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Photo via Gizmodo

The NHL agreed last week to allow its players participate in the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Up to eleven Washington Capitals could represent their countries in the two-week tournament, but the ultimate goal of Olympic gold just got a bit less awesome.

Chelyabinsk Region Culture Minister Alexei Betekhtin announced on Wednesday that gold medal winners on February 15th will receive a little something extra in their award: part of the meteor that crashed over the city a year before. According to R-Sport, only seven events will be awarding medals that day: the men’s 1,500 meter speedskating, the women’s 1,000m and men’s 1,500 short track, the women’s cross-country skiing relay, the men’s K-125 ski jump, the women’s super giant slalom, and the men’s skeleton events.

So no space rocks for hockey players.

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dc-meteor

Photo credit: @magaman

Since the Chelyabinsk meteor was so fun to cover, let’s do it again!

Shortly before 8PM local time (or during the first intermission of the Caps/Jets game), Twitter blew up with first-hand reports of a green-colored meteor falling from the sky. Fox 5 in Washington D.C. reported that their helicopter crew saw the burning rock from the air and it was visible for five to six seconds.

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Photo credit: Vitaly Gubin / HC Traktor

Two days after a meteorite struck his hometown of Chelyabinsk, the normally-talkative Evgeny Kuznetsov was quiet. The Washington Capitals prospect and 20-year-old forward made no statement on Twitter. On Sunday, Kuznetsov let us know he was okay with a big breakaway goal in Traktor Chelyabinsk’s final game of the regular season, a 4-1 win over their biggest KHL rival, Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

Video below the jump.

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Traktor Arena Damaged by Meteor

traktor-arena

Photo credit: KHL.ru

Last night’s meteor that struck Chelyabinsk, Russia, has damaged the Traktor Chelyabinsk’s arena. The KHL is doing an inpection now before a decision can be made whether Traktor can host the first round of the playoffs.

Press release via KHL’s Facebook page below.

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Explosions in Chelyabinsk; Meteor Suspected (UPDATED)

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LATE UPDATE: No immediate confirmed reports of casualties. See the AP for more information.

We’re getting all kinds of information about explosions in Chelyabinsk, the city in the Ural region of Russia that hosts Evgeny Kuznetsov’s KHL team. Information is sparse right now, and we do not want to speculate.

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Last season, 23-year-old Stan Galiev saw a meteoric leap in his development. The Russian forward, who has always had NHL quality stick-handling and finishing ability, saw the rest of his game finally come together last year in the AHL. Avoiding the injuries that have plagued him in the past, Gally scored 25 goals and 45 points in 65 games, jumping from Hershey’s fourth line to the first in the second half of the season. He even played two games for the Capitals, scoring his first NHL goal during the team’s final regular season game.

On July 1st, Galiev, a restricted free agent, signed a two-year, $1.15 million deal to keep him in Washington through 2017. Caps’ General Manager Brian MacLellan will give him every chance to make the roster next year.

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No idea who put her up to this. (Photo: NBC Washington)

Frederick county/NBC 4 meteorologist Amelia Segal has her latest Winter Classic forecast for us… and is that…? It is!

She’s wearing a Caps jersey!

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We’re five days out from the Winter Classic, and I just wore a t-shirt and cargo shorts to the bank. It appears that crazy mid-Atlantic weather is back for another season. It’s 65 degrees on December 27th. Sixty-five degrees.

With that in mind, NBC 4’s Amelia Segal has a new Winter Classic forecast for us. A few weeks ago, I first spoke with the talented meteorologist/hockey fan from Frederick county. Now, she has some good news and some bad news for us.

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A few weeks ago, I did a feature on Frederick native Amelia Segal, one of NBC 4’s star meteorologists. We learned about her love of hockey and her relationship with the Caps. We learned that she’s a big nerd (I mean this in a loving way).

Now, with the blessings of NBC 4, Ameila will be providing Winter Classic forecasts for us like she’s RMNB’s own Jim Cantore.

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For hockey players who first learned the game on frozen ponds, the Winter Classic is a throwback to their youth. On January 1st, the NHL’s signature game will invade Nationals Park to pay homage to that tradition. But one of the major story lines heading into New Year’s day won’t be hockey; it’ll be about weather.

“It maybe snow, maybe it’s gonna be rain,” Washington Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin recently said of Washington D.C.’s unpredictable climate. “You never know what the weather’s going to be.”

If you’ve seen NBC’s most recent Winter Classic commercial, there’s no doubt what kind of forecast they’re hoping for. As CGI’d snow falls around Washington’s historic landmarks, the clip announces, “hockey returns outdoors.” Barack Obama crows in the background, “let us brave once more the icy currents and endure what storms may come.”

The mere chance of snow excites fans. If the sky spits just a little that day, it could provide bigger ratings and better visuals both for NBC and a league eager to reach new fans. The weather will have a major impact on the playing surface as well. A long stretch pass from the defensive zone just won’t make it if the ice sheet is blanketed with snow… or puddles.

With all that on the line, one of the most interested bystanders will be emerging-star weekend meteorologist for NBC Washington, Amelia Segal. And for good reason. Not only does she love weather, she’s also from this area and loves the sport.

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