In Sports News this Tuesday: Karlovy Vary records an historic ice hockey championship triumph; Slavia draw in the Prague football derby to take another step towards the title; there’s no rush to fill the Czech national football manager’s vacant spot; and a Czech tennis player humbles the mighty Serena Williams.
In ice hockey, Karlovy Vary have won their first extra league title in the club’s 76 year old history. The west Bohemian club took the title with a 4: 3 home victory against Slavia Prague on Sunday night to give them a 4:2 lead in the series. Karlovy Vary came back after trailing 3:0 in the game. The victory is revenge for the defeat suffered by Karlovy Vary in the finals last year against the same opponent, Slavia Prague.
This Saturday, Czech hockey star Jaromír Jágr flew back to the Czech Republic from Russia, where he has been playing this season with Avangard Omsk, saying he was fit and ready to play in the upcoming World Championships for his country. Omsk’s season ended on March 16, but the veteran Czech attacker stayed on in Russia to train some more on his own and with his club. He will start training with his Czech teammates next week in Liberec ahead of the country’s final matches in the Euro Hockey Tour.
In ice jockey, Karlovy Vary are a step away from winning the extra league final. The West Bohemian club won the fourth game in the series against Slavia Prague on Wednesday night by 6-4. The win gives Karlovy Vary a 3 – 1 lead in the series and the chance to take the title on Friday. Success would mean they become the first non-Prague club to take the title in three years.
In Sports News this Monday: football league leaders Slavia come a cropper in Olomouc, losing for the first time in 20 games; midfielder Vladimir Šmicer, 35, contemplates retirement as he goes under the surgeon’s knife; Marek Jankulovski threatens to retire from international football, adding to the woes of the Czech national team; and Karlovy Vary and Slavia Prague are tied at 1:1 after the opening games of the ice hockey Extraliga finals playoffs.
The governing Civic Democratic Party’s biggest donor last year was hockey star Jaromír Jágr, the newspaper Mladá fronta Dnes reports. Mr Jágr, who currently plays for Avangard Omsk in Russia, donated over 4 million crowns (over 202,000 USD) to the centre-right party in 2008. The hockey star told the paper that this was his way of voicing his view as a Czech citizen. The opposition Social Democrats’ biggest sponsor last year was a former teammate of Jaromír Jágr, Jiří Šlegr. Mr Šlegr gave half a million crowns (25,300 USD) to the Social Democrats in 2008.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic’s footballers come in for some criticism after a toothless performance in a 0:0 draw away to Slovenia in a qualifier for the 2010 World Cup – but a win over Slovakia on Wednesday could see them make headway in an open group; Tomáš Verner comes fourth in the World Figure Skating Championships, after changing his approach to free skating; and Slavia Prague again face Karlovy Vary in the finals of the playoffs of ice hockey’s Extraliga.
In ice hockey, Slavia Prague booked their place in the extra league finals after taking a 4-1 lead in the semi-final play-off series against Pilsen on Friday night. The exhilarating match went to penalties after Pilsen star Martin Straka equalized at 5-5 in the last minutes. The star of the penalties was none other than Vladimír Růžička, the son of the Slavia team manager, who gave his team the 6-5 victory on the night.
Czech forwards Radek Bonk and Martin Erat shined on Thursday in their team’s match against the second-place San Jose Sharks. Their team, Nashville, was down 2-0 at the start of the 2nd period, but Erat and Bonk combined for two of three flash goals, which turned the game around in less than three minutes. Nashville went on to win the game by a score of 3-2. Nashville has now moved up to eighth place in the western division – with eight games remaining.
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