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Reigning champs Russia likely to miss 3 players at 2015 IIHF World Championship

April 14, 2015, 9:20 UTC+3 MOSCOW
Alexander Radulov, Denis Denisov and Nikita Zaitsev are likely to miss the competition in the Czech Republic due to sustained injuries
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© Valery Sharifulin/TASS

MOSCOW, April 13. /TASS/. Russian national ice hockey team’s players Alexander Radulov, Denis Denisov and Nikita Zaitsev are likely to miss the 2015 IIHF World Championship in the Czech Republic next month due to sustained injuries, CSKA club Director General Igor Yesmantovich told TASS on Monday.

All three national ice hockey team’s players are from the CSKA Moscow club and sustained injuries as a result of the semifinal encounters against SKA St. Petersburg for the national championship’s trophy, the Gagarin Cup.

"Additional medical examination proved that the players sustained serious injuries," Yesmantovich said in an interview with TASS. "As of now, the chances of their participation as part of the national squad at the forthcoming World Championship are ruled out by the degree of the injuries they sustained."

Yesmantovich added that representatives of the national team would discuss an issue of their eligibility with the management of CSKA Moscow before making a final decision on the players’ participation in the national squad at the 2015 IIHF World Championship.

Late last month the head coach of reigning World Champions Russia, Oleg Znarok, gathered the squad for its first practice ahead of the much-anticipated international tournament, to be held in Czech cities of Prague and Ostrava between May 1 and 17.

To the delight of Russian hockey fans, the national squad changed beyond recognition after Znarok teamed up with the squad last year leading it to the champion’s title at the 2014 IIHF World Championship in Belarus.

Russian world champion’s title followed disappointing performance at 2013 World Championship, when it was knocked out from the quarterfinals after being creamed 3-8 by the United States.

Another disappointing performance followed at 2014 Winter Olympic Games in Russia’s resort city of Sochi, where the Russian squad failed once more to clear the quarterfinals stage losing on its home ice 1-3 to Finland.

Russia’s most recent titles of world champions were conquered in 2008, 2009, 2012 and 2014. The 2008 title was a real treat for Russian hockey fans as it came to the team after a 15-year drought. That title Russia snatched from Canada, which was hosting the World Championship for the first time in its history, with 5-4 victory in overtime.

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