Nothing is foolproof to a sufficiently talented fool.

Monday, May 08, 2006

How Many Ovechkins Are There?

Ned, I would love to stay here and talk with you... but I'm not going to
Alexander Ovechkin at the IIHWC in Riga, Latvia

Alexander Ovechkin, the only current NHL player on the Russian roster, scored three times as Russia pummelled Kazakhstan, 10-1, in their opening match at the World Championships in Riga, Latvia, this past Saturday:

The Russians struck fast and early with a relentless, overwhelming force. That might sound like the first half of Tom Clancy's Red Storm Rising, but it was actually the script for a tournament-opening 10-1 rout of Kazakhstan Saturday night in Riga.

Full of youthful enthusiasm with 12 1980's-born players, the Superleague-laden Russian roster completely outskated, outpassed, and outchanced their opponents. Their 10 goals came on just 27 shots, and six were power play markers.

Alexander Semin also had a hat trick, and Evgeni Malkin added a goal and three assists against the beleaguered squad from Kazakhstan, who went on to lose 6-0 in their second game, against Slovakia earlier this afternoon.

One amusing side note: in the game against Kazakhstan, the public address announcer kept adding an "S" to Ovechkin's last name, pronouncing it as "Ovechkins", according to a story and interview that ran on the website of the radio station, "Маяк" (if you're curious, click here to hear the audio of the interview with Ovechkin, in Russian).

Maybe Ovechkin scored so often that it only seemed like there were two of him...

The Russians had a somewhat more difficult time in their second game, a come-from-behind 3-2 victory over Belarus.

Canada and USA, both in Group D, are each 2-0 after their first two preliminary round games, and will face each other on Tuesday.