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HIGH DRAMA TIME

For all the great theatrical productions Russia has produced in its long history, few can match what came out of the country after its hockey team lost to Finland in the men's quarterfinals Wednesday. A sample ...

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'Well, eat me alive'

The angst that exploded came from every crevice of the country, including the always emotional and not often impartial media. This was an exchange in a media scrum with coach Zinetula Bilyaletdinov (left):

REPORTER: You said that the analysis will come later. But what mistakes can you talk about now?

BILYALETDINOV: There were individual mistakes. That's why we couldn't affect the result even though we had twice as many chances as the opponents. We just couldn't score.

REPORTER: What future, if any, do you see for your own work and for your coaching staff? Because, you know, your predecessor was eaten alive after the Olympics ...

BILYALETDINOV: Well then, eat me alive right now.

REPORTER: No, I mean ...

BILYALETDINOV: Eat me and I won't be here anymore.

REPORTER: But we have the world championship coming up!

BILYALETDINOV: Well then, there will be a different coach because I won't exist anymore, since you will have eaten me.

REPORTER: But you're staying, aren't you?

BILYALETDINOV: Yes, I will remain living.

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'We feel your pain, little boy'

The Moscow News is Russia's oldest English language newspaper. Here are excerpts of how it observed the loss to Finland live on Twitter:

- "1st period over. Finland leads Russia 2-1. Time for a meditation break."

- "NOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. 3:1 Finland scores again."

- "How long do you think it will take for Russia to ban Finnish vodka? Just pointing out the obvious here."

- "They just showed a really sad Russian boy in the stands. We feel your pain, little boy."

- "Russia, you are breaking our heart. Or cutting it out with a dull spoon. Or something equally horrific."

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Song of the day

After Russian-Finland game, the arena organist played the Ramones' I Wanna Be Sedated to the empty arena, Canada's National Post says.

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When bears cry

Even official Olympic mascot Polar Bear was inconsolable in the stands after the game was over.

Compiled from Times wires

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