Photo credit: championat.com
Alex Ovechkin flew for approximately ten hours to Helsinki with the intention of helping the Russian national team win the 2013 World Championships. Jet-lagged, he did what he could, scoring a goal and recording an assist against the United States during their quarterfinals game on Thursday. That help was not nearly enough, as the defending champions suffered their worst defeat ever in a World Championship game, a 8-3 loss to the United States. After half a year in the KHL, a shortened NHL season, a too-short playoff run, and a single game at Worlds, Ovechkin’s season is now officially over.
Ovechkin, who spoke to Sovetsky Sport’s Pavel Lysenkov after the game and had his words later translated by Puck Daddy’s Dmitry Chesnokov, was disappointed.
“We lost due to egregious mistakes in the neutral zone, even though we talked about it [beforehand],” Ovechkin said to Lysenkov. “This is carelessness. We could have saved the game when it was 2-1, but we made even more mistakes. The Americans didn’t play super hockey. But we can’t make mistakes.”
“Don’t compare [the loss] to Vancouver,” Ovechkin said, referring to Russia’s collapse to Canada in the 2010 Winter Olympics. “It’s different here. I do not regret coming [here], although it’s a shame how it turned out.”
Ilya Kovalchuk added, according to Chesnokov, that Russia “s&*$ their pants,” a reference Ovi used after the Capitals lost to the Rangers in game seven.
Ovechkin’s goal was predictably beautiful. As the Great Eight skated down the right wing, he sniped a shot past John Gibson’s left shoulder and the post.
Ovi’s goal is at the 1:05 mark.
But Russia’s breakdowns in the third period were too much to overcome. Ovechkin, disappointed, was named Russia’s best player after the game. In 20:31 of ice time, he had 8 shots on goal, and two near misses.
GIF by welshhockeyfan
All photos via championat.com