Friday, May 20, 2011

7 Czech teams will compete for European Trophy

The European hockey season just ended on Sunday, but on Friday it was announced that the 2011-12 season would officially begin on August 11 with the European Trophy.

Sparta in action against Djurgårdens IF in 2010 European Trophy
competition. They will renew acquaintances in Stockholm on
August 13, 2011. Photo:
What began as the Nordic Trophy in 2006 as a pre-season tournament between Swedish and Finnish clubs, the event was expanded in 2010 to include teams in other European leagues. Last season, Sparta Praha was the lone Czech team to compete in the 18-team tournament which was won by Eisbären Berlin. This year, the tournament has been expanded to 24 teams, including seven Czech clubs. In addition to Finland and Sweden, there will also be clubs competing from Austria, Germany, and Slovakia. Last year, there were also clubs from Norway and Switzerland involved.

The 24 teams have been divided into four divisions of six, with Czech teams in three of the four groups. Sparta and Slavia Praha will play in the North Division, Bílí Tygři Liberec, Eaton Pardubice, and Kometa Brno in the South, and Mountfield České Budějovice and Plzeň 1929 will compete in the East.

Having Sparta and Slavia in the same group is convenient for teams travelling from other countries, who can play both teams on back-to-back nights. It also means that Prague fans will be treated to an August edition of their derby. The two teams will square off at Zimní stadion Eden in Prague's Vršovice district on August 20. Eden is where Slavia played its home games before O2 Arena opened in 2004. The club's training facilities and youth teams are still based there.

"When we've played summer pre-season games in the past, such as the Tipsport Cup, they attracted about 800 spectators. I think that a foreign team will attract even more," said Slavia general manager and coach, Vladimír Růžička, about what kind of crowds might be expected at Eden, which can accommodate around 3,000 spectators. "I'm hopeful that the games will be of good quality, even when they're played before the season."

Teams generally look at the tournament as a good way to get players into competitive games before the start of their domestic leagues. "In past summers, we had the Tipsport Cup, which won't take place this year," Kometa Brno coach Zdeněk Venera told's Jan Vacek. "We welcome the chance to play in this tournament to get a good look at our team in pre-season games against strong teams." 

Each team will play the other five teams in its group, plus one additional game against a team from each of the other three groups for a total of eight. The top two finishers in each group will advance to the playoff round, which will be a three-round, single-knockout event played in Salzburg and Vienna, Austria, December 16 to 18.

Below is the schedule of games involving Czech teams. Home teams are listed first. For a complete tournament schedule, visit:

Thursday, August 11
HC Sparta Praha - HV71 Jönköping (Sweden)
Adler Mannheim (Germany) - HC Bílí Tygři Liberec
HC Eaton Pardubice - Linköpings HC (Sweden)
Djurgårdens IF Stockholm (Sweden) - HC Slavia Praha

Saturday, August 13
HC Kometa Brno - Linköpings HC (Sweden)
HC Eaton Pardubice - HV71 Jönköping
Luleå HF (Sweden) - HC Slavia Praha
HC Mountfield Č. Budějovice - HC Plzeň 1929
Djurgårdens IF Stockholm - HC Sparta Praha

Sunday, August 14
HC Kometa Brno - HV71 Jönköping
Luleå HF - HC Sparta Praha
TPS Turku (Finland) - HC Slavia Praha

Thursday, August 18
Adler Mannheim - HC Kometa Brno
HC Bílí Tygři Liberec - HC Eaton Pardubice
Oulun Kärpät (Finland) - HC Plzeň 1929
KalPa Kuopio (Finland) - HC Mountfield

Saturday, August 20
HC Bílí Tygři Liberec - HC Kometa Brno
Adler Mannheim - HC Eaton Pardubice
HC Slavia Praha - HC Sparta Praha
Oulun Kärpät - HC Mountfield
KalPa Kuopio - HC Plzeň 1929

Sunday, August 21
EC Red Bull Salzburg - HC Kometa Brno
Tappara Tampere (Finland) - HC Eaton Pardubice

Thursday, August 25
HV71 Jönköping - HC Bílí Tygři Liberec
HC Slavia Praha - Jokerit Helsinki (Finland)
HC Sparta Praha - Helsinki IFK (Finland)
HC Plzeň 1929 - Vienna Capitals (Austria)
HC Mountfield Č. Budějovice - HC Slovan Bratislava (Slovakia)

Saturday, August 27
Linköpings HC - HC Bílí Tygři Liberec
HC Eaton Pardubice - HC Kometa Brno
HC Sparta Praha - Jokerit Helsinki
HC Slavia Praha - Helsinki IFK
HC Mountfield Č. Budějovice - Vienna Capitals
HC Plzeň 1929 - HC Slovan Bratislava

Sunday, August 28
HC Plzeň 1929 - Tappara Tampere
HC Kometa Brno - Jokerit Helsinki
HC Eaton Pardubice - Helsinki IFK
Oulun Kärpät - HC Bílí Tygři Liberec

Thursday, September 1
EC Red Bull Salzburg (Austria) - HC Mountfield Č. Budějovice
Saturday, September 3
HC Sparta Praha - Eisbären Berlin (Germany)
HC Bílí Tygři Liberec - Luleå HF
HC Kometa Brno - HC Mountfield Č. Budějovice
HC Slavia Praha - HC Plzeň 1929

Sunday, September 4
HC Bílí Tygři Liberec - Eisbären Berlin
Adler Mannheim - HC Slavia Praha
HC Plzeň 1929 - HC Eaton Pardubice
HC Mountfield Č. Budějovice - HC Sparta Praha

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