Tuesday, February 8, 2011

Week of international hockey in Europe begins Tuesday

There are a few times each season when European leagues take a week off so that players are free to represent their countries at various international events. Tuesday is the beginning of one of those week-long periods.

A total of five Czech national teams will take part at various events in various countries, the most prominent being the men's national team, who will take part in the LG Hockey Games in Stockholm, Sweden. This is the third of four Euro Hockey Tour events of the season. Currently, the Czech Republic sits in fourth place of the four-team circuit with 5 points. Russia leads with 15, followed by Sweden with 9 and Finland with 7. The tour will conclude with the Czech Hockey Games in Brno, April 21 to 24.

Jakub Jeřábek (left) battles for position with Canada's Quinton
Howden at the 2011 World Junior Championships. Photo: Rick
Stewart, Getty Images North America.
A player of note who will make his debut for the Czech men's national team is defenceman Jakub Jeřábek of Plzeň 1929. Jeřábek was the captain and best player for the Czech U20 team at the recent World Junior Championships in Buffalo, NY, and he will now get a chance at the senior level.

"(Sunday) night, manager Martin Loukota called and told me the basic information. I was taken aback. The coaches told me before that I might go to the Swedish games as an alternate, but I wasn't counting on it," said Jeřábek, upon receiving the news. "It's not only a thrill for me but also for my whole family. My parents are happy. The weekend will be a very tight fit for TV. On the phone I got a lot of text messages from friends and acquaintances."

The 23-man roster includes 12 players in the KHL, 10 in the Czech Extraliga, and 1 from Swedish Elite League.

Goaltenders: Jakub Štěpánek (St. Petersburg, KHL), Alexandr Salák (Färjestad, Sweden).

Defencemen: Petr Čáslava (CSKA Moscow, KHL), Tomáš Mojžíš (Dynamo Minsk, KHL), Ondřej Němec (Cherepovets, KHL), Martin Škoula (Omsk, KHL), Lukáš Krajíček, Martin Lojek (both Oceláři Třinec), Jakub Nakládal (Eaton Pardubice), Jakub Jeřábek (Plzeň 1929).

Forwards: Roman Červenka, Petr Vampola (both Omsk, KHL), Jan Marek (Atlant Mytishchi, KHL), Tomáš Rolinek (Magnitogorsk, KHL), Lukáš Kašpar, Jiří Novotný (both Astana, KHL), Petr Průcha (St. Petersburg, KHL), Petr Koukal (Eaton Pardubice), Ivan Rachůnek (PSG Zlín), Milan Gulaš (Mountfield České Budějovice), David Květoň, Martin Adamský (both Oceláři Třinec), Peter Jánský (Benzina Litvínov).

Coaches: Alois Hadamczik, Josef Paleček.
General Manager: Slavomír Lener
Team Manager: Martin Loukota 
Physician: Dr. Zdeněk Ziegelbauer 
Physiotherapist: Petr Janků
Video Coach: Jan Procházka
Masseur: Petr Ondráček 
Custodian: Zdeněk Šmíd
Media Manager: Jan Černý

Five games will be played at the Globe in Stockholm, while one will be played in Mytischchi, Russia. The games in Stockholm can all be seen in the Czech Republic on ČT4 Sport. Elsewhere, they can be seen online at http://www.ct24.cz/sport/. Here is the tournament schedule (all times are Central European, UTC +1):

Thursday, February 10:
19:30 Czech Republic - Swedem (Stockholm, ČT4 Sport)
20:00 Russia - Finland (Mytishchi)

Saturday, Feburary 12:
12:00 Czech Republic - Finland (Stockholm, ČT4 Sport)
16:00 Sweden - Russia (Stockholm, ČT4 Sport)

Sunday, Feburary 13:
12:00 Czech Republic - Russia (Stockholm, ČT4 Sport)
16:00 Sweden - Finland (Stockholm, ČT4 Sport)

Meanwhile, the Czech Republic will send a U19 team to compete in a five-team tournament in Mannheim, Germany. This will be the first assembly of a team of Czech-based players who hope to compete at the 2012 World Junior Championships in Calgary and Edmonton, AB. The team is being coached by national U20 coach Miroslav Přerost and includes one returning player from last year's World Junior squad, forward Petr Holík of PSG Zlín, the leading junior-age scorer in the Extraliga. The team would also surely include Dmitrij Jaškin of Slavia Praha if he weren't already competing for the U18 team.

The tournament also includes Finland, Germany, Sweden, and Switzerland. It will be played in a round-robin format which begins Tuesday and concludes Saturday.  

The aforementioned U18 team also plays in a five-team, round-robin tournament. This one runs Wednesday through Sunday and takes place at ČEZ Stadion in Hradec Králové. Two games will be held at the arena in Nový Bydžov. The Czech Republic will compete against Finland, the USA, Sweden, and Russia. Friday's game against the USA, which begins at 18:00 Central European Time (noon Eastern Time), will be televised by ČT4 Sport and will be available on the internet at http://www.ct24.cz/sport/. The rosters of all five teams will be likely similar to when they compete at the IIHF World U18 Championships in Crimmitschau and Dresden, Germany, April 14 to 24.

The U17 team will play in a four-team tournament in Moscow from Tuesday to Thursday. The same team will also compete in the European Youth Olympic Winter Festival in Liberec, February 12 to 19. Finally, the U16 team will play three games in Vierumäki, Finland from Friday to Sunday.

1 comment:

  1. Färjestad, Sweden, my team :) <3 cool that they've got something to come with in the czech hockey! :D