By Richard Lawrence
The Russian Federation once more girded it loins to field the Red Machine hockey teams to do battle with the Esprit de Corps Commandos in a pre-Canada Day celebration on the 29th June. Each side put together two teams with the first game of the Red Machine “B” squad against the Commando Lites and the second game with the Red Machine “A” squad matched against the Commandos in this fourth game of the continuing series.
The first game was an evenly matched and close contest with the Commando Lites scoring first. But the Russian team came back to tie and then get the go-ahead goal winning by a 2-1 margin. The second game displayed a much higher calibre of skating and stick-handling on both sides. It was clear that neither team wanted to lose and there was once in the second period where some heated words were exchanged and some penalties handed out. However, both sides continued playing hard, but respectfully, with the Commandos coming out on top 3-0 with two goals scored by #77, Ryan Lediett. With the contest split in games, the clearly Russian biased crowd seemed pleased enough and retired to the reception hosted by the Embassy of the Russian Federation.
During his remarks at the reception, His Excellency Alexander Darchiev noted that, “Hockey is like a religion in Canada and Russia that brings our people together making them friends in practically everything except the ice rink where we are respectful rivals.” Scott Taylor, in his response to the Ambassador’s remarks good naturedly noted that, “… every time the Canadian team wins the Ambassador says it’s not the game that’s important, it’s the series. But when he wins, it’s the opposite.”. With that little joke aside, it was then time to award the most valuable players on both sides for both games.
In the first game, Vladimer Proskuryakov was named as the Red Machine MVP and was awarded as a prize a t-shirt from Scott Taylor that said “TRUMP – make America great again” that was a souvenir from the last American election. On the Commando Lite side, Katherine Taylor was named MVP and awarded a small trophy. In the second game, both sides had their goalies nominated as MVP with Taylor mentioning that the Russian goalie played outstandingly well and was responsible for the Commandos only scoring three goals.
For more photos go to: http://www.richardlawrencephotography.ca/clients/edec/hockey20180629/