Washington Capitals forward prospect Ivan Miroshnichenko was recently promoted from Avangard Omsk’s MHL club to their VHL club and recorded primary assists for the team’s first and last goals in their 3-2 victory on Monday.
Prior to his recent promotion, Miroshnichenko played in six games with Omsk Yastreb, the MHL affiliate (i.e. Russian Junior League) of Avangard Omsk. In those six games, he tallied six goals and recorded two assists, scoring two goals in his most recent game.
While still with Omsk Yastreb, Miroshnichenko sat down for an interview with Pavel Lysenkov of Match TV in Russia, where he discussed his fight with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. [Translation via Google Translate].
“Yes, I put it so simply, as a joke. But in general, I am very glad that I am playing hockey again, gaining points. Thank God the worst is over,” said Miroshnichenko. “I want to take a break from these hospitals, from all the talk about health. The matches have begun, and it’s all gone.”
Prior to his diagnosis, Miroshnichenko was suffering from fatigue and shortness of breath. He detailed the events leading up to his diagnosis.
“… The players on our team get physical examinations twice a year. I took tests, and they told me, ‘there is a problem with your blood work.’ Well, that’s all, they began to drive me to the doctors, to check everywhere. Went to a clinic in Germany. They took a biopsy and cut out one lymph node. And they diagnosed it as Hodgkin’s lymphoma.”
Miroshnichenko realized he needed to have a positive attitude, even with his diagnosis.
“I decided that I needed to pull myself together and be positive. I read on the Internet that athletes have already defeated this disease. So, a Canadian snowboarder had been ill with Hodgkin’s lymphoma. But he returned to sports, now he wins, he enjoys life.”
He also spoke to Pittsburgh Penguins star Mario Lemieux, who suffered from the same disease. He and Mario talked via Zoom for 40 minutes, with translation assistance from Avangard Manager, Igor Yeronko.
“We talked for about 40 minutes. Mario told his story, and it was very cool to talk with such a person. He also went through all this, and suffered from Hodgkin’s disease. He returned to hockey, and again played at the highest level. His example is inspiring. Moreover, we communicated at the very beginning of my treatment… Mario recalled how he was diagnosed with this disease, how he fought it.”
Miroshnichenko said he had interviewed with the Penguins prior to the draft. However, the Penguins had the 21st pick and, by that time, the Capitals had already selected him.
Vladimir Tarasenko of the St Louis Blues also reached out to talk to him. This occurred while he was in Germany getting treatment.
“…He asked me how I was doing and wished me well. He said that if you need any help, so that he would contact without problems. This is very cool, thank you very much.”
Miroshnichenko stayed in Germany from February through May for his cancer treatment and then returned to Russia where he mostly rested. Then he slowly began to go to the gym, to get in shape.
“I went through four cycles of chemotherapy. The second one was the most painful for me. I went to the hospital to lie down, I could no longer be at home. And after the second course, they said that everything was clean. I went through the third and fourth courses of chemotherapy calmly, with joy. The fact that after the second course I was checked. If everything hadn’t turned out clean, I would have had to take four more courses of chemo. The total is six. Then I would return not in May, but somewhere in July.”
By Diane Doyle
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