Disciplinary problems are the main reason that Russia's junior hockey team failed to make the finals at the home World Championships in Ufa, Aleksandr Semak, the coach of the local Tolpar club said.
“My friends tell me every day that they saw one [Russian junior hockey team] player in a nightclub and then met the others in the street during a night walk,” RIA Novosti quoted Semak as saying.
He also claimed that he personally came across several Team Russia members in Ufa restaurants.
Semak said that Russia's management made a mistake basing the team's championship headquarters out of a hotel in the center of the city.
Nobody was monitoring the players in their free time, so it was no surprise the youngsters flocked to nightclubs instead of resting and preparing for the games, he said.
“Who is he? A coach? Of what club? Tolpar? Never heard of such!” Russian forward Mikhail Grigorenko told Sportbox.ru when asked about Semak’s accusations.
“It seems that the man just didn’t get the job he wanted and he’s now happy that we’ve lost,” he added. “It’s sad to read such nastiness in the media. Nail Yakupov is bad. Mikhail Grigorenko is bad. The hockey is bad. I don’t know what game he was watching. All the guys are giving everything on the ice and can’t be blamed.”
Team Russia lost the World Championships semifinals in a shootout to Sweden on Thursday.
Mikhail Varnakov’s men will battle archrivals Canada in the bronze medal game on January 5.