The 2014 Sochi Olympics were supposed to be Team Russia’s time to shine during the Men’s Ice Hockey competition. On home soil, Russia walked away with 29 medals, but unfortunately for Ilya Kovalchuk and co., none of them were won in either men’s or women’s hockey events.
Russia fell 3-1 to Finland in the quarterfinals, but that’s not what sticks out when reminiscing over that tournament. Instead, Russian supporters will forever remember T.J. Oshie stepping up to the plate and scoring four goals on six shootout attempts.
Playing under the name “Olympic Athletes from Russia” Kovalchuk and the Russians got their revenge on the States on Saturday morning, despite not having the NHL’s top caliber of players. The former Atlanta Thrasher lead the team with two goals in a 4-0 convincing win over the U.S., clinching Group B and earning a bye into Wednesday’s quarter-finals.
While the game wasn’t the pressure cooker of the 2014 Winter Games between the two Cold War countries, and far from the 1980 ‘Miralce on Ice,’ you wouldn’t have known that based off Kovalchuk’s post-game comments dating back to the shootout showdown.
Congratulations on beating a team of inferior opponents made up of minor leaguers and college kids, Ilya. But then again, the Russian star isn’t used to playing against the top competition in the world after leaving the Devils to return back home to the KHL.
(h/t Stephen Whyno)