The Ottumwa Courier

AP Sports

February 19, 2014

Russian fans lament hockey team's Olympic loss

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — When it was all over, when the mighty Russian men's hockey team with the big stars and the massive expectations failed to earn a medal for the third straight Winter Olympics, thousands of their demanding fans streamed out of the shiny new arena and squinted as their eyes caught the setting sun.

Many had no words to express the disappointment that came with Russia's 3-1 loss to Finland on Wednesday. This was supposed be the team to end a 22-year gold medal drought and provide a hopeful nation with the defining moment of an Olympics on home turf.

Instead, they were a massive flop, and the fans in attendance had difficulty reconciling the failure.

"For seven years we have been waiting and preparing for the Olympics and most of all we waited for the ice hockey and today it was a catastrophe and shame for Russia," said Sergey Kazakov, a 58-year-old retiree from Moscow.

Alex Ovechkin. Pavel Datsyuk. Ilya Kovalchuk. Evgeni Malkin. The stars all seemed to be aligning this time around in Russia, where hockey is a national treasure and the fans yearn for the dominant days of the old Soviet Red Army teams. And they were aligning at home, in this resort town on the Black Sea, in an arena built to show off the nation's hockey prowess.

With all this in mind, the fans were certain that the glory days were returning. They packed the Bolshoy Ice Dome, painted their faces in the national colors and blew horns as they walked the steps into the arena to cheer on their heroes. The team got off to a roaring start with a 5-2 win over newcomer Slovenia, but they followed that with a shootout loss to the Americans and a shootout win over Slovakia before they were bounced by the Finns.

Text Only
AP Sports
  • Blackhawks Blues Hockey-6 [Duplicate] Blues beat Blackhawks 4-3 in 3 OTs ST. LOUIS (AP) — In the first period, Ryan Miller looked like the goalie who limped home 0-5. For the final 80 minutes, 26 seconds, the St. Louis Blues saw the cool, confident backstop they acquired to make the deep playoff run they've long sought. M

    April 18, 2014 12 Photos

  • Cardinals Nationals Baseball-9 [Duplicate] Wainwright throws 2-hitter, Cards beat Nats 8-0 WASHINGTON (AP) — Adam Wainwright was as close to unhittable as he's ever been. "I had pretty much everything working. My sinker was sinking, my four-seamer was four-seaming, my curveball was curving," Wainwright said. "My cutter was back. That was a

    April 18, 2014 6 Photos

  • Wild Avalanche Hockey-3 [Duplicate] Stastny leads Avs to 5-4 OT win over Wild DENVER (AP) — Paul Stastny sweated out the trade deadline, wondering if his big, expiring contract and Colorado's desire to beef up its blue line might lead to his departure from Denver. Instead, he stuck around to help the Avalanche end a four-year

    April 18, 2014 3 Photos

  • NL Capsules SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — Hyun-Jin Ryu stretched his road scoreless streak to 26 innings, and the Los Angeles Dodgers beat the San Francisco Giants 2-1 Thursday to avoid a sweep. Ryu (3-1) struck out three and walked one on a season-high 112 pitches in s

    April 18, 2014

  • AL Capsules DETROIT (AP) — Ian Kinsler homered and drove in four runs, and the Detroit Tigers held on for a 7-5 victory over the Cleveland Indians on Thursday. Justin Verlander (2-1) allowed three unearned runs in five innings, and the Tigers trailed 3-1 before

    April 18, 2014

  • Ricketts: Cubs not interested in move to suburbs NEW YORK (AP) — Chicago Cubs owner Tom Ricketts thinks a move to the suburbs might be lucrative but says his team remains committed to refurbishing century-old Wrigley Field. The Cubs won approval from Chicago's City Council last July for a $500 mill

    April 16, 2014

  • Cardinals Brewers Baseball-6 [Duplicate] Cards pitching shuts down Brewers again 6-1 MILWAUKEE (AP) — Cardinals starters are feeling right at home on the mound at Miller Park. A night after Lance Lynn shutout the Brewers, fellow hard-throwing right-hander Shelby Miller followed Tuesday by striking out seven and allowing three hits ov

    April 16, 2014 5 Photos

  • NL Capsules CINCINNATI (AP) — Mike Leake doubled and hit a two-run homer Tuesday night, ending Gerrit Cole's winning streak and leading the Cincinnati Reds to a 7-5 victory over the Pittsburgh Pirates that completed two days full of homers and delays. First, the

    April 16, 2014

  • Boston police safely blow up suspicious backpacks BOSTON (AP) — Survivors, first responders and relatives of those killed in the Boston Marathon bombing marked the anniversary Tuesday with tributes that combined sorrow over the loss of innocent victims with pride over the city's resilience in the fa

    April 16, 2014

  • Gay rights group sends petition to IOC LAUSANNE, Switzerland (AP) — More than 100,000 members of an international gay rights group have sent messages to the IOC urging changes to ensure that future Olympic host countries do not have discriminatory laws on their books. The group All Out re

    April 16, 2014

Obituaries
Record
Facebook
AP National