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15 Dec, 2008 16:29

Ice hockey champs get Mercedes cars

Christmas has come early for the Russian national ice hockey team. President Dmitry Medvedev has awarded the squad, who won the world championships in Canada in May, with Mercedes-Benz cars.

Russia's ice hockey team became the country's heroes when they won the world championship gold in a match against Canada in Quebec to claim a prize that's evaded Russia since 1993.

The entire country was on its feet cheering the champions.

Russian national ice hockey team have been performing extremely well recently. And from the looks of things, the Russian government would like to keep it that way. A brand new Mercedes Benz should do the trick and add some motivation ahead of the Channel One Cup.

Daniil Markov, a defender said:

“The fact that we received the cars three days before the Channel One Cup definitely motivates the team, but we are playing at home so that is a motivation in itself.”

Russia is yet to concede in this season's Eurotour. The team is determined to try and keep it that way especially in front of the home crowd in Moscow. After receiving the presidential prize they must feel almost obliged to win.

Forward Aleksey Tereshchenko says:

“It's great to receive such gifts, especially when they come from the president. We still have a lot to prove to ourselves and the country. I think that after receiving this prize we should become world and Olympic champions countless times.”

The first game of the Russian Eurotour stage will take place on December 18, when Russia will play Finland. On December 20 and 21, the team will be tested against the Czech Republic and Sweden.