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One Year Later, Lokomotiv Yaroslavl’s 2011-12 Roster Remembered
Lokomotiv Yaroslavl 2011-12: Never Forgotten.
One year ago, the hockey world was rocked by a plane crash just outside of Yaroslavl, Russia, that resulted in the death of an entire KHL team – Yaroslavl’s Lokomotiv. As with most KHL teams, the players and coaching staff were from a diverse group of nations – Russia, Belarus, Canada, Czech Republic, Germany, Latvia, Slovakia, and Ukraine (a list of the dead can be found here). The hockey community as a whole mourned their loss, and memorial services were held on both continents.
The crash occurred while the team was en route to their season opening contest against Dynamo Minsk. The organization subsequently made the decision to cancel their season, allowing time to mourn and rebuild. A report was released yesterday that blamed a Yak Service Airlines executive for allowing the pilot to operate using falsified documents and with a copilot who had not finished his training on the vehicle.
In the aftermath of the disaster, the group Love For Lokomotiv was established by the wives of professional hockey players. They raised funds to help the families that were left behind through the sale of jewelry and direct donation. Wives and Girlfriends of both the Washington Capitals and Hershey Bears were involved in bracelet sales to benefit the group.
The world turns, and a new group of men now wear the Lokomotiv jersey (including former Capitals 3rd Round Draft Pick Sami Lepisto). They played their first regular season game on Thursday, defeating Sibir (Novosibirsk) 5-2 (English Here). No games will be played in the KHL today, as the league has set aside September 7 as a day of remembrance.
Moving on is an important part of the healing process, but today we pause to remember those lost in such a sharp and unexpected tragedy. 44 men and women would eventually die as a result of the crash (43 died in the initial crash. Aleksandr Galimov survived the initial impact, but succumbed to his injuries five days later). The sole survivor was a member of the flight crew.
Megan Bears contributed to this report.