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DYNAMO-MOSCOW TO INSPIRE RUSSIAN ICE HOCKEY TEAM FOR WORLD CUP, CALLS CAPTAIN

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MOSCOW, April 18 (RIA Novosti) - Dynamo-Moscow ought to set an example to Russia's national team for ice hockey World Cup games, said Alexei Kovalyov. The national team captain and Kazan's Ak Bars forward was addressing a news conference preceding the world championship, which takes start in Austria, April 30.

"The boys ought to shrug off whatever may be brewing outside. We are to answer for ourselves, and for none other. We ought to learn from Dynamo-its team spirit brought it Russia's gold," he said.

"The [national] team has made a great stride forward, and the atmosphere is as good as it has always been. We usually were past our best toward the end of a tournament. That won't be so any longer, what with the drilling we have had. Look at me, and you'll have an idea just how close our training schedule is. See, I even haven't the time to shave!" chuckled the forward.

"It's hard to say that world games have been really upgraded. After all, the referees leave much to be desired, and that's why hockey is not so spectacular as it once was. I think it would be much more interesting if we play in smaller fields, like in North America," remarked Alexei, who has firsthand knowledge of it-he won the Stanley Cup with the NHL New York Rangers back in 1994.

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