Russian Olympic women’s hockey team practices post-isolation | Health and Fitness

BEIJING (AP) — The Russian women’s hockey team held its first pre-Olympic practice Thursday after three days in isolation and appears on track to play its tournament opener.

The Russians practiced without five members of their 25-player roster, leaving them with 18 skaters and two goaltenders on the ice. The official roster lists only 16 skaters and two goalies, though taxi squad players can be promoted to the team to fill the lineup.

Known this Games across all sports as ROC because of doping sanctions, the team is scheduled to face Switzerland on Friday.

“We were thinking about everything, but we were sure that no game’s going to be canceled,” forward Alexandra Vafina said. “We were not thinking, ‘Oh, we might not play.’ No, there was no conversation about that. We were just thinking how to get ready, how to be able to get ready more efficiently and better for the game.”

The Russian Hockey Federation said the team was quarantined Monday through Wednesday following positive virus tests for “several players.”

The federation has only named one player who tested positive, forward Ilona Markova, who was ruled out before she flew to Beijing. Goalie Diana Farkhutdinova, defenders Angelina Goncharenko and Yekaterina Nikolaeva, and forwards Lyudmila Belyakova and Olga Sosina are no longer on the roster and were not on the ice for practice.






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