May 15 2013, 12:48am CDT | by Poch de la Rosa
With Alexander Ovechkin officially on board, the Russian national team is poised to win consecutive gold medals in the 2013 Ice Hockey Federation World Championship in Finland after coming out on top last year.
Ovechkin, the Washington Capitals team captain, made his commitment to his country known to the media before his final press conference of the 2012-13 NHL season. This occurred moments after his team was eliminated from playoff contention by the New York Rangers 5-0 in Game 7 of their Eastern Conference first-round series.
"This morning they just called me and asked if I'm healthy and ready to go. I said, 'Yeah, I'm ready to go.' I'm still wanting to play. I don't want to take off, I don't want to watch games. I want to play hockey."
As per an SB Nation report, Ovechkin has taken part in the tournament eight times previously. Russia won the gold medal in 2008 and in 2012. On his part, "Ovi" has played in 55 games in the championship tournament, tallying a total of 26 goals and 18 assists.
He also led the way in terms of power play goals with (16), shots on goal (220) and power play scoring (27, tied with teammate Mike Ribeiro). He wound up with 56 points, good for third in the NHL.
In spite of these accomplishments, Ovechkin had a disappointing postseason. In addition to the Capitals losing the series against the Rangers, he only scored one goal in those seven games.
The Washington Capitals' official website confrims the 2013 Ice Hockey Federation World Championship runs from May 3 to May 19. Meanwhile, SB Nation affirms Russia finished second in Group H to qualify for the quarterfinals, where they will face the United States on Thursday, May 16.
Poch de la Rosa
Poch de la Rosa follows all major U.S. sports: NFL, MLB, NBA, NHL and the NCAA. His favorite teams are the Colts, Braves, Pacers, Sharks and Irish, respectively.
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