Jaromír Jagr, the Czech ice-hockey star, has pledged his support for the right-of-center Civic Democrats in the upcoming lower house elections due to take place over the weekend. On Wednesday, the leader of the party, Petr Nečas, said at a news conference that he appreciated the hockey player’s long lasting support for the Civic Democrats. He added that the party did not want to ride on the wave of Mr. Jagr’s popularity, but that rather, the hockey star’s support was a testimony to the values that the Civic Democrats promoted.
The Czech hockey team is fresh from its gold medal win at the World Championship in Germany, but many in the country are wondering what will come next for the national team. Ahead of the tournament, coach Vladimír Růžička promised he would be stepping down, handing the reins to his successor Alois Hadamczik. Curiously, it is the second time Růžička has won gold at the Worlds only to be followed by Hadamczik and there are a number of challenges that the new coach will face.
The Czech ice hockey forward Roman Červenka is leaving Slavia Prague to join compatriot Jaromír Jágr at Omsk. The most productive player in the Czech elite league last season has signed a two-year deal with the Russian club, it said on its website on Tuesday. Červenka, who is 24, was a member of the Czech squad that won the World Championship at the weekend. He had said he planned to move to the NHL, but received a more lucrative offer from Omsk.
The Czech Republic has won the World Championship in ice hockey, defeating Russia 2:1 on Sunday evening. It is the sixth time since the break-up of Czechoslovakia that the Czechs have won the title. The national team took the lead just 20 seconds into the game on a goal by Jakub Klepiš. Russia almost tied it in the first period, scoring a mere second after the buzzer had gone. In the second period, the Czechs’ Tomáš Rolinek made it 2:0, while in the third, Russia’s Pavel Datsyuk managed to score on the powerplay with 36 seconds remaining. But the Czechs were able to hold on for the win – their fifth straight in seven days. In the ceremony that followed, the gold medals were handed out by Czech President Václav Klaus.
In related news, the national hockey team touched down at Prague’s international airport on Monday 14 hours after beating Russia at the World Championship in Germany. The team was greeted by hundreds of fans who came out to show their support and congratulate the team on its success. Later, thousands more waved flags and cheered as the team arrived to greet fans at Prague’s Old Town Square. The Czech national squad was one of the biggest surprises in this year’s tournament, winning with only four players from the NHL, compared to more than 12 for Russia. The team also had to win five straight games in order to clinch the title, after doing poorly in the opening round and coming close to not qualifying for the quarterfinals for the first time in the country’s history. Both the quarterfinals and the semis went to penalty shots against Finland and Sweden, before the Czechs could face the tournament-favourites Russia.
The Czech Republic’s ice hockey players have scored a victory that will live long in the memory, taking gold at the World Championship on Sunday night after a thrilling final win over Russia. A Czech squad featuring several relatively unknown players defied the odds to take the trophy – sending fans around the Czech Republic into ecstasy.
The Czech Republic advanced to the final round of the World Ice Hockey Championship defeating Sweden 3:2 on Saturday. The third round of normal play ended 2:2 after Karel Rachůnek scored eight seconds prior to the whistle. Penalty shots then decided the game with goals from Lukáš Kašpar and Jan Marek. The Czech Republic will now face the winner of Saturday’s semi-final between Russia and Germany in the final round of the championship in Cologne, Germany, on Sunday.
In hockey, Montreal defenceman Roman Hamrlík racked up two assists and provided plenty of muscle in Montreal’s own zone on Thursday, helping his team defeat the Philadelphia Flyers in Game 3 of the Eastern Conference finals of the Stanley Cup playoffs. The game took place at Montreal’s Bell Centre, and was a must-win for the Canadiens who were down 2-0 in the best-of-seven series. The Habs clinched the game with a score of 5:1. Afterwards, Hamrlík a native of Zlín, was named the game’s first star. Montreal next play Philadelphia on Saturday and will be hoping to square the series.
Officials have announced that the Czech Republic will host the 2015 Ice Hockey World Championship. The news was announced on Friday afternoon after a meeting of International Ice Hockey Federation representatives in Cologne, Germany. The 2015 championship will be split between Prague and Ostrava in the east of the country. The last time the Czech Republic hosted the tournament was in 2004, also in the Czech capital and the Moravian city. The Czechs finished outside of the medals that year, beaten in the quarterfinals by the USA.
There were scenes of euphoria in Cologne on Thursday evening, as the Czech ice hockey team overcame Finland in a tense penalty shootout. The win represented a real breakthrough for the Czechs, who had previously been knocked out at the quarter-final stage at the World Championship four years in a row. They now face Sweden for a place in the final.
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