Up and down, down and up, like on a rollercoaster. That is what simply defines what has been happening to the Czech teams in the past days and weeks. Let’s take a look.
On the 28th October 2017, exactly 99 years after the state of Czechoslovakia was established, the Slovak champions HbK Hokejmarket Skalica hosted the Czech champions HC Kert Park Prague in their The Palety Arena. The game promised to be a great battle of two teams who were not considered as the main title contenders in their domestic leagues at the start of last season.
Skalica started strong and created some chances at the beginning of the match, however, it was the team from the Czech capital levelling the pace of the Slovaks and leading both after the first (0-1) and second period (1-2). The third period was a now or never for Skalica and they produced serious pressure on Petr Mikl in Kert Park’s goal.
With only 25 seconds to go, Jaroslav Martinusik, a Slovak international, found the loose ball in front of the goal, made it 2-2 and sent the match to overtime. Since neither of the teams were able to find the net in the extra time, it was the penalty shootout which had to decide the winner of the match. Kert Park’s only successful scorer was the Czech international Martin Krucek, whereas Skalica scored twice and erupted into celebrations after winning the cup In a thrilling game of ball hockey.
You can watch the penalty shootout here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FmFMeCEp6XI
The win of Skalica also means that the total score of Slovak v Czech wins in the Supercup is 4-2 to Slovakia!
Slovakia U20 v Czech Republic U20 – December friendly matches
The preparation for the ISBHF 2018 World Junior Championships in Europe is underway. On December 8th and 9th, the teams will meet twice in the Slovak city of Zilina to compete and set off the journey to St. John’s, with both countries hoping to claim gold in the venue of the 2018 WJC.
The Slovak nomination is available here: http://www.hokejbal.sk/?q=clanok/nominacia-reprezentacie-u20-na-medzistatne-stretnutia-s-ceskou-republikou/1827
The ups and downs can be illustrated in the Czech league as well.
Kert Park recovered from their unlucky loss in the Supercup with a win against tough oppositions of Sudomerice and Most. Pardubice, 2016 champions, who were struggling to find their form in this year’s campaign, witnessed the return of Jan Bily and Pavel Kubes, and secured 9 points in the matches against Kovo Prague, Letohrad and mainly Hradec Kralove, their local rivals, moving them to 2nd place!
Hradec Kralove with Petr Novak in their squad surprisingly demolished Kladno 7-0 in their home arena. Josef Simunek, an 18-year-old forward who is a prospective player of the Czech U20 squad travelling to St. John’s, scored 4 goals in that game! A week later, everything was different, as Hradec Kralove lost 7-1 to their rivals of Pardubice. Ups and downs at the best!
Kladno bounced back from the defeat in Hradec by a 4-0 home win against Sudomerice. HBC Plzen’s form is unstable as well, with L-W being their recent form. They lost to Letohrad, but beat Kovo Prague 5-1 in their last match.
Lukas Soukup of Usti nad Labem made the game of Usti against Letohrad a one-man show. Even though it was 18-31 on shots to Letohrad, who have Jan Simara in their goal, it was him who scored a hattrick and secured a solid 3-1 win.
Most is a defensively strong side and lost to Rakovnik 1-2 in a shootout and 1-2 against Kert Park. However, with the veteran in goal, Pavel Brem, an ISBHF 2005 World Championship participant, they prove to be a tough side to beat even for the top teams.
Sudomerice, who were doing really well at the start of the season and even found themselves top of the table at one moment, are slowly going down the table. Instability is a serious problem of Letohrad as well, who seem to be doing better when under permanence of shots and then surprising the opponent on the breakaway. Kovo Prague are seeking their way to go up the table. With 9 matches played, they have only got 5 points and are sitting at the bottom.
Table of the CROSSDOCK Extraliga hokejbalu at the moment:
|1.||HC Kert Park Praha||9||34||17||23|
|2.||HBC Autosklo-H.A.K. Pardubice||10||28||26||19|
|3.||HBC ALPIQ Kladno||8||41||16||18|
|4.||HBC Hradec Kralove 1988||9||31||27||16|
|6.||Elba DDM Usti nad Labem||9||23||28||13|
|7.||HBC Rondo Most||9||24||23||12|
|9.||SK Hokejbal Letohrad||10||20||23||11|
|11.||TJ KOVO Praha||9||15||39||5|