alexandrov,” Alexei wrote 5 days ago. “We bet for a chocolate block I could become the best player at the future Youth Championship. He doubts that. Well, let’s see who is going to eat chocolate after the Championship. So we’re ok. I hope my series of goals will continue. I’ll try hard for this! That’s all for today. See you when I come back. Bye!”

P. S.: It is yet unknown where Alexei would be buried. His family and the team are to arrive to Omsk at 12.00 (Moscow time). As “Avangard” press officer Arkadiy Alexeev says the matches schedule will depends on the date of the funeral.

P. P. S.: 40 years ago, July 9, 1968, the heart of the legendary Omsk’s hockey player Viktor Blinov stopped too... He was 22; he was already the USSR champion, world champion, Olympic games winner.


Alexei Cherepanov: hockey forward.

Born 15.01.1989, Ozerky village (Talmensk district, Altay region).

Russia Youth Championship: winner (2003), runner-up (2004, 2006).

Russia Youth Championship: Best forward

Russia Championship: runner-up (2007).

World Youth Hockey Championship: runner-up (2007, 2008)

Russian version

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