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Author: Alexander Malyishov (SportExpress)
Translated By: RussianProspects
Date: 04/24/2004
Ovechkin: There shouldn’t be a 2nd place finish for an athlete

Alexander Ovechkin, the potential first round pick in the 2004 Entry Draft, is only 18 years old and is already called the best left wing in the Russian Super League. On the same level as Sokolov, Kovalchuk and other stars, he is one of the Russian squad’s main hopes to do well in Ostrava and Prague. Prior to the team’s departure from Odintsovo, the young player gave an interview to the Sport Express correspondent.

Is it true that prior to the second game against the Czechs, Valeri Belousov practiced with you shooting while screened by a defenseman?
A. Ovechkin: Actually, I constantly work on that element of the game while with Dynamo with Valeri Belov. During practice, Valeri Konstantinovich at first just stood there during the drill, and then started moving, simulating game situations. As you can see, it helped! (smiling)

The two games for the third place at the EuroTour brought absolutely opposite results. Can it be said that Jagr, Straka and Glavach, who did not play in the second match in Prague, play a key role in the Czech squad’s lineup?
A. Ovechkin: Of course, they are hockey players of the highest level. However, I believe that in Moscow we simply didn’t have luck on our side. We did not convert on many scoring chances. For example, we didn’t score on Ilya Kovalchuk’s and Sergei Zinovjev’s breakaways. In the second game we used our scoring opportunities well, and won.

From the stands, it seemed that after the deciding overtime goal scored by Sergei Zinovjev, you yourself were so happy, as if you just won the world championships

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