Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin took part in the “Link of Generations” exhibition game on Monday night (December 14) in Moscow, playing on a line with Pavel Bure and Vladimir Potanin, the president of Norilsk Nickel and Chairman of the board of trustees of the Night Hockey League.
Other participants in this contest included Russian ice hockey legends, current players of the national team, as well as representatives of business, political and cultural community.
The game took place in the Luzhki.club complex near Moscow and was organized by Norilsk Nickel and the Russian Hockey Federation with the support of the Night Hockey League.
This was the second exhibition game in the last month involving players from the Russian National team and legendary Russian hockey players. On November 20, much of the same crew played a Game of Legends to start off the tenth season of the Night Hockey League in Moscow.
In Monday’s game, the final score was 15-11 in favor of the Red Team, of which Ovechkin was a member. He played on a line with two-time Olympic medalist, Pavel Bure and Vladimir Potanin, head of Norilsk Nickel. Ovechkin scored 2 goals and had 6 assists for 8 points. Bure scored 3 goals and had 5 assists. Potanin scored 5 goals and had 3 assists.
The White team included Alexei Morozov, the President of the KHL, Roman Rotenberg, the first vice-president of the FHR, ex-NHL players Sergei Fedorov and Alexander Mogilny, as well as a number of other current and former hockey players of the Russian national team.
Other participants in the game included: Vadim Shipachev, Kirill Marchenko, Vladimir Tkachev, Igor Ozhiganov, Ivan Morozov, and Yegor Yakovlev from the current Russian national team, along with past legends Vyacheslav Fetisov, Alexander Kozhevnikov, and Valery Kamensky.
The game was an exhibition that didn’t count in any standings, but the participants were very competitive, nonetheless. Potanin spoke after the game.
“These are some animals! How they ran – real professionals. It is a great honor for me to go out on the ice with such masters who personify the strength of our hockey in the present and in the past. Participation gives me great strength to continue to support hockey and not get out of shape myself. Our company supports the Ice Hockey Federation, supports the national team and invests in our ice hockey. We expect the maximum return on investment. Since the early 1970s, when I started rooting for our team, my expectations from the Red Machine have not changed – only first place. No other exists.”
The Russian National Team head coach, Valery Bragin, commented, “You saw the culture of passing, the realization of chances. It was a very rewarding experience for our young players. It is important that the tradition of holding such matches continues.”
Alexander Ovechkin even joked that his line in the game has played well enough that they could join the main team.
Rotenberg commented after the game, “It is a great honor for me to be on the ice with the idols of my childhood. And for the generation of 18-20 year olds who have seen only the highlights of the legendary players on the Internet, and for the rest of the national team players too. Today there were Olympic champions, world champions, Gagarin Cup and Stanley Cup winners on the ice. I don’t think there have been such matches before. This inspires and motivates our team to play great in the Channel One Cup [international tournament]. This is a huge event for all of us, especially at such a time when any positive gives us additional energy. We are grateful to Norilsk Nickel, Vladimir Olegovich Potanin and all the participants in the match.”
Rotenberg had also spoken prior to the game, specifically to reporter Pavel Panyshev of Championat.ru,
“The Russian youth team has already arrived in Edmonton, everything is in order. Of course, the guys will give all their strength to win the gold medals of the world championship. They have a lot of work ahead, we wish them good luck and support them in every possible way. The whole country will root for the guys. Our young players have already shown that they are ready to play modern hockey and defeat older opponents…Veterans will pass on their vast experience to younger players. This is very symbolic and corresponds to the victorious hockey traditions of our country. Such a match can unite different generations of fans, because such famous masters as Alexander Ovechkin and Vyacheslav Fetisov, Sergey Fedorov and Alexey Morozov , Alexander Mogilny and Vadim Shipachev, and many others will take to the ice. I repeat, hockey is a game that should unite fans and give them positive emotions. It is also symbolic that four players of the Russian national team, starting this week at the Channel One Cup were born in the 21st century…”
By Diane Doyle
Alex Ovechkin, Pavel Bure And Other Russian Hockey Legends Open 10th Season Of Night Hockey League
Championat: Ovechkin’s Team Wins Link of Generations Match
Championat: Ovechkin, Bure, Fetisov Show Link Of Generations on Ice Dec 14, 2020
Championot: Rotenberg Discusses Link of Generations Match and Traditions
Championat: Ovechkin’s Team Wins Link of Generations Match & Scores 8 Points