UFA, Russia, January 4 (R-Sport) - Russian fans beat their Canadian counterparts 11-4 in a friendly game held in Ufa, site of the world junior hockey championships, Friday.
The Canadian fans’ heavy defeat came a day after their under-20 national team suffered its worst thrashing at the world championships for 15 years, a 5-1 semifinal loss to bitter rival the United States.
“By taking part in this friendly game, we want to support our guys,” Canadian fan Mary Fish said at the fans’ fixture.
Russian fans came up with the idea for the game and approached the Canadians on hockey forums to arrange it, and were given the use of an ice rink by tournament organizers.
“The Canadians happily agreed to play with us. A lot of them had brought their hockey gear to Ufa, and we provided some too,” Russian fan club leader Nikolai Kishmereshkin said.
The fans’ game featured players of all ages, ranging from Fish, 20, to 62-year-old farmer Don Oliver.
Russia and Canada will play Saturday for the bronze medal, and Fish said she was looking forward to the clash of two age-old rivals.
“It was obviously hard to take for us that our guys lost in the game against the Americans. After all, we came here for gold, but because of that we’re now facing our main rivals, the Russians,” she said.
Add to blog
You may place this material on your blog by copying the link.
The growing outright rivalry between the United States and China gives Russia more foreign policy weight, enabling it to assume the role of a balancer. So far it has been doing so rather skillfully. Today it may participate in a joint naval exercise with China that Beijing positions as outwardly anti-American. But tomorrow it can team up with the naval forces of the Old World.