Russian president Vladimir Putin has rung in his inauguration by starring in an ice hockey exhibition game against some of Russia's biggest stars.
Putin strapped on his skates in a gala match pitting a side of amateur hockey enthusiasts against a line-up of Russian and Soviet legends - such as dual Olympic gold medallist Slava Fetisov - at Moscow's Megasport stadium.
Watched over by friends such as ex-Italian prime minister Silvio Berlusconi (who was accompanied by a comely blonde translator), Putin took to the ice in the third period with the amateurs trailing 4-3 and almost immediately scored the tying goal.
He then set up teammate and well-known Russian saxophonist Igor Butman to put the amateurs ahead before the legends equalised to send the match to penalties.
In a story too good to be true, the decisive penalty fell to Putin and the 59-year-old did not disappoint, tucking a tame shot past the legends goalie to rapturous applause.
Watch Putin slot his penalty for the win:
While the legends may have gone easy on him, there is no doubt that Putin has improved immensely as a hockey player since his wobbly turn with the Russian national side in November:
A recent convert to the sport, Putin is said to take instruction from top-level former players and train into the early hours of the morning.