Photo: Winslow Townson
Alex Ovechkin scored a goal and an assist in his first game of the Sochi Olympics. Russia won handily, defeating Slovenia 5-2.
Despite the win and his own personal production, Ovechkin wasn’t satisfied with the game. Russia struggled in the second period and watched helplessly as Slovenia’s Žiga Jeglič scored twice. Those goals made the game a tight, one-goal affair heading into the third period.
“We weren’t very nervous,” Ovechkin said to Sports.ru’s Pavel Kopachev, eliminating the oft-repeated ‘pressure’ excuse. “We got a 2-0 lead early and started to play for the audience more or less. We relaxed a bit.”
“It was a good lesson: we shouldn’t play like this,” Ovechkin continued. “During the second intermission, we said in the locker room that we need to concentrate more. The mistakes we made in the second period were that we stayed out too long once and twice. We need to get rid of that.”
Ovechkin put the onus on the team’s superstar forwards like Ilya Kovalchuk, Pavel Datsyuk, and himself: “We’ve got to score, especially with such masters on offense.”
Despite disappointment in the team’s play, Ovechkin had positive words for those in attendance at the Bolshoy Ice Dome. “The crowd always supports you at home,” Ovechkin said. “I remember [the 2007] Worlds in Moscow, when they really cheered us on to attack.”
Regarding his goal, Ovechkin deferred praise to Evgeni Malkin. ”Well, I got such a great pass that I just had to hit the target,” he concluded.
Translation by Fedor Fedin.