Decades ago the Soviet Union was the driving force behind ice hockey around the world, with a fearsome nickname to match: the Red Machine. But after the Soviet break-up, the machine faltered. In nearly two decades, Russia only won one major international tournament in 1993. The situation radically changed in spring 2008 when a continental hockey league, a real alternative to the National Hockey League, was set up in Russia. And the goal scored by Ilya Kovalchuk on May 18, 2008, brought Russia its first world championship victory in 15 years.