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Lada Tolyatti

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===The last steps to the top===
 
===The last steps to the top===
The team's face was transformed at the end of the 1980s. In [[1988-89 Pervaya Liga season|1988-89]], Torpedo Togliatti was renamed '''Lada Togliatti'''. The name reflects the new team's sponsorship, with the car manufacturer Lada, which is based in Tolyatti. Lada finished second of the Pervaya Liga that season, a sign of things to come. In [[1990]], Lada hired [[Gennady Tsygurov]], a former [[Traktor Chelyabinsk]] [[defenceman]] who turned to coaching following his playing days. In [[1991]], Lada earned its promotion to the [[Vysshaya Liga]] which was then the top level of Soviet hockey.
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The team's face was transformed at the end of the 1980's. In [[1988-89 Pervaya Liga season|1988-89]], Torpedo Togliatti was renamed '''Lada Togliatti'''. The name reflects the new team's sponsorship, with the car manufacturer Lada, which is based in Tolyatti. Lada finished second of the Pervaya Liga that season, a sign of things to come. In [[1990]], Lada hired [[Gennady Tsygurov]], a former [[Traktor Chelyabinsk]] [[defenceman]] who turned to coaching following his playing days. In [[1991]], Lada earned its promotion to the [[Vysshaya Liga]] which was then the top level of Soviet hockey.
   
 
Lada's road to glory was then well under way. In [[1992-93 Mezhnatsionalnaya Hockeynaya Liga season|1992-93]], Lada finishes first of the Eastern Conference and reaches the league's playoffs finals. The team was swept by [[Dynamo Moscow]] in three games, but Lada had nevertheless shown it was becoming an important club in [[Russia]] and that the domination of Moscow hockey was slowly but surely weakening. It also and especially earned its first ever Russian Championship award in the process.
 
Lada's road to glory was then well under way. In [[1992-93 Mezhnatsionalnaya Hockeynaya Liga season|1992-93]], Lada finishes first of the Eastern Conference and reaches the league's playoffs finals. The team was swept by [[Dynamo Moscow]] in three games, but Lada had nevertheless shown it was becoming an important club in [[Russia]] and that the domination of Moscow hockey was slowly but surely weakening. It also and especially earned its first ever Russian Championship award in the process.
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[[Image:LADA European Cup poster.jpg|thumb|right|"Lada is European Cup Champion" poster|320px|right|"Lada is European Cup Champion" poster]]
 
[[Image:LADA European Cup poster.jpg|thumb|right|"Lada is European Cup Champion" poster|320px|right|"Lada is European Cup Champion" poster]]
The [[1996-97 RSL season|1996-97 season]] saw Tolyatti win his first international championship, as the team won its first [[1997 European Cup|European Cup]] title as they defeated [[MODO Hockey]] 4-3 in overtime in [[Düsseldorf]], [[Germany]]. It was the first time a Russian side won the competition since [[CSKA Moscow]]'s hegemony in the 1970s and 1980s. League-wise, Lada was equally succesful. It was crowned Russian regular season champion again, with a 30 wins and 63 points effort, imbellished by another lopsided goal differential (+83). The team reached the league finals once again, this time facing [[Torpedo Yaroslavl]], third overall in the regular season. Despite good play by Tolyatti, Yaroslavl swept Lada in three games in the league finals.
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The [[1996-97 RSL season|1996-97 season]] saw Tolyatti win his first international championship, as the team won its first [[1997 European Cup|European Cup]] title as they defeated [[MODO Hockey]] 4-3 in overtime in [[Düsseldorf]], [[Germany]]. It was the first time a Russian side won the competition since [[CSKA Moscow]]'s hegemony in the 1970's and 1980's. League-wise, Lada was equally succesful. It was crowned Russian regular season champion again, with a 30 wins and 63 points effort, imbellished by another lopsided goal differential (+83). The team reached the league finals once again, this time facing [[Torpedo Yaroslavl]], third overall in the regular season. Despite good play by Tolyatti, Yaroslavl swept Lada in three games in the league finals.
   
 
===Drought years===
 
===Drought years===
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===Kontinental Hockey League===
 
===Kontinental Hockey League===
Lada was one of the 24 charter teams of the newly created [[Kontinental Hockey League]] in [[2008-09 KHL season|2008-09]]. The season saw [[Piotr Vorobiev]] come back behind Lada's bench after several seasons of absence. His return was a blessing for the team, as Auto-VAZ, the team's sponsor, announced a drastic 50% cut of its funding of local sports clubs (including of course Lada Tolyatti) due to the Financial Crisis that hit hard the car industry. Even though the paychecks came three months late, Vorobiev successfully held the team together and qualified it for the playoffs with a 13th place. If the offense was nowhere near that the club had at its disposition in its glory days in the 1990s, the defence, however, was much improved and its goal against total was among the league's lowest. [[Goaltender]] [[Vitali Koshechkin]] enjoyed a fine season in his hometown and finished third overall in the league for the save percentage. He was instrumental in Lada's playoffs qualification and was a key instrument in making the eighth-of-finals series with [[CSKA Moscow]] a tight one.
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Lada was one of the 24 charter teams of the newly created [[Kontinental Hockey League]] in [[2008-09 KHL season|2008-09]]. The season saw [[Piotr Vorobiev]] come back behind Lada's bench after several seasons of absence. His return was a blessing for the team, as Auto-VAZ, the team's sponsor, announced a drastic 50% cut of its funding of local sports clubs (including of course Lada Tolyatti) due to the Financial Crisis that hit hard the car industry. Even though the paychecks came three months late, Vorobiev successfully held the team together and qualified it for the playoffs with a 13th place. If the offense was nowhere near that the club had at its disposition in its glory days in the 1990's, the defence, however, was much improved and its goal against total was among the league's lowest. [[Goaltender]] [[Vitali Koshechkin]] enjoyed a fine season in his hometown and finished third overall in the league for the save percentage. He was instrumental in Lada's playoffs qualification and was a key instrument in making the eighth-of-finals series with [[CSKA Moscow]] a tight one.
   
 
The new [[Lada Arena]] saga continued. Despite its bright past, Lada was still stuck in the small [[Volgar Sports Palace]], which, at 2,900 places, was clearly too small for KHL standards. Following investigations by the league, the Samara Oblast government promised the arena would be finished in [[2010]].
 
The new [[Lada Arena]] saga continued. Despite its bright past, Lada was still stuck in the small [[Volgar Sports Palace]], which, at 2,900 places, was clearly too small for KHL standards. Following investigations by the league, the Samara Oblast government promised the arena would be finished in [[2010]].
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{| cellpadding="3" cellspacing="1" border="0" style="font-size: 95%; text-align: left; -moz-border-radius-topright:7px; border:#FF0000 solid 2px; border-collapse: collapse;"
 
|- ALIGN="left" bgcolor="#ffffff"
 
|- ALIGN="left" bgcolor="#ffffff"
| colspan="50" bgcolor="#0000FF" | [[File:Lada Togliatti logo.png|30px|left]] <span style="color:#FFFFFF"><center>'''''ALL-TIME STANDINGS'''''</center>
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| colspan="50" bgcolor="#0000FF" | [[File:Lada_Togliatti_logo.png|30px|left]] <span style="color:#FFFFFF"><center>'''''ALL-TIME STANDINGS'''''</center>
 
|-
 
|-
 
! bgcolor="#DDDDFF" | Season
 
! bgcolor="#DDDDFF" | Season
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[[Category:Established in 1976]]
 
[[Category:Established in 1976]]
 
[[Category:Lada Tolyatti]]
 
[[Category:Lada Tolyatti]]
[[Category:Kontinental Hockey League teams]]
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[[Category:Kontinental Hockey League team]]
 
[[Category:Russian Superleague team]]
 
[[Category:Russian Superleague team]]
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