Wednesday, August 3, 2011

Frk headlines Czech U19s in Strakonice

Although there is no IIHF World Championship for the U19 age group, European nations are beginning to concentrate more on this year in preparation for the following year's U20 World Championship.

Martin Frk is an unexpected addition to the Czech U19
roster this weekend. Photo:
Because the U20 event, also known as the World Junior Championship, is held mid-season, preparation for the following year's tournament has, until this year, begun near the start of the calendar year. The preparation "season" for the 2012 World Juniors began this past February with a five-team tournament in Mannheim, Germany, which the Czechs participated in.

This year, perhaps in response to poor results in recent junior-level internatonal tournaments, the Czech Republic and some other European nations have decided to get ready sooner. Preparation for the 2013 World Juniors, which will be held in Ufa, Russia, will begin this week in Strakonice. From Thursday until Saturday, the South-Bohemian town will host a three-team event that includes the Czech Republic, Germany, Slovakia and Switzerland. Additional events this calendar year will be held in Salzburg, Austria in September and Vaasa, Finland in November.

The biggest name on the Czech roster for the upcoming series will be Martin Frk, a projected first-round pick in the 2012 NHL Entry Draft. Frk was supposed to be in Canada already, preparing for the upcoming QMJHL season, but some unexpected red tape has delayed his arrival. "Martin was supposed to fly to Canada, but had visa trouble," said Czech head coach Jiří Juřík. "We are taking advantage of this, and he is with us in Strakonice and will play in the tournament."

Other CHL players on the Czech roster include Lukáš Sedlák and Matěj Beran, but Frk is the only player who has played in the World Junior Championships, appearing at last year's tournament in Buffalo. Players on other teams who also played include Slovakia's Martin Marinčin and Peter Čeresnak, Germany's Marcel Noebels, and Switzerland's Sven Bärtschi, a first-round draft pick of the Calgary Flames.

From, here is the full Czech roster and tournament schedule:

Goaltenders: Jan Dlouhý (Slavia Praha), Patrik Nechvátal (Litvínov).

Defencemen: Jan Předota (Č. Budějovice), Tomáš Kvapil (Lulea, Sweden), Štěpán Jeník (Slavia Praha), Tomáš Valenta (Zlín), David Roupec (Třinec), Tomáš Pavelka, Michal Žvátora (both Vítkovice).

Forwards: Martin Frk (Halifax, QMJHL), Michal Švihálek, Tomáš Rousek (both Č. Budějovice), Lukáš Sedlák (Chicoutimi, QMJHL), Jaromír Kverka, Petr Koblasa (both K. Vary), Jakub Herman, Radim Matuš (both Třinec), Matěj Beran (PEI, QMJHL), Jiří Půhoný (both Pardubice), Pavel Smolka (Litvínov), Tomáš Fořt (Zlín), Patrik Maďar (Liberec).

General Manager: Jaromír Látal
Head Coach: Jiří Juřík
Assistant Coaches: Karel Mlejnek, Miroslav Přerost, Jiří Fischer
Goaltending Coach: Roman Višňák
Physician: Dr. Miroslav Budoš
Treasurer: Jiří Šrámek

Tournament Schedule:

Thursday, September 4:
16:00 Germany - Switzerland
19:15 Czech Republic - Slovakia

Friday, September 5:
16:00 Slovakia - Germany
19:15 Czech Republic - Switzerland

Saturday, August 6:
14:00 Switzerland - Slovakia
Czech Republic - Germany

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