The victory of Russia U17 is the best thing which happened in the international break

President of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation, Vladislav Tretiak, spoke following the recent international break in November:

The first international break of the 2019/2020 season has reached its conclusion, so it's time to summarise what happened during that time.

Our senior national team participated at the Karjala Cup - the first stage of the Euro Hockey Tour - with lots of new players. Even in the game against Finland, in which we played against 13 world champions, our players played great ice hockey and couldn't keep a hold of the positive scoreline. The same can be said for the match with the Swedes, however the game against the Czech Republic didn't go our way. Nevertheless, I am sure that this experience will help our players who have lots of potential and a real chance to go to the Olympic Games in China.

Two under 20 teams competed at different tournaments. In Finland, the team won two out of three games, while the side in Canada came within a penalty shootout of winning the 2019 Super Series. Of course, we want to win every competition, but we are satisfied with the performance in the series. Our coaches received a lot of information concerning the candidates for the upcoming World Junior Championship, and the experience of this tournament will help the players for that particular tournament. Meanwhile, our women's national team won three out of four matches at a Five Nations competition, playing nice hockey. The negative point was the disappointing ending to the game against the Czechs.

The under 16 national team won the Cup of the President's Sporting Club in Belarus, defeating the host nation, Latvia and Slovakia - under 17 teams.

The main achievement was the triumph of the under 17 national team at the World Hockey Challenge in Canada under the leadership of coach Andrei Kozyrev. The players didn't start the group stage in a particularly confident manner, but they then defeated the Czech Republic, one of the Canadian teams and the USA to become champions. This is the second consecutive year when we have won the World Hockey Challenge, and I must note that all of the teams have their strongest players competing at the tournament. The fact that our youth national teams are achieving more success shows that our approach is working: the under 16 team won two Challenge Cups, we reached the World U18 Championship final (for the first time in 10 years) and we won the Hlinka/Gretzky Cup with the under 18 national team. I am confident that these wins will help to achieve more success at under 20 and senior level.

President of the Russian Ice Hockey Federation

Vladislav Tretiak

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