Translated by Kristina Rus
SOCHI, October 7. /TASS/. The President of Russia Vladimir Putin on his birthday scored seven goals in a gala match of the Night Hockey League, making a significant contribution to the victory of his team “NHL Stars” over “Team NHL” with the score 15:10.
A gala match, the chief arbiter of which was the President of the International Ice hockey Federation, Rene Fasel, was held in front of a crowded ice arena “Shaiba” [Puck – rus.] in Sochi.
Each time Putin got the puck, the fans reacted with an ovation which had an immediate effect on the result. Already in the first period the head of state traditionally playing in a Night League at number 11, scored three goals and made two assists. In Putin’s team also shined the Russian Defense Minister, Sergei Shoigu and many well-known hockey players Alexander Mogilny, Pavel Bure and Valeri Kamensky.
In the second period the President, taking to the ice with the trifecta Bure-Putin-Kamensky disappointed the goalie of “Team NHL” Sergei Pilyugin one more time. In the third period, Putin scored another three goals. The last goal Putin scored less than a minute before the end of the game into an empty net with the assist of Pavel Bure.
The President’s team, in addition to Shoigu, Bure, Mogilny and Kamensky included, in particular, such legendary athletes as Vyacheslav Fetisov, Alexei Kasatonov, Alexei Zhamnov, an outstanding coach, President of the NHL, Aleksandr Yakushev and others.
The “Stars” faced the “NHL Team”, staffed by representatives of authorities and business, among which, in particular, in addition to Moscow region governor Andrei Vorobyov were businessmen Gennady Timchenko and Boris and Arkady Rotenberg.
After the game the President of Hockey Federation Vladislav Tretyak congratulated Putin on his birthday. “On behalf of the Ice Hockey Federation we wish you a happy birthday,’ – he said. – Because you love hockey, the board of the federation awards you with the highest award “For loyalty and love of hockey.” With these words, Tretyak handed the birthday boy his personal award.
Putin is a founder of the Night Hockey League. It brought together the fans of this sport, who in their spare time, usually in the evening (hence the name – Night League) want to play the game. Featuring famous hockey players of Russia and the Soviet Union systematic tournaments between amateur teams from various regions of the country have been organized, and then merged into a single championship.
The first gala match “Night hockey League” was held on May 7 2012 at the Sports Palace on the Hodynsky field in Moscow. Then it was also attended by Putin, and the game took place just a few hours after the ceremony of inauguration of the President at the Kremlin.
In the future, such gala matches were held annually at the end of the all-Russian festivals in May.
This match crowned the Festival of Champions of the Night League, which was held for the first time, and actually gave the start to the jubilee – fifth season of the Night Hockey League.
Kristina Rus: When asked what would Putin do if he wasn’t president, he answered – “Play hockey!”