IIHF president Rene Fasel said Monday that Team Russia would be punished for leaving the ice before Canada’s anthem was played at the end of the World Hockey Championship game on Sunday in Prague.
"The IIHF has its own protocol and some sort of punishment will be handed down,” Fasel said per Reuters. “When I saw what had happened, I was very upset. In the 29 world championships that I have had the honor of attending, this is the first time I have seen something like this.
“What the Russian team did was completely out of order.”
Traditionally, both teams remain on the ice for the playing of the winner’s national anthem. After losing in the championship game, however, Russia was in no mood to watch Canada celebrate. The team saluted their fans, then left the ice.
Well, at least most of them left the ice.
A handful of players remained and tried to stop their teammates--or comrades if you will--from heading to the locker room. Among them was Alex Ovechkin.
According to the TASS news agency, Fasel said he saw both Ovechkin and Evgeni Malkin try to keep their team on the ice and felt as a result that the blame for Sunday’s incident fell more with the coach than with the players.
Most of Russian team leaves ice during celebrations. Ovechkin appears to want the team to stay out.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) May 17, 2015
Credit to Alex Ovechkin, by the way, for trying to keep his fellow Russians on the ice for the anthem.
— Bruce Arthur (@bruce_arthur) May 18, 2015
While Ovechkin was trying to keep the players on the ice, team captain Ilya Kovalchuk was seen waving the players off. And to think he was never able to lead Atlanta to a Stanley Cup….
The win was Canada’s first world championship since 2007. They outshot Russia 37-12 on way to the 6-1 win.
With the Caps getting eliminated from the playoffs and Russia getting trounced by Canada, this has been a May that Ovechkin would probably like to forget.