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Tuesday, April 24, 2012
Soviet great Valeri Vasilyev dies

Associated Press

MOSCOW -- Valeri Vasilyev, a standout Soviet Union defenseman who won two Olympic gold medals, has died at 62.

His death was announced by his longtime club Dynamo Moscow. The statement last Thursday said he died of a serious illness but did not elaborate.

Vasilyev played on the Soviet teams that won Olympic gold medals in 1972 and 1976. He also played on the national team when it had two of its biggest defeats -- the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" that put the United States into the gold medal game at the Lake Placid Olympics and the 1972 Summit Series against Canadian NHL players.

In 13 years on the national team, he scored 43 goals in 285 games.