We Should Have Taken the Lokomotiv by Andy Bernbrock

1 Dec
The goal light lit and the crowd cheered for young winger Alexander Galimov as Lokomotiv Yaroslavl had won their final preseason game. The team is a sure contender in Russia’s elite hockey league, the KHL, and after a seven win and two loss preseason the team had every reason to believe that they would be champions at the end of the season. The team never made it to the opening game.
            The team’s jet left their home airport in northern Russia on Wednesday September 7th 2011, but they would never make their destination of Minsk, Belarus. The jet crashed into the Tunoshna River due to pilot failure; upon impact with the banks of the river forty three of the forty five onboard died including most of the Lokomotiv team and the entire coaching staff. The two survivors of the crash were flight crew member Alexander Sizov and winger Alexander Galimov, who had scored the game winging goal in overtime just hours prior. Galimov finally passed after five days in critical condition suffering burns to ninety percent of his body. Among those who died in the crash was future member of the NHL Hall of Fame, Ruslan Salei, who spent eight seasons with the Mighty Ducks of Anaheim.
The city of Yaroslavl is devastated as many throughout the city have lost their beloved hockey icons, and not just one, the city has lost their entire team. A ceremony was held for the hometown fans as the twenty six players and eleven members of the coaching staff were honored. As the city continues to mourn the loss the rebuilding process has begun and the team will be back for the 12-13 season, but the new players brought on to the new team will have something more to play for, and a team to avenge.
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