By Nji Nelson Chefor

Sports Writer, Cameroon

A mid-tier Russian hockey team has adopted a higher-calibre version of a popular dressing room tradition by using an AK-47 as a trophy to recognize the best player after every game.

Players on Izhstal Izhevsk, in Russia’s VHL, honoured their goalkeeper this week by arming him with the rifle after a standout performance.

Video posted by the team on YouTube shows head coach Ramil Saifullin walking into the dressing room after a game, Kalashnikov rifle in hand.

Izhstal Izhevsk β€œMan of the match”-style trophies have become common in many leagues, including the NHL. However, the trophy is usually something slightly less deadly, like a silly hat or a jacket.

Kononov stopped 36 of 38 shots in his team’s 3-2 victory over Chelmet Chelyabinsk. Forward Vadim Shchegolkov also played well, with one goal and five shots.

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