Wrapping up the VHL Regular Season

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Jubilation for the players of Molot-Prikamye Perm on Monday evening!  (Image Source)

While most of the attention, at this blog and elsewhere, is on the doings of the national teams at the Olympics, domestic hockey in Russia is still going on.  The 2017-18 regular season of the VHL (Russia’s second-tier men’s pro league), came to a dramatic end on Monday, as Molot-Prikamye Perm needed all three points from their final game, on the road against Bars Kazan, to snatch the final playoff spot away from Rubin Tyumen.  They got those points, as well, clinging on like grim death for a 2-1 victory despite taking a penalty in the last two minutes.  Read on, for a look at the first round matchup, and a quick recap of the VHL regular season.

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Olympic Update: February 19th, 2018

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Valeriya Tarkanova gets her blocker to a Canadian shot during Monday’s Olympic semifinal, while Melodie Daoust lurks in the vicinity.  (Image Source)

On Monday, for the first time ever, the Russian women’s national team played an Olympic hockey semi-final, with the powerhouse Canadian side as the opponent.  These two teams have already met, of course, in the group stage at the 2018 Games, and on that occasion Canada emerged with a 5-0 victory and a 48-18 shot advantage.  So it was going to be very hard sledding indeed for the Russian side.  How did it go?  Read on…

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Olympic Update: February 17th, 2018

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Viktoriya Kulishova (#73, seated) celebrates with team-mates after her goal in the Olympic quarterfinal against Switzerland.  It was a vital tally, and in a massive game.  (Image Source)

Saturday was a busy day for the Russian hockey teams in South Korea; for the first time at the 2018 Games, both the men’s and women’s sides were in action on the same day.  And for both it turned out to be a very pleasant Saturday indeed!  Read on, therefore, for a couple of match recaps and some associated notes and quotes.

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Olympic Update: February 16th, 2018

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Kirill Kaprizov (#77) celebrates a goal with line-mates Nikita Gusev and Pavel Datsyuk (#13) during Friday’s game against Slovenia.  And it was the only such celebration… (Image Source)

The Russian men’s team headed into their second round-robin game on Friday with an unexpected 0-1 record, having dropped their opener 3-2 to Slovakia.  Next on the schedule was Slovenia, and… well, the ship got itself righted in a fairly big way!  Read on, for a recap of that game, and a quick note on the women’s team’s quarterfinal against Switzerland, which is now over.  A full recap of that game will be along here on Saturday.

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Olympic Update: February 15th, 2018

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Russian captain Olga Sosina is watched closely by Tanja Niskanen of Finland during their Group A game on Friday.  (Image Source)

The group stage is now finished for the Russian women’s national team at these 2018 Olympics, and they are likely glad to see the back of it.  The Russian side came into today’s game against Finland with a record of 0-2, forgivable since the opposition had been the two North American giants.  Of greater concern was the fact that the team had been shut out in both matches.  Well, the Russian players did finally get on the board against the Finns, but the final result must again go down as a disappointment.  Read on…

 

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Olympic Update: February 14th, 2018

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Pavel Datsyuk (#13) works against Slovakia’s Marek Ďaloga during Wednesday’s Olympic opener for both teams.  (Image Source)

Well, the 2018 Olympic men’s hockey tournament got off to a wild start today!  Not only did both the Russian and American teams drop their opening Group B matches, they did so by blowing two-goal leads against relatively unheralded opposition.  The U.S. team was defeated 3-2 by Slovenia, in overtime, while Oleg Znarok’s Russian side was up-ended by the same score against Slovakia.  It was a sudden cold shower not only for the two beaten teams, but also for those who claimed that the men’s tournament would lack excitement in the absence of the NHLers.  Read on, for what happened to the Russian team in today’s game, and some related notes and quotes.

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Olympic Update: February 13th, 2018

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Team captain Olga Sosina eyes a passing lane against Kali Flanagan of the U.S.A. during Group A Olympic action on Tuesday. (Image Source)

The Russian women’s hockey team at the 2018 Olympic Games played its second group game today, after dropping their opener 5-0 to Canada.  Read on, therefore, for a recap of today’s encounter with the Americans, along with some notes and quotes!

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The Russian Men’s Team at the Olympics

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Left to right: Pavel Datsyuk, Oleg Znarok, Ilya Kovalchuk, and Sergei Mozyakin during the taking of the official Olympic team photo!  (Image Source)

With no game for the Russian women’s team today, and the men’s tournament set to start on Wednesday, this seems the perfect opportunity to leap in and take a close look at the lineup that Head Coach Oleg Znarok has put together for the Russian men’s side.  Of course, with the NHL sitting out these Games, the KHL was the top league to draw from when Olympic rosters were being drawn up.  And that means that it is Team Russia that enters the tournament as the overwhelming favourites.  So who has been entrusted with the task at hand, and can they do it?  Read on…

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Olympic Update: February 11th, 2018

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The Russian bench looks on during Sunday’s Olympic opener against Canada. (Image Source)

The women’s Olympic hockey tournament is underway (it actually commenced on Saturday), and the Russian side saw its first official action of the Games today.  Read on, for a game recap, along with some notes and quotes!

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The Russian Women’s Team at the Olympics

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The Russian women’s national team during pre-Olympic preparation in Khabarovsk in January. (Image Source)

So, after all the turmoil and tension of the past couple of months, the Russian women’s national team — playing as “The Olympic Athletes from Russia,” and I think I need not recap that whole story yet again — will begin its Olympic journey at the Kwandong Hockey Centre on Gangneung, South Korea, on Sunday.  The final roster choices have been made, the lines and pairings seem set, and it is at long last time to play.  Read on, for a look at the lineup!

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