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Ilya Kovalchuk: "More outdoor matches need to be held"

Ilya KovalchukJokerit - SKA - 021217
HC SKA press-service

- Did you find that it was really cold?

- No, it was colder during the morning skate. In the evening, I think that the temparature rose to +3. My thumbs got a bit cold, but everything was fine.

- You praised the quality of the ice.

- Yes, the ice is great. There was a lot of snow towards the end of the periods, but I think that a lot of KHL arenas don't have such good quality ice.

- The Jokerit fans booed you.

- I am used to it, they have always loved me here.

- Do you think that outdoor KHL matches should be held on a more regular basis?

- It's a real ice hockey celebration, almost 20 thousand supporters came to the stadium today. We need to see these games take place in Russia too, and not only abroad. We have modern football stadiums which can host these matches. Hopefully, such games will take place in the future.

- Was it great playing in this match after the usual KHL fixtures?

- Of course. Playing in the fresh air was great fun, some of us had never played outdoors before, whereas others had already competed in a few outdoor matches. We won, so we feel great. We move on.

Ilya Kovalchuk: "More outdoor matches need to be held"

- You played really well with Vadim Shipachyov.

- He is one of the best centre forwards in the KHL. It's easy to play with guys like Vadim. Sergei Kalinin does a lot of dirty work too, he wins the puck in tight battles. We need to continue in the same vein.

- The decision concerning Russia's participation in the 2018 Olympic Games will become public on December 5. Are you worried?

- Yes, I am. I hope that the right decision will be taken. If someone violated the rules, why should everyone suffer? I think that justice will win and we'll travel to the Olympic Games. Clean athletes should be allowed to participate.

- You set a new club record today. Were you aware of that?

- No, I wasn't.

- You have overtaken Maxim Sushinsky as SKA's top scorer in history.

- He was a good player, so it's nice to beat his record.

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