Ambassador Alexander Darchiev Remarks at the Reception after the Hockey Match Between “Red Machine” and Canadian “Commandos” (September 22, 2017)

Dear friends and comrades,

Tonight we all enjoyed a terrific game that reminded us of the legendary 1972 Super Series as a truly friendly replay of grand hockey show symbolizing the partnership on ice between such arch-rivals armed with sticks and helmets, as Canada and Russia.

As the old Soviet/Russian saying goes, in our case it is not the result which is important, but participation: both teams were fantastic, and true winners are the hockey, Canadian-born game played and adored in Russia, friendship and good spirit between our people and our nations which are neighbors across the North Pole and the Pacific as well.

We are thankful to our Canadian partners, to Scott Taylor and his magnificent staff from “Esprit de Corps” magazine, to “Commandos” players, including senior military officers, for this unforgettable event.

Our Russian team made up of Russian-speakers from Toronto and Ottawa, as well as Russian diplomats, tried its best to resist the Canadian sophisticated bulldozer named “Commandos”.

We hope this is not the last game, it’s only a beginning of a long history of regular encounters on ice not only between the “Red Machine”
and “Commandos”, but with other willing parties as well.

So I challenge my fellow diplomats, members of the diplomatic corps to join Russian-Canadian initiative to establish a regular Friendship Cup tournament. I believe, tonight we set an example.

And it gives me great honor to quote legendary Russian goaltender Vladislav Tretyak who sent us his very special message on tonight’s occasion.
He writes that 45 years since the Super Series had happened he is pleased
to know that those historic battles are recalled and replayed in Canada.

Hockey is a tough game, it’s played without mercy, but after such battles
on ice players become friends for centuries. During those heated three weeks
in September of 1972 people in Canada and Russian got to know each other much-much better than in preceding decades.

So, Vladislav Tretyak expresses hope that hockey could and should facilitate better relations between our countries and will bring people
and societies closer.

Дорогие друзья, товарищи, игра состоялась, матч получился захватывающим, и важен, конечно, не результат, хотя он тоже имеет значение. Главное, как говорили во времена нашей молодости, участие
и сопереживание. Именно
такой хоккей нам всем нужен.