Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 08/18/06 at 06:31 PM ET
Spain's Francis Valera shot five-under-par 67 to move into a three-way tie for the lead after two rounds at the Russian Open on Saturday. Valera joined fellow Spaniard Carlos Rodiles and overnight leader David Drysdale at 12-under-par 132. NHL All-Star Alexei Kovalev, making his European Tour debut as one of only four amateurs in the 111-strong field, came dead last at 19 over par. The Montreal Canadiens right wing, who captained Russia's ice hockey team at this year's Turin Olympics, was nevertheless satisfied with his performance. "I think I did just fine considering it was my first tournament of such a high calibre. Making the cut here would practically be equivalent to winning a Stanley Cup," Kovalev, who lifted hockey's biggest prize with the New York Rangers in 1994, told Reuters.
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