Soviet ice hockey great Vladimir Petrov dies at 69

MOSCOW (AP) Vladimir Petrov, a two-time Olympic hockey champion who was on the Soviet Union team that lost to the United States at the 1980 Lake Placid Games, died Tuesday. He was 69.

Petrov played alongside Boris Mikhailov and Valery Kharlamov on an offensive line considered one of the best in hockey history.

Petrov won Olympic gold with the Soviet Union at the 1972 and 1976 Games. He was still on the team in 1980 when the Soviets had to settle for silver after losing to the Americans and then beating Sweden in the final round.

The Russian hockey federation announced the death on Tuesday, but didn't give a cause.

Russian President Vladimir Putin called Petrov the ''pride and fame of Russian sports.''

''He was wholeheartedly committed to his work, his team and his homeland,'' Putin said.

At the world championships, Petrov amassed 154 points in 102 games.

The Kontinental Hockey League, widely considered the world's strongest hockey competition outside the NHL, said players at KHL matches on Tuesday and Wednesday would observe a moment of silence in Petrov's memory.

The Russian hockey federation said Petrov would be laid to rest on Thursday.

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