Зеркало — это совесть женщины: они ничего важного не предпримет, предварительно с ним не посоветовавшись. / М. Сафир





RT continues our series of reports featuring the competitors of the KHL, taking a closer look at the team that has won the most of trophies in Russian hockey, and lack only the Gagarin Cup -- Metallurg Magnitogorsk.

Three-time domestic champions, two-time Euroleague winners, Metallurg from Magnitogorsk -- one of Russia's largest industrial and mining cities -- are more often than not labeled as favorites in every tournament they participate in.

Meanwhile, the Kontinental Hockey League and its major trophy -- the Gagarin Cup -- remain elusive.

"From season to season we have the same aim -- play to our potential and get to the finals. Just as simple as that. The KHL has become a much stronger competition recently, so this season must be even tougher," Vitaly Atyushov, a Metallurg player, said.

Nevertheless, Metallurg have got significant reinforcement for the challenge ahead -- a new head coach -- Kari Heikkila, who led Lokomotiv to the Gagarin Cup finals in 2009.

"Of course, there's a lot of experience here... This team knows how to win. Of course, we have a new coaching staff, a new system and new players. And it always takes a while to get used to this system. And I think we're on the way," Heikkila said.

Georgy Gelashvili, who was named the league's best goalie then, has followed his coach to the foot of Ural Mountains.

"There's no point looking too far forward, making big plans and predictions. You should just work hard every day and see what happens. My sole aim is to help Metallurg lift the Gagarin Cup," he said.

The steelmakers have another ace in their deck. Last season Metallurg signed one of the greatest Russian players ever -- three-time NHL Stanley Cup-winner Sergey Fedorov.

The city of Magnitogorsk is definitely best known for its steel and iron works. The city's role during World War II cannot be overestimated, as it supplied much of the steel for the Soviet Army. At the same time, its location near the Ural Mountains made it relatively safe from the Nazi invaders.

However, European trends are certainly more evident here in Magnitogorsk. Especially when it comes to ice hockey, and a welcome addition that has come from West to East.

Of course, there is one other very important element -- great fans, who share the players' dreams of winning the KHL.

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