In ice hockey, the Czech Republic won their return match against Russia at the O2 Arena in Prague on Saturday night 2:1 after penalties. The win is revenge for the 3:4 defeat in Moscow on Thursday. The two matches are warm ups for the World Cup of Hockey being hosted in Toronto from September 17 to October 1. The Czech team begins the tournament against hosts Canada. On Wednesday, the warm up games continue in Pittsburgh, US, with a game against a North American team.
In ice hockey, new national coach Josef Jandač got off to a losing start in a warm up match for the World Cup of Hockey against Russia in St Petersburg on Thursday night. After going ahead, the Czech team eventually ran out 3:4 losers. Tomáš Plekanec scored in the 57th minute to close the gap but there was not enough time on the clock for the Czechs to tie. Jandač praised the performance of players up front but said there was more work to do on the defense. The return match will be held in Prague on Saturday.
Czech hockey player Jiří Hudler has reportedly signed a one year deal with the Dallas Stars, the hockey news site Today’s Slapshot reported on Wednesday, adding that the deal is worth $2 million. The 32-year-old forward finished last season with 10 goals and 35 points in an abbreviated 53-game season with Calgary and 6 goals and 11 points with Florida following the trade deadline.
The Czech Republic’s triumph at the Olympic Games in Japan’s Nagano in 1998 is to be created in an animated film, FilmNewEurope.com reported. Entitled Nagano – The Birth of Heroes the puppet-based film is being directed by Pavel Sadílek and will feature the voices of Vojta Dyk (as Jaromír Jágr) and Jiří Bartoška (Ivan Hlinka). It is due to premiere in February next year, on the 20th anniversary of the Nagano gold medal win.
A Prague court began hearing the case against former national ice hockey coach Vladimír Růžička on Thursday. Růžička is accused of fraud in a case focused on his time as a club trainer and allegations that he demanded bribes from parents for players to take part in the junior team. The allegations surfaced last year in April just before the ice hockey World Championships being hosted in Prague and Ostrava. Růžička has denied committing any criminal offense and said that he was offered bribes. He refused to give further details in court.
In ice hockey, San Jose Sharks Czech attacker Tomáš Hertl has signed a new two-year contract to continue at the club. The contract is reported to be worth 6 million US dollars. The 22-year-old’s current three year deal is coming to an end. Last season Hertl scored 21 goals and provided 25 assists in a campaign which led the Sharks to the Stanley Cup finals. Hertl is currently recovering from injury which resulted in him missing out on the last Stanley Cup clashes with Pittsburgh.
Veteran star Jaromír Jágr has crowned a successful season with victory in the Golden Hockey Stick poll of Czech ice hockey player of the year. The third most productive player in NHL history, who is 44, picked up the prize for the 12th time in a ceremony in Karlovy Vary on Saturday night. Jágr said that he had first been in the 10 best in the Golden Hockey Stick way back in 1990 and that it remained a huge honour for him.
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