The Russian national ice hockey team held their first practice session at Bratislava's Ondrej Nepela Arena on Thursday, ahead of the debut match of the 2019 IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship against Norway.
Asked by a journalist about the team's expectations, defenceman Nikita Zaitsev said that he and his teammates hope to snatch a gold medal, adding «that's why we came here.»
The Russian squad... Еще arrived in Bratislava on Wednesday evening. On Thursday morning, ahead of the practice session, Alexander Ovechkin, Evgeni Malkin, Nikita Kucherov, Ilya Kovalchuk and their teammates took part in a wreath-laying ceremony commemorating Victory Day at the Slavin Memorial.
The 2019 IIHF World Ice Hockey Championship will be held in Slovakia from May 10 to 26, with matches to be played in two host cities — the country's capital and the city of Kosice. In the preliminary group phase, the Russian team will face Norway, Sweden, the Czech Republic, Switzerland, Latvia, Austria and Italy.