Photo: Jonathan Nackstrand

Some might think that there’s no Olympic hockey in Sochi until Wednesday. That would be incorrect.

The women’s tournament has been under way since Saturday. We’ve already seen Amanda Kessel put infinity goals up on the competition. And on Sunday, the world was introduced to 26-year-old Iya Gavrilova of Team Russia.

As the Russian women trailed underdog Germany 1-0 in the third period, Gavrilova — Russia’s offensive superstar — shook off a few defenders, went strong to the net, and stuffed home a wraparound past the German goaltender.

And then she did something familiar.

As 5,048 fans at Shayba Arena screamed their heads off, Gavrilova — wearing number eight — turned towards the boards and took an Ovechkin-esque leap into the glass.

GIF via Reddit

As Gavrilova was mobbed by her teammates, NBC’s commentators pointed out that the Ovi leap was not just a coincidence. Gavrilova’s favorite player is Ovechkin, and she models her game after his.

After the goal, the floodgates figuratively opened for Russia. They won 4-1.

This is Gavrilova’s third time representing Russia in the Olympics. She has five career goals in the tournament. Gavrilova’s quirky personality was apparent back in 2010, when she was asked by Sports Illustrated’s Sarah Kwak if she wore eight because of Ovechkin. “No! He’s eight because of me,” she said.

On her VKontakte page, there’s a video of her doing the moonwalk. 

GIF by Ian Oland

She has also been a fun follow on Twitter.

Next time you see a red helmet with an eight on it, think twice. It might be the other Russian hockey rock star.

Thanks to reader Bryan S. for the heads up.

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  • Cooper

    Ain’t no rest for the great 8s

  • Bo

    Her form is impeccable.

  • Yo8

    I’m so jealous because I wish I could slam myself into the glass like Ovi does… T-T

  • Katth


  • Jaime

    On a somewhat related note, Noora Raty, the higly decorated goalie for the women’s team from Finland, said that Braden Holtby is one of her favorite goalies to watch.