Former Sting players win KHL championship

Nail Yakupov (L) and Reid Boucher (R) (Photos courtesy of OHL Images)

Two former Sarnia Sting players are now Kontinental Hockey League (KHL) champions.

Reid Boucher and Nail Yakupov hoisted the Gagarin Cup Wednesday after Avangard Omsk defeated CSKA Moscow 1-0 in game six of the final.

Boucher scored eight goals and added nine assists during 21 postseason games to help Avangard win its first KHL championship. The 27-year-old spent two seasons with the Sting from 2011 to 2013, scoring 104 goals and 153 points over 145 games.

Yakupov, 27, did not take part in the postseason due to injury but celebrated alongside his teammates following the win. The former first overall pick in the NHL scored 82 goals and 175 points over 113 games during his two seasons with the Sting from 2010 to 2012.

Avangard also featured former NHLers Ilya Kovalchuk, Jiri Sekac, Corbin Knight and head coach Bob Hartley.

The Gagarin Cup is named after cosmonaut Yuri Gagarin, the first human in space.