DULUTH, MN – In preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics, Team Russia will hit the ice for one of two exhibition games scheduled against the University of Minnesota Duluth this Tuesday at AMSOIL Arena. The 6:07 pm scheduled game will feature a pin exchange prior to the face-off.
Bulldog fans will recognize one of two currently rostered Russian players as UMD alums. While Iya Gavrilova did not make the trip to Duluth, Aleksandra Vafina, a 2013 graduate, will skate wearing No. 9 for Russia in both games. Gavrilova and Vafina were instrumental this past April in helping Russia win its first IIHF World Championship medal in 12 years back on April 9 with a 2-0 win over Finland in the bronze medal skate.
In addition to the Bulldogs roster connections, UMD head coach Shannon Miller has been mentoring Team Russia since June of 2011. Miller was named the coaching mentor for the Russian Senior National Team in preparation for the 2014 Winter Olympics in Sochi, Russia, and during the program term, has communicated with the coaches, mentors and ambassadors of both the senior and under-18 national programs every few weeks.
After their first game against Team Russia Tuesday, the Bulldogs will host the No. 2 University of Wisconsin on Friday and Saturday night (6:07 pm starts) before facing Team Russia one last time next Monday (Dec. 2) at AMSOIL at 6:07 pm.