PHOTOS Melting the Ice: Russian Women’s Hockey League Releases New Calendar

© Photo : WHL press serviceAnna Prugova
Anna Prugova - Sputnik International
Meet 12 Russian professional female hockey stars – superb decoration not only for the upcoming year calendar, but also for 2018 at large.

A new photoshoot by prominent  photographer Pyotr Titarenko, who has worked for L'uomo Vogue, Harper's Bazaar, Forbes and many more, features the most outstanding and beautiful  representatives of 7 hockey clubs from all over Russia. Here is the full list to draw real inspiration from (photo credit: WHL press service):

Anna Prugova ("Agidel")

© Photo : WHL press serviceAnna Prugova
Anna Prugova - Sputnik International
Anna Prugova

Two-time bronze medal holder in the world’s championship, four-time winner of European Champs Cup, four-time Champ of Russia, two-time silver medal winner of the Women’s Hockey League (WHL). She has been a goalkeeper since she was 11: back then she fell in love with hockey in her native city of Khabarovsk, paying special attention to goalkeeping. Cheerful and incredibly full of life, she is extremely energetic when defending the goal.

Maria Pechnikova ("Agidel")

© Photo : WHL press serviceMaria Pechnikova
Maria Pechnikova - Sputnik International
Maria Pechnikova

International Winter Universiade Champ (2015), silver medal winner in European Champs Cup, two-time gold and four-time silver winner of the Russian championship. She tried various sports, but finally opted for hockey, after Dad had given her an ice hockey stick. Reticent and firm, she loves hockey for its beauty, strength and tremendous teamwork. 

Oksana Afonina ("Arctic-University")

Russia’s champion as "Tornado" player. She started playing ice hockey in her native Pervouralsk, eventually advancing to the high-profile "Spartak — Mercury" team. Oksana was part of the national and youth team during numerous international ice hockey tournaments. Boasting 8,000 subscribers on Instagram, she demonstrates not only a perfect performance, but astonishingly trendy looks.

© Photo : WHL press serviceOksana Afonina
Oksana Afonina - Sputnik International
Oksana Afonina

Evgeniya Dyupina ("Dinamo-Spb")

© Photo : WHL press serviceEvgeniya Dyupina
Evgeniya Dyupina - Sputnik International
Evgeniya Dyupina

Two-time winner of the International Winter Universiade (2015, 2017). Love for hockey runs in her family, her father being a hockey coach. She boasts a wide Hollywood smile, as well as perfect speed and accuracy in her ice hockey play. Openhearted with her close circle of friends, she turns into a real predator on an ice rink.

Diana Kanaeva ("Dinamo-Spb")

© Photo : WHL press serviceDiana Kanaeva
Diana Kanaeva - Sputnik International
Diana Kanaeva

Bronze winner of the Youth Hockey Championship in 2015. Diana preferred a stick and a puck to a ribbon and clubs: she did gymnastics as a little girl, but having once tried hockey she couldn’t resist it. Delicate and graceful, accurate and quick as a panther, Diana steals everybody’s heart both on the ice and in life.

Nadezda Morozova ("Biryusa")

© Photo : WHL press serviceNadezda Morozova
Nadezda Morozova - Sputnik International
Nadezda Morozova

Bronze winner of the World Championship in 2016, two times champ of the International Winter Universiade (2015, 2017), bronze prize holder of the WHL Championship (2016). A cousin to the famed forward player Alexey Morozov, she tried for three years to talk her parents into letting her follow in her brother’s footsteps. She firmly holds her rank as one of the top three goalkeepers of the league. Perfectly cheerful, she shares her uplifting mood with those around.

Tatiana Shatalova ("Biryusa")

© Photo : WHL press serviceTatiana Shatalova
Tatiana Shatalova - Sputnik International
Tatiana Shatalova

Bronze winner of the WHL Championship in 2016

As a little girl, she tried to persuade her parents to let her play ice hockey, but they flatly refused. As she made up her mind to do boxing instead, mom and dad gave in, saying ice hockey would be a better choice. Strong-willed, she sets herself goals and strives to achieve them, with a sense of humor and commitment.

Anastasia Smirnova ("Scythian")

© Photo : WHL press serviceAnastasia Smirnova
Anastasia Smirnova - Sputnik International
Anastasia Smirnova

Gold and silver winner of the EuroCup. Before taking a hockey stick, she actively participated in beauty pageants, was in Russian designer Vyacheslav Zaytsev’s class and took part in his displays. She started playing hockey at 19 and by 20 signed her first sporting contract. She thus proved it is never too late to opt for hockey.

Tatiana Shchukina (Sverdlovsk regional team)

© Photo : WHL press serviceTatiana Shchukina
Tatiana Shchukina - Sputnik International
Tatiana Shchukina

Three times Russian champion. She started playing hockey at the age of 13 in Podolsk, Moscow region. A year later she chose to be a goalkeeper and has been one ever since. She makes up for the lack of extreme going downhill skiing. She is deeply fond of reading classics and contemporary foreign literature, as well as visiting impressionist exhibitions.

Nina Pirogova ("Tornado")

© Photo : WHL press serviceNina Pirogova
Nina Pirogova - Sputnik International
Nina Pirogova

Bronze winner of the 2016 International Championship. She was born into a family of sportsmen. In her childhood she walked round the flat wearing her brother’s skates, tried on his hockey kit, and not surprisingly, followed in his footsteps. Though remembered for notoriously taking part in an emotional fight at the youth championship, she loves reading books and devotes her leisure time to education and is now in search of her favorite place around the world. 

Alevtina Shtaryova ("Tornado")

© Photo : WHL press serviceAlevtina Shtaryova
Alevtina Shtaryova - Sputnik International
Alevtina Shtaryova

Bronze winner of the Youth Championship in 2015.

She started taking a vivid interest in hockey following her brother’s example. Having tried lots of activities from swimming to dancing, it took her nearly half a year to persuade her parents that hockey was her cup of tea. Natural shyness doesn’t prevent her from demonstrating firmness and resilience on the ice, as explicitly shown in her ratings.

Anna Shokhina ("Tornado")

© Photo : WHL press serviceAnna Shokhina
Anna Shokhina - Sputnik International
Anna Shokhina

Started training in a youth sports school in Dmitrov, Moscow region. Made her debut in the 2012/2013 Russian Championship. Leader of Hockey Club “Tornado,” the WHL’s top scorer in 2016/2017, with her KPI amounting to a staggering +69.

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