Team of the Belarus President is competing in the Christmas ice hockey amateur tournament final against Finland now.
Belarus is now 1:0 ahead but the game still continues. Finns have it difficult in this match but they are fighting bravely.
This final is intriguing, because last year, in 2016, the same teams reached the final of the XII Christmas tournament. Back then, the teams scored only three goals, which is few for an amateur game. But Belarus did win 2:1.
Belarus are traditionally the leaders of the tournament and won it nine times. Finns are the acknowledged masters of the game on ice. Their players are contracted to NHL and KHL clubs. Today Scandinavian players will try to take revenge.
Gennady Savilov, forward of the ice hockey team of the President of Belarus:
Finland are always a strong team. Regardless of the year, of the century, of the squad. This team always wants to claim gold. To win against such a team you need to play at full strength. And we hope we have what it takes to win against them.
Marko Kovanen, forward of Finland hockey team:
We waited for a heavy start. We can say that it is a feature of Finnish play: we always play to win. This is my first time at this tournament and I am pleasantly surprised by the organization and everything that happens here.
The UAE team became bronze medalists of the tournament. Guests from the Persian Gulf beat Slovakia 4:3. In 2016, Slovaks took third place at the Christmas tournament but now did not retain it. The win of the Emirates Team was among the main sensations of the tournament. It is also thanks to Belarusian specialists that the popularity of ice hockey is growing in the UAE.
Omar Al Shamsi, forward of the hockey team of the United Arab Emirates:
From the first day we realized that the level of the organization of the tournament, the level of the teams is very high, so we knew we must aim for the bronze. We have strived for this purposefully and finally won.
If the team of the President of Belarus wins today against Finland, it will be Belarus' tenth victory at the Christmas tournament.