Sunday, 26 January 2014

Russian Olympic hockey team problems mount with 2nd injury

Russian forward Denis Kokarev is to miss next month’s Olympic hockey tournament with a leg injury, the Russian Hockey Federation’s executive director Valery Fesyuk told R-Sport on Friday. The 28-year-old two-way forward was injured during his KHL team Dynamo Moscow’s 2-1 win over CSKA Moscow on Wednesday, becoming the second member of the 25-man team to be ruled out of the Games. No replacement has yet been named. Kokarev’s injury left him “95 percent” unable to compete in Sochi next month, Fesyuk said. “We got the results of an extra medical exam today and took this decision. There will be a replacement for Kokarev on the Olympic roster.” Kokarev’s absence deepens problems for Russia following an injury last week to Sergei Soin, another two-way forward from Dynamo who, like Kokarev, would have been expected to put in penalty-killing shifts at the Olympics. Soin was replaced by forward Alexander Semin of the Carolina Hurricanes, a more offensive player. Earlier, Fesyuk named eight alternates for the Olympic roster, including four KHL forwards: Sergei Plotnikov, Yegor Averin (both Lokomotiv Yaroslavl), Vadim Shipachev (SKA St. Petersburg) and Alexander Burmistrov (Ak Bars Kazan). Kokarev has scored four goals and made 13 assists in 39 KHL games this season and made six appearances for the Russian national team in Euro Hockey Tour games. He won the KHL's Gagarin Cup with Dynamo in the last two seasons. The Olympic hockey tournament will be held in the 12,000-seat Bolshoy Ice Dome from February 12 to 23, with Russia playing its first game against Slovenia on February 13. Also in Russia's pool are the United States and Slovakia.

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