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Train them young: Eight year-olds fight in Chekhov

January 31, 2012

Take-down (photo from IDNES.cz)

Here’s today’s bizarre story. IDNES has a little piece full of whimsy on eight year-old junior hockey players in Chekhov dropping the mitts (or not) in a routine practice on Monday. Chekhov is of course home to the infamous Vityaz Chekhov club of the KHL, a team filled with sucker-punching thugs and pests. Perhaps it shouldn’t come as any surprise that the little tikes of the city, who would appear to be practicing on Vityaz’s home-ice, have taken to pugilism. Jeremy Yablonski and Jon Mirasty have set the tone.

From the article, the youths’ coaches say they don’t “train them to fight” but that they focus on “playing strong hockey, a physical game” according to program Gennadij Vasiljevič Kovalskij. He continued “we don’t make them fight, but we don’t stop them when they do fight. They can brawl, if they want.”

It looks like good-natured fun. And there’s only so much damage 70 pound children in pads can do to one another, right? Right?

Check the photo gallery here.

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