On Wednesday, the Czech Ice Hockey Association released its roster for the Channel One Cup, the Russian-based tournament that makes up one quarter of the Euro Hockey Tour. To no one's surprise, it does not include any players from teams committed to the Red Bulls Salute.
|Tomáš Pöpperle will play at least one|
game at the Channel One Cup. Photo:
Another significant omission is Petr Nedvěd, who captained the Karjala team and was the club's leading scorer but broke his jaw last Sunday and missed three games. Though he returned to Liberec's lineup on Tuesday and the tournament is still a week away, Hadamczik thought it best to leave him off the roster.
"While Petr returned to the league amazingly fast, from my perspective, there was a big risk," the coach explained in a press conference. "He was interested in playing, but the more I talked to him," he paused, "You never know what will happen. Just one reckless opponent and the injury can return."
In Kovář's place, Tomáš Pöpperle, who has backstopped Sparta Praha into first place in the Extraliga this year, has been chosen to form a goaltending tandem with Jakub Štěpánek. Though the latter is expected to be the starter, Hadamczik will only say that both will play, "I will not say who and what starts which game. Each goalie will play; one in two games, the other, one."
On defence, various circumstances, most related to injuries, mean that only Petr Čáslava, Jakub Nakládal and Marek Trončinský return, while a few changes have been made up front as well. Tomáš Rohlinek has been chosen to captain the squad.
In addition to the Extraliga and the KHL, which are usually used to stock the team, three players have been taken from the Swiss National League "A" and one from the Finnish SM-liiga.
The Czech team plays its first game on Thursday, December 15 in Chomutov, where they host Sweden, before heading to Moscow to play Finland and Russia on the weekend. As the game in Chomutov will be the first for the Czech national team on home ice since the September 7 plane crash that wiped out the Lokomotiv Yaroslavl team, a pre-game memorial tribute will take place to honour former Czech national team members Jan Marek, Karel Rachůnek and Josef Vašíček. A limited quantity of tickets for the game will be made available for sale on December 10.
Below is the Czech roster and tournament schedule:
Jakub Štěpánek (St. Petersburg, KHL), Tomáš Pöpperle (HC Sparta Praha).
Petr Čáslava (CSKA Moscow, KHL), Jakub Nakládal (Ufa, KHL), Ondřej Němec (Cherepovets, KHL), Lukáš Krajíček (Minsk, KHL), Zdeněk Kutlák (Ambri-Piotta, Switzerland), Marek Trončinský (Bílí Tygři Liberec), Jakub Krejčík (HC Slavia Praha).
Tomáš Rolinek (Magnitogorsk, KHL), Roman Červenka (Omsk, KHL), Zbyněk Irgl (Minsk, KHL), Jakub Klepiš (Dynamo Moscow, KHL), Lukáš Kašpar, Kamil Kreps (both Astana, KHL), Petr Průcha (St. Petersburg, KHL), Jakub Petružálek, Petr Vrána (both Khabarovsk, KHL), Petr Vampola (Geneva, Switzerland), Vojtěch Polák (Kloten, Switzerland), Petr Hubáček (Jyväskylä, Finland), Ivan Rachůnek (HC Sparta Praha), Michal Vondrka (HC Slavia Praha).
General Manager: Slavomír Lener
Head Coach: Alois Hadamczik
Assistant Coach: Josef Paleček
Video Coach: Jan Procházka
Team Doctor: Dr. Zdeněk Ziegelbauer
Physiotherapist: Michal Truc
Custodian and Masseur: Zdeněk Šmíd
Masseur: Petr Ondráček
Media Consultant: Zdeněk Zikmund
2011 Channel One Cup schedule (All times CET):
Thursday, December 15:
17:00 Russia - Finland (Moscow)
18:20 Czech Republic - Sweden (Chomutov)
Saturday, December 17:
11:00 Russia - Sweden (Moscow)
15:00 Czech Republic - Finland (Moscow)
Sunday, December 18:
11:00 Russia - Czech Republic (Moscow)
15:00 Sweden - Finland (Moscow)