NEWS ITEM: Russian President Vladimir Putin, playing in an amateur hockey tournament called the "All-Russia Festival of Amateur Teams of the Night Hockey League," scored six goals and had five assists in a game in which his team prevailed, 21-4, the state-owned Russian news agency ITAR-Tass reported. Video highlights of the game show the crowd cheering adoringly for their president, who largely went undefended as he scored seemingly at will.
SOCHI (ITAR-TASS) - It was a glorious night in the glorious city of Sochi as President Vladimir Putin led his Night Hockey League team to a stunning, nail-biter victory over a team considered the greatest in this hemisphere by a score of 21-4.
President Putin, in a display of athletic prowess by a national leader not seen since Kim Jong-Il scored 11 holes in one in his first round of golf, scored six goals and had five assists in his team's most superior triumph over the forces representing the enemies of the great Russian republic.
Unlike Kim, who retired from golf after his initial success at the sport, our glorious president plans to continuing playing hockey and has hinted that he may accept invitations from the Pittsburgh Penguins and the Philadelphia Flyers to play in the American hockey confederation. In this way, he is like the great Fidel Castro, who once rolled 28 consecutive 300 games before retiring from bowling.
"I would like very much to take my talents to America," the president said. "I think I could be the Most Valuable Person in hockey and win the Stanley Trophy all by myself. But I have work to do here. The Ukraine isn't going to conquer itself, you know."
The game began with a huge standing ovation for the beloved president. Even the soldiers stationed at the top of the stands stood and cheered as they trained their Kalashnikovs at the crowd below. Women and children wept openly as our physically fit president skated to center ice. Men were in awe as he squared up for the opening face-off.
He took the puck off the face-off and skated at nearly supersonic speed to the opponent's net, leaving bewildered defenders in his wake as he made the first of his six goals, slapping the puck past the goalie, who flailed helplessly like so many Crimean cowards in the face of the most manly Russian forces.
The opening salvo proved that our glorious president is most excellent when it comes to hockey, just as he demonstrates superior skills in all arenas of life - ruling the great nation that is Russia, leading our armed forces against the aggression of Ukrainian separatists or wrestling a bear and a tiger simultaneously while making sweet love to beautiful womens of all races and creeds.
There were some rough spots for the president's team. Leading 14-2 in the second period, the president took off down the ice, the defenders lying down before him like so many Ukrainian sheep, when, out of nowhere, an opposition defenseman came out of nowhere, like a stealth drone, and skated in front of the president. President Putin barely flinched and continued to the goal. The defenseman was whistled for a foul and told to report to the penalty box. He was never seen again.
President Putin's team then took a commanding lead as the opposition, fearing penalties, slacked off on defense and permitted the president to have his way with them, like so many weak and deluded Eastern Europeans.
Opposition coach Demitri Ivanovich lodged a formal complaint with the league governing body, objecting to the manner in which the game was officiated and asking why there was a car battery and jumper cables in his team's penalty box. His protest was dismissed with extreme prejudice and he was re-assigned to the animal control unit of the Sochi Police Department.
"I would like to formally apologize for my imprudent protest of the president's hockey team," Ivanovich said in a prepared statement. "I was mistaken and it was wrong for me to question his infinite wisdom and the infinite wisdom of the officials. GET THAT THING OFF OF ME!!!!!!!!"
At the match's conclusion, President Putin was awarded the Most Valuable Person On the Hockey Ice Award and also accepted, on behalf of his team, the trophy awarded to the most excellent team in the tournament. Members of the vanquished team bowed before the superior Putin-led squad and paid tribute to their abundant skills of hockey.
"President Putin," said opposition winger Pyotr Tchaikovsky (no relation), "is superior at hockey as he is with most things in life, including invading the Ukraine. It was a very good game and we are pleased with how we played and that our families will now be released from police custody."
Tchaikovsky was emphatic in denying that his team laid down on defense and refused to challenge President Putin on the ice.
"We cannot help that he has superior skills," Tchaikovsky said. "And did you see the car battery in the penalty box?"
In a post-game interview with state-television, President Putin said he was pleased with his team's triumph, but disappointed that his goalie gave up four goals, a matter that "would be dealt with." (The explosion of the goalie's car afterwards was determined to be "a completely routine accident that happens all the time.")
In closing, President Putin said he enjoyed the competition and that he couldn't wait to return to the ice.
"It's not whether you win or lose," he said. "Its how you play the game."
Mike Argento is a columnist for Digital First Media. Reach him at email@example.com.