SOCHI, Russia (AP) — Thirty-four years after the "Miracle On Ice," Russian President Vladimir Putin made sure he was in the house when his team played the Americans at home.

Putin was in attendance for the highly anticipated men's hockey game between Russia and the United States on Saturday.

Putin sat with IOC President Thomas Bach behind a railing at the Bolshoy Ice Dome and took in the action for what was one of the marquee events of the Olympics to this point. The two teams are considered among the favorites for the gold medal and hockey is a revered sport in Russian culture.

Putin spent some time before the game at a Sochi cafe and replied "I hope so" when asked if he thought the Russians would beat the Americans.