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Valeri Vasilyev Dead: Soviet Hockey Great Dies At 62

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NHL All-Stars Bobby Clarke heads for the ice behind the Soviet Nationals net in the third period of the third game in the Challenge Cup series in New York on Sunday, Feb. 12, 1979. Behind him are Soviet defencemen Sergie Babinov (4) and Valeri Vasilyev (6). The Soviet team won 6-0 and took the cup 2-1 in games. (AP Photo/Bill Kostround)
NHL All-Stars Bobby Clarke heads for the ice behind the Soviet Nationals net in the third period of the third game in the Challenge Cup series in New York on Sunday, Feb. 12, 1979. Behind him are Soviet defencemen Sergie Babinov (4) and Valeri Vasilyev (6). The Soviet team won 6-0 and took the cup 2-1 in games. (AP Photo/Bill Kostround)

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 Dinamo 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 losses – the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" match 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.

THIS IS A BREAKING NEWS UPDATE. Check back soon for further information. AP's earlier story is below.

MOSCOW (AP) – 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 Dinamo 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 losses – the 1980 "Miracle on Ice" match that gave the United States the gold at the Lake Placid Games and the 1972 Summit Series against Canadian NHL players.

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

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