In Sports News: Hockey club Třinec complete an electrifying comeback against Slavia to book a spot in the Extraliga finals; Czech goalie Vokoun confirms he will play for the national squad in the upcoming Ice Hockey World Championship in Slovakia; football league leaders Plzeň widen their lead over second-place Sparta; and racer Abraham suffers spill in second MotoGP race but still manages to come in seventh.
Last Monday Czech hockey club Slavia were a game away from making this year’s Extraliga finals against Vítkovice when they had regular season winners Třinec clearly on the ropes, with a 3:1 stranglehold on the series. Fans must have thought surely they couldn’t lose games three-in-a-row. But alas for them and the team, that is exactly what happened. Last Friday saw it all come down to a final game 7. Třinec, playing at home, came storming out of the gates and scored just 47 seconds in, David Květoň giving goalie Kopřiva no chance.
In the second period, Slavia fared far worse, allowing another three goals which put Třinec firmly in the driver’s seat. The Prague team got two back in the third, but it was too little, too late: the game finished with a final score of 5:2.
After the game, here’s what forward Martin Růžička (who racked up eight goals in the series against Slavia) had to say:
“Being down 3:1 really tested us: something had to change. The team showed a lot of character and the main thing is we were able to dig ourselves out of the hole. We were more focussed, we took more shots on goal, and played a simpler game. We didn’t ‘overthink’ it and it worked.”
Interestingly, neither Třinec nor Vítkovice have ever clinched the championship title before, so now one of the two teams will make history. The best-of-seven final series begins later on Monday.
In other hockey news, the Czech national team is slowly coming together ahead of the upcoming Ice Hockey World Championships. This year’s championship, the 75th inception, promises to be a special one for Czech players not only because they will be defending their title from last year in Germany, but because they will be doing so in neighbouring Slovakia. The team’s long-time number one starting goalie Tomáš Vokoun, who plays for the Florida Panthers who are out of NHL playoff contention, confirmed to team coach Hadamczik he will play, as has Omsk’s Jaromír Jágr. New Jersey Devil’s Patrik Eliáš, who scored a hat-trick against Philadelphia most recently, will also play, hoping to win his first gold at the World Championships.
Already the Czech team, in a preparation game, defeated Norway by a score of 2:1. The championship, to be played in Bratislava and Košice, begins at the end of the month.
The chances of Prague football club Sparta defending last year’s championship title dimmed considerably at the weekend after the team lost disappointingly to Jablonec by a score of 2:1. Three weeks ago, Sparta were only two points behind leaders Plzeň but have seen plummeted down to eight. Players on Saturday complained of poor refereeing (when they felt they should have been awarded a penalty) but nevertheless had little choice but to shoulder the blame for the loss.
Plzeň, meanwhile, caused all kinds of trouble for last-place Ústí nad Labem, who lost by a score of 5:0. Only eight rounds remain in the 2010/2011 season, meaning Plzeň are looking fairly comfortable at the moment.
Czech motorcycle rider Karel Abraham finished in seventh spot in only his second race in the MotoGP. In the event at Spain’s Jerez, the rookie-rider Abraham moved up from a lowly 17th starting position, showing impressive skills on the rain-slicked track. His vehicle slipped mid-way through the race bringing him to the ground, but with a little help he was able to restart and recover on his bike, which suffered a few dents and a partially-damaged brake. Abraham said afterwards he was annoyed that he had fallen; all the same the 21-year-old has made clear he is one to watch. After the first two events on the circuit the rookie is in 10th place in the overall rankings.
Language exams for foreigners seeking permanent residency permit to become tougher
Gunman kills six patients in Ostrava hospital, two more fighting for their lives
Czech teenager builds second-largest ever Millennium Falcon LEGO model
Press: Era of 100-crown lunch special is over, as food prices rocket
Misha Glenny: Organised crime is an important part of Czech economy – and corruption is its twin sibling