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Russian Ice Hockey Team Faces Punishment Over Post-Game Snub

The International Ice Hockey Federation (IIHF) will consider penalizing the Russian national team for leaving the ice after their 6-1 loss to Canada in the final game of the Ice Hockey World Championship, snubbing the Canadian national anthem and traditional post-game celebrations, the TASS news agency reported Monday.

"What the Russian team did is absolutely unacceptable," IIHF president Rene Fasel was quoted by TASS as saying Monday. "Different things can happen on the ice — collisions and fights. But a lack of respect toward an opponent after a game is uncalled for."

Fasel added that the incident would be discussed with the Russian Hockey Federation and that a decision on a punishment would be made at a later date.

The president of the Russian Hockey Federation, legendary Soviet goaltender Vladislav Tretyak, told Russian media that the team's early retreat to the dressing room was not meant to be disrespectful and that it had been caused by "organizational mistakes" that led players to believe they were free to leave the ice.

"We respect the winners. We congratulated them and shook their hands," Tretyak told the Russian News Service radio Monday.

Sports Minister Vitaly Mutko said that the Russian Hockey Federation and the team's training staff should have done everything in their power to prevent players from leaving the ice during the awards ceremony.

"I think that the players who left the ice early did not act correctly," TASS quoted Mutko as saying Monday.

Only a handful of Russian players, including NHL stars Alexander Ovechkin and Yevgeny Malkin, remained on the ice during the Canadian national anthem.

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