The middle of January is the time of the traditional KHL Stars Match, a mini-tournament with the participation of the most famous league hockey players. On Sunday, four national teams will reveal the winner: Kharlamov, Bobrov, Tarasov and Chernyshev division. And on Saturday, on the eve of the main event, a master show was held with the participation of athletes.
This year, the All-Star Game is hosted by the capital's VTB Arena. Competitions for teams also took place there. It all started with a traditional opening ceremony with the participation of mascots and a ceremonial presentation of the participants. At the same time, the mascots first appeared on the show as its full participants. The atmosphere was also provided by technology: for the event at the stadium, 9,500 lighting devices were installed, which turned ice, a cube and stands into a single media surface.
This year, the organizers decided to pay attention to the topic of time. For this, they even specially selected musical accompaniment - from retro compositions of the German band Dschinghis Khanoke to modern DJ Smash hits. All the songs, of course, were about Moscow, the mistress of the tournament.
The opening ceremony ended with a speech by the President of the KHL Dmitry Chernyshenko. He promised that a real spectacle awaits the fans.
“Want to see the most powerful hockey show of the season?” All the stars are here today, they will show who is the fastest, most accurate and the most creative hockey player in the league, ”the functionary promised.
Traditionally, the organizers have prepared many surprises. We did not forget about the recent youth world championship, or rather about one of the key episodes of the finale - getting the puck into the camera. One of the cameras was dressed in a symbolic black and white referee's sweater.
There was time for performances during the master show itself. Hockey players made tea on ice, tried potato pancakes, dressed up in costumes and read poems. Dynamo Vyacheslav Gretsky was very impressed.
“Our press attache somehow promised that we would feed the goalkeeper’s pancakes, so I fulfilled the promise. Only we didn’t get pancakes, but cheesecakes, because we cooked them in Moscow, ”the hockey player admitted.
Real Slavic tea party! # KHLAllStarpic.twitter.com / 43Ecx4OtGF- HC Dynamo Moscow (@dynamo_ru) January 18, 2020
The first in the competition for speed was Yegor Anisimov from the Tarasov division. In the second competition, the goalkeeper was determined, who will withstand the longest dry series. Here Kharlamov’s team was stronger - Timur Bilyalov had nine reflected goals on his account. At the same time, some shots turned out to be “family” - hockey players went out to punch the goalkeepers along with their sons.
One Semin is good. Two is even better. # KHLAllStarpic.twitter.com / jDPEwk5tpK- KHL (@khl) January 18, 2020
The third competition is the relay race, during which hockey players went through various obstacles. Once again, Kharlamov’s division turned out to be the strongest. He also won in the following two competitions - on the strength and accuracy of the throw, ensuring himself a large margin from his rivals.
The program ended with a hockey biathlon, which, like the usual skiing, included the passage of an obstacle course and shots of the puck on targets. And again, Kharlamov’s team turned out to be stronger, she also became the winner of the master show. In accordance with the rules, they were able to choose an opponent. Their choice fell on the Tarasov division, these teams will meet in the second semifinal. In the first, the teams of Bobrov and Chernyshev will fight.
Hockey players were delighted with the performances. So, Darren Dietz tried on the image of Alexander Pushkin and even tried to read poetry.
“This is a direct association with Russia - language and literature. I learned part of Pushkin’s poem, it took about 10-12 hours. I am interested in learning Russian literature, English was not so interesting to learn. To be honest, I have never heard of this writer before I came to Russia. And I do not know his biography, but it will be the second level for me. So far I'm on the first, ”admitted Dietz.
Canadian, Kazakh, Russian poet - Darren Dietz never ceases to amaze. # KHLAllStarpic.twitter.com / aVyh5g0i8y- KHL (@khl) January 18, 2020
Positive emotions from the master show remained with Danis Zaripov. During the contest, he skullcap and the flag of Tatarstan.
“After all, we are already used to the idea that something is thought up at such events, for example, various scenes. So the idea came up to cheer up the team with the flag of Tatarstan and a large echpochmak. Generally there is no installation to win or not lose. A match of stars is a holiday, and during the holidays the whole country is resting, and hockey players too, ”Zaripov noted.
And for some players, the Match of Stars has become an opportunity to raise important non-sports topics. So, goalkeeper Ilya Sorokin played in shields that were specially decorated by children from the Research Institute of Pediatrics. Subsequently, the element of ammunition will be sold at auction, and the proceeds will go to the treatment of goalkeeper Barys Vilen Prokofiev, who is fighting with cancer.