In Sports News this Monday: Olympic champion and javelin world record holder Barbora Špotáková is, entirely predictably, named Czech Athlete of the Year; Slavia Prague get off to a losing start in the UEFA Cup group stage – Aston Villa’s Gareth Barry tells us it was a game of two halves; and the Czech Republic’s ice hockey players finish second in Finland’s Karjala Cup.
The Czech ice hockey team were beaten 1:0 on penalties by Russia in their final game at the Karjala Cup in Helsinki on Sunday. Victory would have given the Czechs their first triumph in the opening event of the Euro Hockey Tour for the first time since 2002. In their previous two games they lost to the hosts Finland and beat Sweden.
The Czech Republic beat Sweden 4:1 in ice hockey’s Karjala Cup on Saturday. The Czechs were trailing 1:0 after the first two periods before rallying strongly in the third. In their opening game on Thursday the Czech Republic lost 4:3 to the hosts Finland on penalties. Their next and final game in Helsinki is against Russia on Sunday.
The Czech national ice hockey team thrashed Slovakia 7:0 on Tuesday night, in a game commemorating 100 years of the Czech Ice Hockey Association. Goals were scored by Jaromír Jágr and Roman Červenka among others in the course of the friendly, which took place in Prague’s O2 Arena. Shortly before the match, some 41 Czech ice hockey legends were inducted into the country’s Hall of Fame, which is also housed in the Prague stadium. The Czech team’s victory sets them in good stead for this week’s Karjala tournament in Helsinki, where they are set to play Russia, Sweden, and home nation Finland.
Tuesday is a real red letter day for Czech sports fans, as a number of special events are being held to mark the 100th anniversary of the foundation of the Czech Ice Hockey Association. The celebrations include the induction of dozens of people into the Czech hockey Hall of Fame, and culminate with a friendly game between the Czech Republic and Slovakia in Prague.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic’s handball team scores a famous victory over the Olympic champions France in a European Championships qualifier in Brno; the Czech Republic play Slovakia on Tuesday in a friendly game to mark 100 years of ice hockey in this part of the world; in football, Slavia concede their first goal at Eden this season, though two strikes from wonder-boy Necid gives them a 2:1 win over Brno; and the greatest Czech sumo wrestler ever calls it a day.
Czech hockey centre forward Tomáš Plekanec had his best game of the NHL season so far with the Montreal Canadiens on Saturday, notching up two goals and two assists to help his team sink the New York Islanders. The Habs won the game by a score of 5:4. Prior to the game, Plekanec had racked up just three points in nine matches.
In Sports News this Monday: Rudolf Kraj fails to become the first Czech professional world boxing champion after his WBC cruiserweight title fight with Italy’s Giacobbe Fragomeni is halted in the eighth round – Kraj says the referee favoured his opponent; in football, Sparta Prague get their first win under Jozef Chovanec; Bohemians 1905 go top of the second division and celebrate the anniversary of a famous league title; and Czech ice hockey player Rostislav Klesla accidentally knocks out the New York Rangers coach.
Czech forward Tomáš Fleischmann notched up one goal, one assist for the Washington Capitols in the team’s 4:3 win over Pittsburgh, helping turn around a game that already appeared lost. Fleischmann scored his team’s opener when the Caps were down 3:0 in the first two periods. In other hockey action, 32-year-old Florida Panthers goalie Tomáš Vokoun had a poor game against Minnesota. The goalie allowed four goals in two periods and was pulled by the team coach. Florida lost by a final score of 6:2.
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