Greeting the 2019 Hlinka/Gretzky Cup champions in Moscow

On August 11, the under 18 Russian national team returned to Moscow Sheremetyevo Airport after triumphing at the 2019 Hlinka/Gretzky Cup.

For the first time since 1995, Russia won the competition, defeating Canada 3:2 in a hugely dramatic final. This was also the first occasion when the Russians qualified for the final in 10 years.

Overall, Russia have won four gold, four silver and nine bronze medals from the competition since it was created.

Russia U18 head coach Sergei Golubovich:

- This is a very important victory for the whole of Russian ice hockey. Last season, the under 17 national team won the prestigious Challenge Cup, and now we have won the Hlinka/Gretzky Cup. This shows that the system is working. Yes, at the World Championship opposing teams will now treat us differently, and this is both a bad and good thing for us. There were no weak opponents at the competition and we are happy.

Russia U18 goalkeeper Yaroslav Askarov:

- The very fact that we won means it was a successful competition for us. We played as a family and everything worked out for the best. It's also great when you have leaders in your team who can make the difference at the crucial time. In the summer, it's always difficult to play ice hockey, because the ice isn't of the best condition. Were nervous in the first match against the USA, but after speaking in the dressing room, we turned things around. Before the competition started, we noted that Russia hadn't won the tournament for a very long time, and we wanted to write history. I think that this victory will inspire children to begin playing the sport.

Russia U18 forward Alexander Pashin:

- Was the game in which I scored a hat trick the most memorable? No, I wouldn't say that, all matches were memorable because of different reasons.I managed to score and that is what I am generally good at. Am I a leader? I don't think of myself as a leader, we are all equals and we all played for each other. It's an honour to play for my national team! The first text message of congratulations arrived from my parents. We have to now move on to different goals.

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