The Russian national ice hockey team held morning skates in Bratislava on Wednesday, a few hours ahead of their fourth match at the 2019 IIHF World Championship against Italy.

On Tuesday, some players from Ilya Vorobyov's side took part in a gym session, while others even played two-a-side football matches outside the Ondrej Nepela Arena, braving the cold and windy weather.

"As always we have things to work on [in the match against Italy], as we need to improve our performance with every game. There might be some new line-ups to test today and it will be a good opportunity to get closer-knit," said Ilya Kovalchuk, forward and captain of the Russian national team.

The 2019 IIHF World Championship kicked off in the two Slovakian cities of Bratislava and Kosice last Friday.

After winning three out of three matches at the start of the tournament, Russia is set to take on Italy in Group B on Wednesday night, at the Ondrej Nepela Arena in Bratislava.

Russia's next matches include Latvia on May 18, Switzerland on May 19 and defending champions Sweden in the final preliminary round clash on May 21.

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