Ovechkin and Alexei Yashin share a laugh before the game. (Photo: R-Sport)
On Saturday, Alex Ovechkin traveled 45 miles from his Moscow home to participate in the fifth iteration of Ilya Kovalchuk’s charity hockey game held in neighboring Chekhov, home of KHL Vityaz. The proceeds of the game, which translates to “From Pure Heart,” raised $16 million rubles (or slightly under $500k dollars) for various orphanages.
Ovechkin, Malkin, and Kovalchuk present the check. (Photo: Pavel Lysenkov)
The teams, captained by Kovalchuk and Pittsburgh Penguins center Evgeni Malkin, played to a 17-17 tie. The game featured a bunch of notable former NHL players including Alex Radulov (who played goalie!), Alexei Yashin, Nikolay Zherdev, Valeri Kamensky, Slava Fetisov, Slava Kozlov, and Alexei Kasatonov.
Among the notable non-hockey crowd who participated in the game include the Rotenberg brothers (Arkady and Boris) and Gennady Timchenko. All three are friends of Putin and sanctioned by the United States and the European Union for Russia’s role in Ukraine. Also there: Russian defense minister Sergey Shoigu who was recently in the news after Poland barred his jet from the country’s airspace.
What an eclectic crew. Photos of the game by R-Sport are below.
Team photo time! All sanctioned players please move to the front.
Malkin high-fives Ovi. Forever frenemies.
Kovy crazy face #1.
Old man Slava Fetisov high-fives someone out of frame.
Malkin goes five-hole and scores.
KHL president Alexander Medvedev.
Kovy crazy face #2.