MOSCOW, May 17. /TASS/. The 2017/2018 international season was rough for players of the Russian national ice hockey team and showed the impossibility of constantly coming up with a stable result, Russia’s acting Sports Minister Pavel Kolobkov said on Thursday.
The Russian national ice hockey team was defeated earlier in the day by team Canada 5-4 in the overtime period of a quarterfinal match of the 2018 International Ice Hockey World Championship, currently underway in Denmark.
"This match against the long-standing and principal rivals was particularly intense," Kolbkov was quoted as saying in a statement posted on the Russian Sports Ministry’s website. "There was no one trying to guess the outcome of the match until the very last second."
"This was really a very tense season for our boys, including regular KHL matches, the European Championships, the Olympic Games, and it is extremely difficult to stick up to a stable and clean result, being subjected to such high rhythm," Kolobkov said.
"No matter what, our team played a very decent ice hockey today and fought until the very end," the acting sports minister added.
In late February, the closing day of the 2018 Winter Games in South Korea’s PyeongChang entered the history of the Russian Olympic ice hockey with the team of neutral athletes from Russia edging the team from Germany 4-3 in the overtime of the match for the gold medal.
The match for the 2018 PyeongChang Olympic gold was the first Olympic final in 20 years for the team from Russia, which lost the gold medal game to the Czech Republic at the 1998 Winter Games in Japan’s Nagano.
The Russian team also aimed for champion’s title at the 2018 IIHF World Championship, currently held in the Danish cities of Copenhagen and Herning, but was knocked out of the tournament earlier in the day by the Canadian team.
The Canadian team is now set to play in the semifinals of this year’s ice hockey world championship against the winner of Finland-Switzerland clash, which will be played later in the day.
In another quarterfinal match of the championship on Thursday the team from the United States defeated the Czech Republic and is now set to meet in the semifinals the winner of the Sweden-Latvia quarterfinal, which will be also played later this night.