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We’re still a few months away from the official start of hockey season, but that doesn’t mean things can’t get heated when two perennial powerhouses get together for a game, even if it’s just a meaningless tournament in the dog days of summer.
When it comes to hockey rivalries on the international stage, there’s never been any love lost between the Canadians and Russians. And that presented itself once again this past Monday when the two hockey juggernauts squared off in a pre-olympic tournament at the Sochi Hockey Open.
The ruckus began at the end of the second period, when CanadIan Forward Eric O’Dell delivered a crushing blow to an opponent near the benches. Russian defenseman Ilya Lyubushkin quickly retaliated by getting into it with Maxim Noreau, who just happened to be in the area. All hell then broke loose as CanadIan Forward Justin Azevedo jumped into the escalating skirmish.
— KHL (@khl_eng) August 7, 2017
True, this wasn’t the most brutal of hockey brawls, as few punches were thrown or teeth were lost. However, it’s just another indication how things can quickly flare up between the two hockey-proud nations, and a rivalry we’ll definitely be keeping an eye on as the teams face each other in the future.
In case you care, Canada ended up losing 3-2, and will next take on Metalurg Magnitogorsk in the third-place game on Wednesday. The Sochi Hockey Open is one of many pre-Olympic tournaments that features Team Russia, Team Canada, and four other KHL teams in the run-up to the 2018 Winter Olympics this February.