The Belarus president team defeated Team Russia 8:5 (3:0, 4:3, 1:2) to win the 15th edition of the Christmas amateur ice hockey tournament for the prize of the Belarusian president on 7 January.
It was the 13th final match for the teams of Belarus and Russia over the 15 years of the tournament. The hockey matches of the two countries always draw a lot of spectators. Today's match was no exception.
The best players of the final match were Sergei Arekayev (Russia) and Igor Brikun (Belarus). Prizes were presented to them by Belarus' Sports and Tourism Minister Sergei Kovalchuk.
On their way to the final the Belarus president team defeated IIHF Team 13:7, Baltics Team 9:3 and UAE Team 10:5. The Russians blanked Switzerland 9:0 and earned a 4:1 win over Slovakia. Team Russia continued their solid ice play with a win over Finland 5:2 in the semifinals. The best players were named during the awards ceremony. They received prizes from the Belarusian president. Alexei Yegorov (Russia) was named the best goalkeeper. Daniel Corso (Belarus) was named the best defenseman. Toni Makiaho (Finland) was recognized the best forward. Pavel Bely (Belarus) was named top scorer.
The Belarus president team is the 12-time winner of the Christmas international tournament (2005, 2006, 2008, 2009, 2010, 2012, 2013, 2014, 2016, 2017 and 2018). Team Russia is a three-time champion (2007, 2011 and 2015) and a ten-time vice-champion.