On Tuesday afternoon in Moscow, a giant double-decker bus adorned with World Championship logos ambled down Tverskaya Street (Moscow’s version of Broadway). Members of Russia’s championship team, including Capitals superstars Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin, were honored for their third IIHF championship in five years.
After the players waved to fans along the parade route, the bus arrived at its first destination, Manezhnaya Square, and the gold medal winners were escorted to a stage and cheered on by an estimated 4,000 fans. The players shared stories on the mic, a band played (but not this song– bummer), and the team was honored by a few ministers of sport.
Then it was off to their next stop: Novo-Ogarevo– and Vladimir Putin’s summer home.
Alex Semin has been relatively quiet since joining the Russian national team for the World Championships, recording only assists in his two games played before the final gold-medal round. Semin showed up for Team Russia in a big way today, scoring twice and recording one assist to lead the team to a 6-2 win, securing their first World Championship gold medal since 2009.
Ovi celebrates his goal. (Photo credit: Championat.com/Getty Images)
Despite allowing the first goal, the Russians dominated the Finns for almost the whole game, winning 6-2. Evgeny Malkin scored a hat trick, while Alex Ovechkin, Denis Kokarev and Sergei Shirokov each added a goal of their own.
Top-seeded Team Russia defeated Team Norway today with a score of 5-2 to advance to the semifinals of the World Championship being held in Stockholm. Alex Ovechkin and Alex Semin joined their national team on the ice for the first time and had an immediate impact, with Ovechkin scoring the first goal of the night and Semin providing two assists.
Ovechkin broke a World Championships pointless streak stretching back through all five games of last year’s tournament, scoring nearly eight minutes into the game. His tally began with teammate Alex Semin going strong to the net with the puck, allowing the Russian superstar to collect a rebound behind Norwegian goalie Lars Haugen. Ovechkin then knocked the puck in when he attempted to center the puck.
After the Capitals packed-up their gear and met with management one final time on breakdown day, the 2011-12 NHL season officially ended. But for a few Caps stars, there is still more hockey to play.
The 2012 World Championships — which are being held in Stockholm and Helsinki this year — began on May 4th while the Capitals started their second round series against the Rangers. The Swedish and Russian national teams, both aware that several of their countries’ best players were still playing in the NHL playoffs, held roster spots open just in case those players’ teams were eliminated.
When the Capitals lost in Game Seven to New York on Saturday, it freed up Nicklas Backstrom, Alex Ovechkin, and Alex Semin to play for their national teams for a select number of games to end the tournament.
On Tuesday, all three players arrived in Stockholm after a long flight and had an eventful day.