MOSCOW, December 16 (Itar-Tass) — The Russian National Ice Hockey team is the winner of the 2012 Channel One Cup, which has been part of the Euro Hockey Tour since 1996. The Russians defeated the Finns in the tournament’s final match on Sunday: 3:1 (0:0, 2:1, 1:0). Vadim Shipachyov opened the score on the 29th minute. Yevgeny Malkin and Ilya Kovalchuk hit pucks on the 31st and 42nd minutes of the match.
The Russian national squad has won three matches out of three. The match between the Czech Republic and Sweden which is due to start at 18:00 Moscow time will have no impact on place distribution.
The Russian squad’s coach, Zinetulya Bilyaletdinov, told a post-match news conference that he was pleased with how the team had played all matches of the Channel One Cup, a home series of the Euro Tour.
“On the whole, the game turned out to be pretty good. The hockey players had prepared for it and played quite well. Of course, not everything went smoothly. There were problems in the second period. The players must have relaxed after opening the score. But, on the whole, our team led and controlled the game. Everybody played seriously in the third period,” Bilyaletdinov went on to say.
Asked to comment on the team’s potential in the light of forthcoming world championship and the Olympic Games, the Russian team’s coach said that not everything was simple.
“I liked that the team did what was expected from it during the three matches for which we had trained together. I see no problems in the organization of the game. Other players may be added to the national team,” Bilyaletdinov said, adding that rival teams at the aforesaid tournaments would be very strong.
Channel One Cup (formerly Izvestia Trophy) is an annual ice hockey event held in Russia under the auspices of the TV Channel One. It is an open tournament of teams representing various nations, composed of professionals playing in European professional hockey leagues. The tournament started in Moscow in 1967. It has been played in December every year, except for 1974 to 1975 when its matches were spread out during the season. In 1992, the tournament was played in St. Petersburg. As of 2000, some of its matches have been played in other European countries of the participating teams.