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Ovechkin calls for charity hockey game to become annual event

© RIA Novosti . Mihail Fomitchev / Go to the photo bankAlexander Ovechkin
Alexander Ovechkin - Sputnik International
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A charity ice hockey game involving Russian players and politicians could become an annual event, NHL star Alexander Ovechkin said after a game that raised millions of rubles for victims of this summer's wildfires in Russia.

A charity ice hockey game involving Russian players and politicians could become an annual event, NHL star Alexander Ovechkin said on Sunday after a game that raised millions of rubles for victims of this summer's wildfires in Russia.

The game between a team lead by the Washington Capitals' two-time NHL MVP and one captained by recent New Jersey Devils' signing Ilya Kovalchuk raised 13.7 million rubles ($450,000) for children affected by the fires, which killed more than 50 people and left thousands homeless.

"This is a good action, it needs to be organized not only when something happens, but every year in every kind of sport," Ovechkin said at a news conference. "This was a big first step - it should be developed."

He said such events are common in the United States, and "organized at the highest level."

"There are many charity events that raise funds not only for the victims of disasters, but also for the sick and needy families," he added.

Ovechkin's team included famed Soviet goalie Vladimir Myshkin, Philadelphia Flyers winger Nikolai Zherdev, Russian Interior Minister Rashid Nurgaliyev and Finance Minister Alexei Kudrin, but he said he was most impressed with the president of Tatarstan, Rustam Minnikhanov, who scored three goals and contributed three assists.

Kovalchuk's side included the legendary Soviet defenseman Vyacheslav Fetisov, Czech goalie Dominik Hasek and center Evgeni Malkin of the Pittsburgh Penguins, as well as Russian President Dmitry Medvedev's economic adviser, Arkady Dvorkovich, and Emergency Situations Minister Sergei Shoigu.

The game finished 13-13 after an overtime period, although regulation ended with Ovechkin's team 9-7 ahead.

MOSCOW, September 5 (RIA Novosti)

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