Showing posts with label Filip Novotný. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Filip Novotný. Show all posts

Thursday, January 6, 2011

Czechs finish 7th at WJC

Petr Holík engages in a battle along the boards
against Slovakia. Photo:
The Czech Republic played its last game of the 2011 IIHF World U20 Championship on Tuesday night, beating Slovakia by a score of 5-2 to finish seventh in the tournament. They were led offensively by captain Jakub Jeřábek (2 assists), Martin Frk, and Andrej Nestrašil (each 1 goal and 1 assist). In goal, Filip Novotný stopped 19 of 21 shots for his second straight win.

Click here to see the official individual statistics, as compiled by the IIHF, for the Czech U20 team at the 2011 World Junior Championships.

Jeřábek was their leader and best player all tournament. The 19-year-old undrafted defenceman led the team offensively with 8 points (1 goal and 7 assists) in 6 games. Collectively, only 1 other point was recorded by a thin Czech defensive unit. Jerábek, who plays full time for HC Plzeň 1929 in the Czech Extraliga, made a strong case for being drafted in 2011, and suitors from the KHL may come calling as well.

Up front, the club was led by 17-year-old Frk. Frk wasn't even on the radar for inclusion on this team at the start of the season, but his strong season in Halifax garnered attention. Frk recorded 3 goals and 3 assists and, since his October birthdate means that he won't be eligible for the NHL Entry Draft until 2012, he will almost certainly return next year and be counted on as one of the team's offensive leaders. Michal Hlinka also scored 3 goals and added 1 assist, and Antonín Honejsek had 2 goals and 2 assists.

In goal, the team was definitely hurt by the absence of Petr Mrázek of the Ottawa 67's, and were forced to alternate between Extraliga backups Marek Mazanec and Novotný. While better results may have been expected, they were often getting shelled with a weak blueline in front of them. Mazanec may now face more of the same when he returns to a Plzeň team that has had goaltending and defensive woes all season.

By finishing seventh, the Czech Republic will find itself next season in a group with Canada, the USA, and Finland, with either Denmark or Latvia being the group's fifth team. Again, they will be ranked fourth in their group and facing an uphill battle to reach the quarter-finals, though it may be slightly easier than it was this year.

From this year's club, only Frk, Bohumil Jank, Petr Holík, and Rimouski Oceanic teammates Jakub Culek and Petr Straka will be eligible to return. Dmitrij Jaškin and defenceman David Musil, a pair of 17-year-olds who missed this year's tournament with injuries, are also expected to be there.

Though the Czechs ended up in the relegation round, they were represented in the gold medal game of this tournament. Příbram-native Martin Fraňo was one of the referees of the game in which Russia defeated Canada 5-3 to claim the championship. The 28-year-old Fraňo, who is a referee in the Czech Extraliga, also worked the Canada-USA semi-final. In his early twenties, he spent a year living in Minnesota and worked as a linesman in the junior A-level United States Hockey League. Jaromír Bláha, from Újezd nad Lesy, was a linesman in the tournament and worked the Finland-Russia quarter-final.

Monday, January 3, 2011

Czech U20 men barely beat Germany to avoid relegation, U18 women start 0-2

Ondřej Palát scores his first of 2 to tie the game. Photo:
Andre Ringuette / HHOF-IIHF Images.
We know for sure now that the Czech Republic will appear at next year's World Junior Championship in Calgary and Edmonton, AB. By virtue of their 3-2 win over Germany on Sunday night, they can finish no worse than eighth at this year's tournament. But they didn't make things easy on themselves.

For the first time in the tournament, the Czech team didn't score the first goal. After a scoreless first period, Germany's Norman Hauner beat Filip Novotný early in the second to open the scoring. Michal Hlinka then tied it for the Czechs on a power-play five minutes later to tie the score.

Despite going 0-4 in Group A, Germany was not blown out in any game, and they hung around in this one as well. In fact, early in the third period, Marius Mochel scored to give the Germans a 2-1 lead. As the period reached the halfway point, the score remained unchanged. Then they received some help from an unlikely source. Ondřej Palát scored his first goal of the tournament with 9:16 remaining to tie the score. Then, as overtime loomed, Palát scored again with exactly 1:00 to play in regulation time to give the Czechs the 3 points they needed to clinch a berth in next year's tournament.

The Czech Republic was once again led by captain Jakub Jeřábek in this game. The 19-year-old defenceman from Plzeň 1929 chipped in with 2 assists and has been their best player all tournament.

Had they lost Sunday, the Czech Republic would have needed a win on Tuesday against Slovakia to avoid relegation. Now the game will merely determine who finishes seventh and eighth. Last year, the teams faced an identical situation, and the Czechs won to get seventh place and the 2-3-6-7 group for this year's tournament, which turned out to be a lot stronger than the 1-4-5-8 group that Slovakia got into. Of course, being that the top six positions of this tournament haven't been determined yet, there's no way to say which is preferable at this point. The fifth teams in each group for next year will be Denmark and Latvia, to be determined randomly.

Sweden scores against the Czechs at the Women's U18
Championships in Stockholm. Photo: Matthew
Murnaghan / HHOF-IIHF Images.
The Czech women's U18 team has lost its first two games at the 2011 IIHF Women's U18 World Championship in Stockholm, Sweden, but they still have a good shot at the quarter-finals. They were blown out 11-0 by the USA in the opener on Saturday, and then lost a tight game, 3-2 to the host Swedes on Sunday. The Czechs were outshot in the game 42-28, but stayed with the Swedes thanks to the netminding of Veronika Hladíková. Kateřina Solničková gave the Czechs the lead in the first period and then, trailing 2-1 in the dying seconds of the second period, Kateřina Kaplanová scored a buzzer-beater to tie the score. Lina Backlin scored the winning goal for the Swedes at 7:26 of the third period.

Despite the loss, the close showing against one of the world's leading women's teams is a considerable accomplishment for the Czech Republic, whose women's hockey program is trying to catch up to the powers of Europe. They will play their final group game on Tuesday against Japan, with the winner clinching third place and a spot in the quarter-finals.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Russia wins on NYE and goes to quarters, Czechs to relegation round

Marek Mazanec is unable to prevent Denis Golubev from giving
Russia a 3-1 lead. Photo: Andre Ringuette, HHOF-IIHF Images.
It was a showdown on Silvestr between too old hockey rivals, Russia and the Czech Republic. It was the very last game of Group B at the 2011 World Junior Championships, and there was a lot riding on it. The winner would finish third place in the group and advance to the quarter-finals, while the loser would finish fourth and be sent to the relegation round.

From the start of the tournament, the Czech Republic knew that making the quarter-finals would be a difficult task. And though they appeared so close to advancing, in the end they were so far.

Like they had in their losses to Canada and Sweden, they got off to a quick start, with Jakub Osrava getting the first goal at the 1:53 mark. And like those other games, the wheels came off the bus not long afterward. The Russians scored four goals in under eight minutes in the first period to put the Czechs in a deep hole. After getting pulled after four goals against Sweden, goaltender Marek Mazanec was pulled again on Friday at 6:28 of the second period after allowing six goals on 16 shots. Filip Novotný stopped 11 of 13 shots the rest of the way.

The final score was 8-3, with Petr Straka and Michal Hlinka scoring the second and third goals for the Czechs. In their four group games, the Czech Republic was led in scoring by captain Jakub Jeřábek with 4 points (1 goal, 3 assists). Martin Frk, Antonín Honejsek, and Hlinka each had 3 (2 goals and 1 assist each).

Russia was led in the game by a goal and three assists from captain Vladimir Tarasenko. Dmitri Orlov, Danil Sobchenko, and Yevgeni Kuznetsov each chipped in a goal and two assists.

With the win, Russia advances to the quarter-finals, and they will play Finland on Sunday. The winner will play Sweden, the winner of Group B, on Monday. The other quarter-final, also on Sunday, will feature Canada against Switzerland, with the winner playing Monday against the USA, tournament host and winner of Group A. The bronze and gold medal games will be played Wednesday.

The next task for the Czech team is avoiding relegation. They are joined in the group by Norway, Germany, and Slovakia. The top two teams will stay in the top group and play in next year's World Junior Championship in Calgary and Edmonton, AB. The bottom two will drop to the Division 1 tournament, their spots in the top tournament to be taken by Denmark and Latvia.

The Czech Republic's 2-0 win over Norway carries over into the relegation round, as does Slovakia's 2-1 overtime victory against Germany. Therefore, the Czechs currently lead the group with 3 points, followed by Slovakia with 2, Germany with 1, and Norway with 0. The Czechs play against Germany on Sunday and against Slovakia on Tuesday. A win in at least one of those games will be enough for the Czech Republic to remain in the top group.

Friday, December 31, 2010

Czechs fall to Sweden, face all-important game vs Russia on New Year's Eve

Jakub Jeřábek tries to protect the puck against
Swedish pressure. Photo:
It is said that the two powerhouses in Group B are Canada and Sweden. The performance of the Czech Republic against each team seems to bear an uncanny resemblance.

As they did against Canada, the Czechs struck early against Sweden, this time it was Milan Hlinka on a power play at 3:09. But then Sweden's Johan Larsson answered on a power-play of their own. As was the case against Canada, when they gave up a short-handed goal on a five-minute power-play, the biggest blow came when the Czechs trailed 2-1. This time, the knee-capping goal came when Jesper Fasth's seemingly harmless shot along the ice beat Marek Mazanec and Sweden took at 3-1 lead to the first intermission.

After the lead was increased to 4-1, Czech coach Miroslav Přerost made the curious move of replacing Mazanec with Filip Novotný in goal. With an all-important game against Russia coming tomorrow, it would seem that playing a rested Novotný would be the most sensible way to go if he was unhappy with Mazanec's performance. In any event, Novotný was beaten on the first shot he faced and Fasth had his second of the game to make it 5-1.

Just when all hope seemed lost, 17-year-old Martin Frk struck twice to bring the Czechs within two at the second intermission. His first was an impressive wrist shot that beat Swedish goaltender Fredrik Petersson-Wentzel to the stick side and the second was a slapshot from the point on a power-play. Both of his goals were assisted by team captain Jakub Jeřábek. Frk was thrown out of the Czechs' last game when he was penalized for spearing, and it was initially not clear if he would be able to play this game.

Eventually, it was all for naught, Sweden won 6-3, meaning they will face Canada on Friday in a showdown for first place in the group and an automatic berth in the semi-finals. As for the Czechs, they face Russia on Friday and, assuming Russia beats Noway, the game will determine which team gets third place in the group and advances to the quarter-finals and who will be sent to the relegation round. In Europe, the game will actually begin in the new year, at 1:00 CET on ČT4 Sport.

Click here to watch the Czech Republic-Sweden game in its entirety.

Monday, November 22, 2010

Czech preliminary WJC roster announced

On its website,, the Czech Ice Hockey Association has released a list of 41 hopefuls who will potentially represent the Czech Republic at this year's IIHF World U20 Championships in Buffalo, NY. The list will be reduced to 28 by the time the team leaves for the United States on December 15.

27 of those listed play in Europe, 23 of whom recently played for the Czech U20 team at a tournament in České Budějovice and Karlovy Vary. 19 play in the Tipsport Extraliga, while seven play in the First National League and one, goaltender Tomáš Král, plays in Norway.

The other 13 play junior hockey in North America: five each in the WHL and QMJHL, while three play in the OHL.

Six of the players announced played on the Czech team that finished a disappointing seventh at last year's tournament in Saskatoon and Regina, SK. They are goaltender Filip Novotný, defencemen Jakub Jeřábek and Oldřich Horák, and forwards Andrej Nestrašil, Michal Hlinka, and Michal Poletín.

Of all the players listed, only four have been drafted by NHL teams. Nestrašil in the third round by Detroit in 2009, and taken in 2010 were Petr Mrázek by Detroit in the third round, Jakub Culek by Ottawa and Adam Polášek by Vancouver, both in the fifth round. 

At this year's tournament, which runs from December 26 to January 5, the Czechs play in a tough group that includes Canada, Sweden, Russia, and Norway.

From the Czech Ice Hockey Association website, here is the list of players:


Marek Mazanec (Plzeň), Filip Novotný (Sparta Praha), Petr Mrázek (Ottawa, OHL), Tadeáš Galanský (Saginaw, OHL), Tomáš Král (Lillehammer, Norway), Šimon Hrubec (České Budějovice).


Jakub Jeřábek (Plzeň), Petr Šenkeřík, Aleš Sova (both Havlíčkův Brod), Dalibor Řezníček, Martin Matějíček (both Zlín), Adam Polášek (P.E.I., QMJHL), Adam Sedlák (Ottawa, OHL), Martin Pláněk (Znojmo), Petr Kousalík (Litvínov), Bohumil Jank (České Budějovice), David Musil (Vancouver, WHL), Oldřich Horák (Hradec Králové), Marek Hrbas (Edmonton, WHL), Michal Zacpálek (Sparta Praha).


Robin Soudek (Edmonton, WHL), Roman Horák (Chilliwack, WHL), Andrej Nestrašil (P.E.I., QMJHL), Ondřej Palát (Drummondville, QMJHL), Petr Holík, Jakub Šlahař (both Zlín), Dmitrij Jaškin (Slavia Praha), Jakub Orsava, Rostislav Marosz (both Třinec), Michal Hlinka (Vítkovice), David Tůma (Sparta Praha), Antonín Honejsek (Moose Jaw, WHL), Jakub Culek, Petr Straka (Rimouski, QMJHL), Tomáš Rachůnek, Adam Havlík (both Znojmo), Tomáš Filippi (Québec, QMJHL), Michal Vachovec (Karlovy Vary), Radim Heřman (České Budějovice), Michal Poletín (Slavia Praha), Tomáš Vondráček (Třebíč).

Coaches: Miroslav Přerost, Terry Christensen, Jiří Fischer 
General Manager: Petr Komers 
Goaltender Coach: Roman Višňák
Video: Jan Procházka 
Physician: Dr. Jaroslav Budín 
Treasurer: Leoš Mitáček