Hockey legends and the Norilsk team from among the participants of the Night Hockey League crossed the sticks on the ice. The match ended with a score of 9:8 in favor of the stellar squad, but for the sake of this victory, according to the guests, they had to work hard.
The star team guests, as expected, opened the score. The Norilsk team did not keep themselves waiting and quickly sent a return puck into the opponent’s goal.
Further, the teams exchanged goals in a rather tense rhythm and at high speeds, the owners of the ice did not allow eminent guests to relax, stepping on their heels and constantly equalizing the score.
After the first period, the players got into some uncertainty with a score of 3:3, which was a surprise for many, since no one, as it turned out, expected such agility from the Norilsk team.
The second and third periods were no less tense. The Norilsk team constantly attacked the opponent’s goal, scored goals, but at some point it seemed that the hosts would not be able to overcome the gap in the score of three goals till the end of the game.
In the heat of the ice battle, the Norilsk team rushed to the opponent’s goal, hurried up, made mistakes and eventually earned three free kicks, two of which were successfully used by the guests. But in the last period, the Norilsk team focused and just a few minutes before the game end equalized the score, and one of the decisive goals was scored by the Nornickel Polar Division head Nikolay Utkin.
In such a situation, the world hockey stars definitely do not fit to end in a draw, even if it is a friendly match. Therefore, at the last minute, Vyacheslav Fetisov goes straight ahead to our gates and hammers a decisive final puck into them. The players of both teams greeted and congratulated each other under the scoreboard with a score of 9:8 in favor of the guests.
The charity matches in Norilsk with the participation of hockey stars has been going on since 2017, when the first star game was held at the initiative of Nornickel’s president Vladimir Potanin.
The money from ticket sales are directed to the development of youth hockey in Norilsk and Dudinka. Moreover, every time Nornickel doubles the amount collected – in the first five meetings, they collected a total of 16 million rubles.
This time, the ticket sales amounted to 1 million 300 thousand rubles, which Nornickel almost quadrupled – up to 6 million. Two certificates of three million each were awarded to pupils of winter sports schools.
“We knew that the Norilsk team was seriously preparing for the game, their assertiveness is encouraging. Interst in Norilsk is growing not only to hockey but to sports in general. Life is changing here, along with social facilities and housing, an ice arena will soon appear, which means it’s time to create a full-fledged hockey club in Norilsk. I am sure that soon Norilsk will become the most attractive and cleanest city in the Arctic zone of Russia”, said Vyacheslav Fetisov.
After the match, the Nornickel president Vladimir Potanin thanked everyone for the game and made an offer that will definitely please hockey fans:
“Dear friends, let’s thank our hockey legends for this wonderful holiday. I would also like to thank the Norilsk team for this combat match. Since everything goes so well in Norilsk with hockey, it looks like it’s time for the city to have its own professional club. Isn’t it? It is! Thank you!”
Text: Denis Kozhevnikov, Photos: Denis Kozhevnikov and Nikolay Shchipko