“It was not a performance I would have imagined. We had problems with the hockey level of Slovaks, we did not even adapt to their pace and we lost pucks. I was also bothered by a large number of stick fouls, “coach Kari Jalonen told Czech Television, who had to do without Czech assistants at the switch.
Martin Erat is in the USA for family reasons and Libor Zábranský senior was evaluated by hygiene as a risky contact for covid and because he did not have a negative test in his hand, he did not participate in the match. The Finnish coach was helped during the match by his compatriot Kalle Kaskinen, who is in charge of the video for the national team.
The Slovaks in the group with four holders of Olympic bronze in Beijing started their first match test quite carefully, but gradually increased their activity. And when Kodýtek found himself on the bench for chopping, the home team quickly used the power play. After a fight at the left guard, Krištof won the puck, passing to Čerešňák, who used the free space, drove more on the axis of the field and shot Kváča with a hard blow.
But 70 seconds later it was leveled. Holík sent the puck for the defense to the started Blümel, who after a short loop into the backhand managed to outsmart the Slovak goalkeeper. The Czechs came to life a lot and could turn the score around. Cienciala went around the goal with the puck and served it to Zdráhal, whose prompt shot was stopped by Tomek.
At the end of the first period came another weakening of the national team, in which Flek got a promising chance, but narrowly missed at the end. However, the next act already belonged to the Slovaks, who, with twelve players from the Czech extra league, managed to disrupt the rough start of the national team with a good attack.
Only 107 seconds were played in the second period, when Kollár offered the puck to Tamáši, who got rid of the defending player with a nice maneuver and got to the left circle, from where he crossed Kváča with a cross shot. Kollár immediately took the disc for him, Tamáši made the national team debut with a goal.
The Czech Republic was beginning to be happy. In the power play, the Banská Bystrica striker got to the pointed disc, which, however, readily lay down on Kváč’s back. However, the goal at 3: 1 came soon when Minárík rebounded Ščotka, with the obtained puck he went around the goal and played for the left free Rosandič, who did not give the Liberec teammate Kváč a chance to hit with a shot under the top bar.
“We did not hold the system of defense correctly, the Slovaks repeatedly found a loophole for us there,” regretted the Karlovy Vary center Jan Hladonik, who was able to correct the score in the 33rd minute. he stirred in front of Tomk and then wanted to go into the forehand loop, but the home goalkeeper read his intentions perfectly and stabbed him with a stick.
Czech hockey players lacked priority and peace, Slovakia had the upper hand in the game. Chances of Faško-Rudáš and Lántoši were eliminated by Kváč, on the other hand Tomek did not have to deal with difficult situations. The suffering of the national team in the final, which manifested itself last Friday in Chomutov in a 0: 2 loss to the Germans, was also visible in Spišská Nová Ves. The final power play amplified by the Czech power play did not have an effect either.
|Euro Hockey Challenge in Spišská Nová Ves|
|Slovakia – Czech Republic 3: 1 (1: 1, 2: 0)|
|Goals and recordings: 9. Čerešňák (Krištof, Liška), 22. Tamáši (Kollár, Ivan), 29. Rosandič (Minárik, Sukeľ) – 10. Blümel (Holík, Kaňák). Judges: Snášel, Korba – Šoltés, Štencel (all SR). Exclusion: 3: 4. Utilization: 1: 0.|
|Slovakia: Tomek – Rosandič, Čerešnák, Jánošík, Bučko, Ivan, Mudrák, Koch, Romančík – Liška, Krištof, Lantoši – Mucha, Sukeľ, Faško-Rudáš – Valach, Tamáši, Kollár – Honzek, Mikúš, Minárik. Coach: Craig Ramsay.|
|Czechia: Kváča – Zábranský, Ščotka, Jeřábek, Krejčík, Jiříček, Sklenička, Budík, Kaňák – Blümel, Holík, Smejkal – Zdráhal, Černoch, Cienciala – Kousal, Kodýtek, Flek – Beránek, Hladonik, Fridrich. Coach: Kari Jalonen.|