Ovechkin arrives in Russia to lead hockey hopes

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AP Photo/Julie Jacobson

SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Alex Ovechkin has arrived at the Olympics with a determination to lead Russia back to hockey dominance.

The NHL’s top goal-scorer and reigning MVP joined the Russian team for its first full practice Monday at the Bolshoy Ice Dome, where the men’s hockey final will wrap up the Sochi Games next weekend.

Ovechkin says he’s more relaxed than at his first two Olympics in Turin and Vancouver, even under the weight of Russian hockey’s 22-year gold medal drought. Ovechkin is confident his team has the talent to win before its demanding home fans.

His sense of humor also remains intact despite the pressure.

When asked what a hockey gold medal would mean to Russia, Ovechkin replied with a smile: “Mean gold only cost $50 billion, probably.”

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