In Sports News this Monday: the Czech Republic’s ice hockey players win the Karjala Cup for the first time in 18 attempts; Barbora Špotáková becomes Czech Athlete of the Year for the sixth year in a row; the Czech men’s tennis team are preparing to meet Spain in the Davis Cup final in Prague; Viktoria Plzeň go top in the Czech soccer league; and the national team have gathered ahead of a friendly against Slovakia.
The Czech national hockey team racked up three wins in three matches to win the Euro Hockey Tour’s Karjala Cup for the first time in the competition’s 16-year history. The Czechs won the first match against Sweden 3-1, then downed Finland 1:0, with goalie Ondrej Pavelec earning the shutout, and won their final game on Saturday against Russia. The Czechs scored two on the powerplay in the first period, Russia was able to pull within one in the second, but 2:1 it remained until the final buzzer. The Kajala Cup was the only remaining trophy the national squad had never won.
The Czech national hockey team beat Finland 1:0 in their second game of the Karjala Cup in Turku on Friday, earning their second win of the tournament. The Czechs scored a few minutes before the end of the first period when veteran Petr Nedvěd hit the net from up close after a pass from Petr Koukal. The visitors then managed to defend the narrow victory, mainly thanks to goalie Ondřej Pavelec.
In sports news this Monday: Sparta and Plzeň clinch important wins in football’s Europa League while at home, three teams are tied on top spot in the Gambrinus Liga; in hockey, Jaromír Jágr’s Kladno draws all-time record attendance and Chomutov apologize for racist fans; and in tennis, the Czech pair Hlaváčková, Hradecká lose in the final of WTA Championships in Instabul.
The Czech Republic’s sole participant in the Kontinental Hockey League, Lev Praha, fired their head coach Josef Jandač on Saturday after a series of seven defeats, most recently 2:3 to CSKA Moscow in Prague on Thursday. The club’s general manager Normunds Sejejs, said Josef Jandač had played an important role in the build-up to Lev’s first season in the KHL but the club’s recent results were too disappointing. Lev Praha will be managed by Mr Jandač’s assistants until the international break. The club has also signed St Petersburg, and Czech international goalie Petr Štěpánek, to improve its performance.
In Sports News this Monday: Czechs beat Malta in World Cup qualifier; Sparta breaks losing streak while Jágr misses three chances against Litvínov; Štěpánek wins doubles title with Paes at Shanghai Masters tennis championship; Velká Pardubická steeplechase ends with a disappointment for Josef Váňa; European champion Dryml misses top three spots at the Golden Helmet speedway race.
The decision by No. 39 – legendary Czech goalie Dominik Hašek – to retire for a third and final time from hockey drew reaction in media around the world on Tuesday and Wednesday. The two-time Stanley Cup winner and gold medal champion from Nagano ’98 opted to hang up the skates after negotiations with a final NHL team proved fruitless. The 47-year-old Hašek had been preparing for a return to the ice in the hope of playing in the NHL again – first in the minors if need be. No deal was reached in the end. Germany’s focus.de noted it was the end of a hockey icon, while former goalie Darren Eliott told USA Today that Hašek, known as the Dominator, could just as easily been nicknamed the Innovator – referring to Hašek’s now famous acrobatic style, often doing whatever it took, even throwing his stick, to keep pucks out of the net.
The legendary Czech hockey goalkeeper Dominik Hašek has announced his retirement. In an interview for the Czech daily Sport, the 47-year-old “Dominator” said he had been preparing for another season in the NHL but received no offers from any of the clubs. The 1998 Olympic champion and two-time Stanley Cup winner, who won six Vezina Trophies for best goaltender in the NHL said he had received some offers to play in Europe, but had decided to end his career.
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