Archives for the 'Russia' Category

Team Russia could use some assistants

When the Russians flopped with a tenth-place finish at the 2004 IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic, head coach Viktor Tikhonov blamed it on “the mistakes of the players” and “the lack of time” to prepare for the tournament. Tikhonov, predictably, refused to acknowledge that his 1984-style methods just hadn’t worked, and that his […]

Cold Warriors: The Canada Cup Hockey Battles of the 1980’s

Originally written for the 2004 World Cup of Hockey Program By Lucas Aykroyd They say politics and sports should never mix, but in the 1980’s, the Cold War between capitalism and Communism sometimes cast a shadow over international athletic events. Two famous examples were the American boycott of the 1980 Moscow Olympics and the retributive […]

Heroes of the Canada Cup and World Cup of Hockey

Originally written for the 2004 World Cup of Hockey Program By Lucas Aykroyd Nobody would deny that hockey is a team game. But success in a short, intense international tournament can sometimes hinge on a brilliant individual performance. Whether you’re talking about setting the stage for things to come or actually clinching a championship, this […]

All-around game boosts Chubarov’s NHL chances

Originally published on in 2000 By Lucas Aykroyd Most Canadian hockey fans would have pegged Artem Chubarov for a pure sniper after his performance in the gold medal game at the 1999 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championships in Winnipeg. There, the Novgorod native potted two goals for Team Russia, including the winner at 5:13 […]

Blues can’t have enough of Khavanov

Originally published on in 2000 By Lucas Aykroyd Alexander Khavanov may not get the recognition he deserves. At 28, he’s too old to be nominated for the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year. The ex-Dynamo Moscow defenseman isn’t even profiled in the St. Louis Blues media guide. But early in the season, his […]

An old song renewed for Russia

Originally published on IHWC.NET in 2002 By Lucas Aykroyd Like other Russian athletes, members of the national hockey team experience a wide range of emotions when they hear their anthem played at a sporting event. As of December 2000, Russia reverted to using the music of the old Soviet anthem by assent of the Duma, […]

Sweden happy to play Russia instead of USSR

Originally published on IHWC.NET in 2002 By Lucas Aykroyd “Ouch! Help! Stop! No!” From 1954 to 1991, those were probably the words you’d hear most frequently from Swedish players in games against the Soviet national team. At the World Championships, European Championships and Olympics, the Swedes won a paltry five out of 58 confrontations with […]

Five great Russian moments at the World Championships

Originally published on IHWC.NET in 2002 By Lucas Aykroyd Russian hockey fans have music in their hearts today as they await the result of tonight’s gold medal clash between their team and Slovakia. Here are five great Russian moments at the World Championships. 1: Let’s Get This Party Started Russia beats Canada 7-2 before a […]

World Junior Magic Today, Olympic Medals Tomorrow

Originally published on in 2005 By Lucas Aykroyd While interest in the annual IIHF World Junior Championship is enormous in Canada, some hockey fans elsewhere in the world don’t get as pumped up about it. Their attitude is, “Hey, these are just kids.” But frankly, anyone who loves Olympic hockey should keep close tabs […]

Canada-Russia: A Clash that Never Gets Old

Originally published on in 2006 By Lucas Aykroyd For hockey fans in the Great White North, there is no greater international rivalry than the one between Canada and Russia. That’s because historically the Russians have pushed Canada harder than any other nation. In saying that, there’s no disrespect intended toward the USA. Over the […]