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Ice hockey player awarded AK-47 after being named man-of-the-match

By Chad Kitundu September 21st, 2019 1 min read

In team sports the world over, the player of the match is often awarded some kind of prize from their efforts.

But in a bizarre twist, a Russian hockey goalkeeper Saveli Kononov was handed an AK-47 after inspiring his side Izhstal Izhevsk to a 3-2 victory against rivals Chelmet.

Kononov was awarded the assault rifle by the captain having been voted the player of the match by his team-mates.

The manager walked into the changing room with the AK47, cocked it and announced it would be awarded to the best player chosen by his colleagues.


He reportedly claimed the innovative tradition would boost the atmosphere within the team before handing the firearm over to the captain to name its first recipient.

Kononov stopped 36 of the 38 shots he faced during the match, and was afterwards presented with his new gun in the team’s dressing room.

The city is known for producing one of the world’s most recognisable rifles.

“Lads, today we too are introducing a tradition,” head coach Ramil Saifullin told the squad, cocking the gun.

“As we live in an arms manufacturing city, the city of the Kalashnikov, every match you will for yourselves name the best player, and the previous [recipient] will hand it over to him,” he said inviting the captain to name the first recipient.

“If we play poorly, they will shoot us,” one player joked, according to the Russian news service Pravda.