Mon, Dec 11, 2006 - Page 18 News List

Match marks birth of Russian hockey

AP , MOSCOW

A charity match pitting former Soviet greats against former NHL players took center stage at Red Square on Saturday to mark the birth of Russian hockey.

The Great Five of Soviet hockey -- Igor Larionov, Sergei Makarov and Vladimir Krutov and defensemen Vyacheslav Fetisov and Alexei Kasatonov -- as well as other famous Soviet players faced Team World, led by legendary NHL coach Scotty Bowman.

The first ice hockey game ever played at Red Square honored the 60th anniversary of the birth of Russian hockey, the 50th anniversary of the former Soviet Union's first hockey victory at the Olympics and the 25th anniversary of the creation of the famous KLM line in the 1980s.

"This is a historic event -- to come to Moscow and play at Red Square," Bowman said. "And it's an honor to have all these great players to play here at a time to honor the heritage of the Soviet and Russian ice hockey."

Team World included players such as Paul Coffey, Thomas Sandstrom, Jari Kurri, Ron Dugueq, Doug Brown, and brothers Peter and Anton Stastny.

Viktor Tikhonov, who brought the Great Five together, coached the USSR-Russia team.

The game was played at the outdoor skating rink built at the square where military parades and political rallies dominated during the Soviet era. About 2,000 spectators cheered for the home side at two stands erected a bit ahead of Lenin's Tomb.

"It was the first time the game was played at Red Square and we will remember it forever," Kasatonov said.

The Russian team played in the USSR jerseys in the first two 15-minute periods, but wore Russia's in the third.

Larionov scored four goals, Fetisov, Kasatonov and Krutov had a goal apiece for Russia. Skriko Petri scored two goals for the Team World. Sandstrom, Kurri, Dugueq, Brown and the Stastny brothers also scored.

"It was just like in the old times," Larionov said.

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