After losing to a star-studded Canadian team – including nemesis Sidney Crosby, forever the Joe Montana to Ovechkin’s Dan Marino – Russia’s IIHF world championships team had two choices: Stand there respectfully as the Canadian anthem played, like teams do in dozens of other tournaments each season; or leave the ice like big babies after the 6-1 trouncing.
You’ll never guess which option they chose!
If this is how they handle defeat, it’s a miracle we haven’t seen a synchronized on-ice defecation after a Russian Olympic loss ...
The Russians claimed that it was all a big misunderstanding, as the rink-side gate was open and they assumed that was their invitation to leave the ice rather than, again, not do the thing that teams do in dozens of other tournaments each season.
But that didn’t fly with critics like perpetual friend of Russia Don Cherry, who said:
"No class, no honour, they left the national anthem … We were the ones that stayed there ... we stood while they won, and they walked off the ice. They've got no class whatsoever."
No class, and now they’re 80,000 Swiss francs lighter after the IIHF ruled that they left the ice in a feat of bad sportsmanship. (That’s $85,000, by the way. That’ll teach’em.)
From the AP:
After studying video evidence, the IIHF said Kovalchuk gave an “unmistakable head gesture” as signal for teammates to skate off the ice early after collecting their silver medals. They did not stay to hear the Canadian anthem and watch the flags of the three medalist countries being raised.
“This was exceptional as no other team has ever left the ice before the IIHF Ice Hockey World Championship medal ceremony was completed,” the Zurich-based body said.
… The IIHF ruled that the open rink-side gate was “irrelevant” and noted that Russian players and officials were aware of tournament rules “because of their vast experience.”
We assume they mean “in international tournaments” and not “losing to Canada,” because that would be a sick burn.
MORE FROM YAHOO SPORTS