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Russia Hockey Team Dons Soviet Jerseys in Loss to Finland

Finland's forward Joonas Kemppainen (L) celebrates a goal in front of Russian players wearing retro U.S.S.R. jerseys during the Channel One Cup of the Euro Hockey Tour ice hockey match at CSKA Arena in Moscow. Alexander Nemenov / AFP

Russia’s national hockey team donned Soviet jerseys in their overtime loss to Finland on Sunday.

Finland defeated Russia 3:2 at the 2021 Channel One Cup in Moscow.

The match was the second stage of the 2021/2022 Euro Hockey Tour, which typically serves as a warmup for the World Championship.

The Russian side competed in red and white jerseys to mark 75 years of ice hockey in Russia.

“I like it because our Soviet hockey players have made history in world sports as one of the best,” said two-time Olympic champion and current lawmaker Vyacheslav Fetisov.

“But to play Soviet hockey, you have to be a Soviet person,” the sports.ru website quoted Fetisov as saying.

The U.S.S.R national team wore the red design when it first won the Olympic Games in 1956, the Russian Ice Hockey Federation said.

The white design is based on the period that saw the Soviet Union win two Olympic gold medals in 1964 and 1968, and remain undefeated in the World Championship, it added.

Russia’s team previously wore Soviet jerseys in a 2015 Euro Hockey Tour loss to Finland to mark 50 years since the teams faced off at the Tampereen Ice Stadium.

Ex-trainer Andrei Safronov said at the time that the idea had been proposed by the Finnish side and the jerseys were then set to be auctioned off for charity.

The Russian team also took to the ice wearing Soviet jerseys in a match against Italy at the 2008 World Championships.

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