The Czech Republic’s ice hockey players came third in the Channel One Cup in Moscow at the weekend. After an impressive 6:2 win over Sweden in their opening match, the Czechs lost 5:2 to the hosts Russia, and by the same score-line to Finland. In that last game the Czech Republic were made to pay for their indiscipline, as they were served 22 penalty minutes, compared to only two for the Finns. Forward Jaroslav Hlinka had this to say after Sunday’s match.
“There were a lot of power plays. In the first period we found ourselves 2:0 down when we were shorthanded, I don’t know, six or seven times. On the other hand, in the remainder of the game we failed to score during our own power plays. That’s what decided it, the fact we didn’t make use of our power plays.”
The Channel One Cup is part of the four-nation Euro Hockey Tour, in which the Czechs lie in second place, behind Russia, who have a big points lead. By the way, the last time the Czech Republic won a competition on the tour was in Moscow back in 2002.
In the Czech Extraliga, three-time world champion Milan Hnilička has announced he is taking time out from playing for Liberec. The 35-year-old goaltender says he has been suffering from tiredness syndrome since the summer. But Hnilička says he isn’t planning to hang us his skates yet, insisting and that he really is just taking a break.
In the NHL, meanwhile, Patrik Eliáš continues his run of excellent form. The left wing provided an assist during New Jersey Devils 3:2 victory over Philadelphia on Sunday, extending his points streak to nine games. Eliáš has the most points of any Czech in the NHL this season.
Another Czech who is in excellent form at the moment is the footballer Milan Baroš. Baroš scored a hat-trick in Sunday’s Istanbul derby between Galatasaray and Besiktas, helping Gala to a 4:2 victory. Two of those goals were from the penalty spot, but either way it’s the striker’s second hat-trick in a month, and further evidence that the 27-year-old has got his mojo back after a few poor seasons. Baroš is the top scorer in the Turkish league with 14 goals, and has surpassed his previous best half-season when he scored 11 for Baník Ostrava in 2001 before leaving for Liverpool at Christmas.
Regardless of Baroš’s heroics, more attention will have gone to a Czech
striker in the world’s most watched soccer competition, the English
Premier League; Roman Bednář scored in injury-time to give
bottom-of-the-table West Bromwich Albion a 2:1 win over Manchester City.