Fresh start for Russian women
by Martin Merk|26 JUL 2019
Yevgeni Bobariko was coaching the Russian U18 women’s national team for the past three years and will now take over the senior team.
photo: Steve Kingsman / HHOF-IIHF Images
After three years without a medal, the Russian women’s national team will get a new head coach. Yevgeni Bobariko, who was coaching the U18 women’s national team during the past three years, will take over from Alexei Chistyakov.

Chistyakov became head coach after 2016 when Russia last time won a medal (bronze at the Women’s Worlds). Under him Russia finished fifth in 2017, fourth at the 2018 Olympics and at the 2019 Women’s Worlds.

The 45-year-old Bobariko was a professional player for his hometown team Torpedo Nizhni Novgorod and other clubs, represented Russia at the 1994 IIHF World Junior Championship and was a seventh-round draft pick of the Vancouver Canucks in 1993.

After his playing career he turned to coaching and became involved in the Russian women’s national team program as an assistant coach in 2008 and with one of the top women’s hockey teams, SKIF Nizhni Novgorod. He later worked as assistant coach of HC Sarov in the second men’s league VHL but then returned to the federation in 2016 to coach the U18 women’s national team.

During the past three years he finished third, fourth and fourth at the IIHF Ice Hockey U18 Women’s World Championship and led Russia to two U16 Women’s European Cups (2017, 2019).

Former Russian national team player Denis Afinogenov, who is also the head coach of Agidel Ufa, will continue as assistant coach of the women’s national team and will also serve as head coach of a the B national team labelled “Olimpiskaya Sbornaya”. Goaltending coach Sergei Mylnikov will move from the U18 to the senior women’s national team.

The U18 women’s national team will get a new head coach with Alexander Syrtsov (pictured below), who has been an assistant coach of the team during the past three years. He will be joined by assistant coach Yevgeni Sherbakov and goaltending coach Oleg Lavretski. The same coaches will also lead the U16 women’s national team.