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Team Russia will play NWHL teams in October

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Ludmilia Belyakova of the Russian National Team
Nina Weiss

For the second straight year players in the NWHL will test their skills against the Russian women’s national team in six preseason games this October. Russia will be in the States for two weeks as part of the team’s training and preparation for the 2018 Olympics in Pyeongchang.

“These games may be between friendly rivals, but they are intense – perfect preparation for our teams before the start of the NWHL season,” Dani Rylan shared in the league’s press release.

Team Russia will face the New York Riveters, Connecticut Whale and the Boston Pride in two-game series. Last year Russia won two of the five games it played against NWHL competition. The Russian women enjoyed victories against both the New York Riveters and the Connecticut Whale.

Iya Gavrilova of the Russian National Team.
Connor Murphy

“Our players and staff are very excited to come to the USA again to play hard and wonderful hockey against the high-level players of the NWHL,” shared Olga Votolovskaya, general manager of the Russian Women’s National Team. “I want to say special thanks to NWHL Commissioner Dani Rylan for supporting our initiative, and to the Russian Ice Hockey Federation for financing such a long and far away trip. For a team to improve, you have to go up against some of the best – and that’s what the NWHL represents.”

Dates, times and venues for the six games will be announced later this summer. Team Russia plans to bring “Red Machine” souvenirs to sell at the games.