In ice hockey, the Czech national team beat Belarus 5:2 on Thursday night in the last warm up match before the World Championships in Germany. The Czechs conceded a two goal lead but then pushed ahead in the closing stages of the match with three goals without reply. The squad flies to Mannheim, Germany, on Friday. The first World Championship match will be against France on Sunday.
The Czech hockey team is gearing up for the Ice Hockey World Championship in Germany, departing for Mannheim on Friday. A day earlier the team dispatched Belarus in a final warm-up match 5-2. What will it take for the Czechs to do well in Germany, after a disappointing finish earlier this year at the Vancouver Olympics? We look at a number of key factors.
Dominik Hašek has been named Czech ice hockey player of the season. Hašek, who is 45, also took the prizes for goaltender of the season and best player in the playoffs at a ceremony in Prague on Monday night, less than two weeks after helping Pardubice take the Extraliga title. The “Dominator” was one of the NHL’s most successful goaltenders of the 1990s and early 2000s and was on the Czech team that took gold at the Olympics in 1998.
The ice hockey star Jaromír Jágr says he regrets the fact that around two dozen Czech players from the NHL have declared themselves unavailable for the World Championship, which begins in Germany on Friday. Speaking after arriving at Prague Airport on Monday, Jágr said he did not want to judge the absentees, but said they may in time come to regard their decision as stupid. The forward, who is 38, signed a new contract with the Russian club Omsk on Sunday. The newspaper Sport reported that young Czech player Roman Červenka may choose to join Omsk rather than an NHL team, because of Jágr’s presence there.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic’s ice hockey players come second in Sweden’s LG Hockey Games – decent performances by less well players will please coach Vladimír Růžička, after 25 NHL players declare themselves unavailable for the imminent World Championship; with Baník Ostrava and Sparta Prague playing out a 1:1 draw, only two points separate the top four teams in the Czech soccer league with three games to go; Iveta Benešová wins the second WTA title of her career; and pole vaulter Kateřina Baďurová retires at 27.
The Czech Republic’s ice hockey team came from behind to Russia 4:2 at the LG Hockey Games in Stockholm on Sunday. It was the first time they had beaten the Russians in regular time for over two years. That result left the Czechs second overall in the tournament and third overall in the four-nation Euro Hockey Tour. Their next competition is the World Championship, which begins in Germany on Friday.
The list of Czech players who will not be available for ice hockey’s World Championship in Germany next month is getting longer. Martin Erat of Nashville, Washington’s Tomáš Fleischmann and Martin Hanzal of Phoenix all have injury problems, while coach Vladimír Ružička also expects Phoenix’s Radim Vrbata will miss the tournament. Several other players, including Patrik Eliáš – who captained the team at the Winter Olympics – were already ruled out. On Saturday, the Czech Republic were beaten 4:1 by Finland at the Swedish Games in Stockholm, meaning they can not now win this year’s four-nation Euro Hockey Tour.
Alois Hadamczik has been selected as the new Czech ice hockey manager. Hadamczik, who recently helmed Pardubice to the Czech Extraliga title, will take over from Vladimír Růžička immediately after the World Championship in Germany next month. He will sign a two-year contract and return to a post he previously held for three years; Hadamczik led the Czechs to a silver medal at the 2006 World Championship and bronze at the Winter Olympics the same year.
In Sports News this Monday: the Czech women’s tennis team are trounced by Italy in the Fed Cup semi-finals; Patrik Eliáš and Petr Sýkora pull out of the Czech squad for next month’s ice hockey World Championship, while there are calls to call up Dominik Hašek (45); and reports Tomáš Rosický could return to the Bundesliga are denied.
The Czech hockey club Pardubice won the country’s Extraliga title on Thursday after beating Vítkovice 3:2 in overtime, sweeping their opponents 4:0 in the final best-of-seven series. In Thursday’s game, Pardubice were behind 2:1 just two minutes before the end of the match, but managed to equalize and score the winning goal in the first minute of overtime. The title, fifth for the east Bohemian club and first since 2005, is being lauded as a major achievement for 45-year-old goalkeeper Dominik Hašek, who, after a slow start in the beginning of the season, became a key factor in Pardubice’s success. He won his last Czech league title 21 years ago.
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