Plzeň sustain first loss in 13 outings but retain advantage at top of Extraliga; Czech biathlon relay teams fail to impress in Hochfilzen; Sáblíková comes second in Salt Lake City for best result of season; and Plzeň draw Partizan Belgrade in Europa League.
The leaders of the Czech ice hockey Extraliga, Plzeň, were trounced 6:0 away by Hradec Králové on Sunday evening. It was Plzeň’s first defeat in 13 outings, but such was their advantage going into the game that they remain three points ahead with two fewer games played than Hradec Králové, who are in second. And the West Bohemians’ veteran forward Ondřej Kratěna told Czech Radio he wasn’t going to read too much into one poor performance.
“We didn’t start badly. But then we conceded a let’s say ‘random’ goal. That made us go to pieces a bit. They had two penalties against us – our goaltender Mira saved them, but still that threw us off our stride. We didn’t play well. We didn’t play well in defence and we didn’t create any chances, either. It was just a bad game.”
The Czech Republic’s women’s biathlon team came sixth in the relay at a World Cup event in Hochfilzen, Austria on Sunday. While that result was nothing spectacular, they still did far better than their male counterparts, who finished 18th after three of the four team members received penalty loops. But Michal Šlesingr said at least the final had been a spectacle.
“I think it’s interesting for the crowd when there are changes at the front and no team dominates the event from beginning to end. It’s interesting when there are lots of twists. That’s what’s great about biathlon compared to skiing alone – you never know until the final shot.”
The Czech speed skater Martina Sáblíková achieved her best result of the season on Sunday when she came second in the 3000 metres in a World Cup event at Salt Lake City in the United States. The multiple Olympic winner, who is 30, managed to reach the podium despite being reluctant to start after sustaining a back injury in the 1500 metres the previous day.
Viktoria Plzeň have just found out who they will play in the round of 32 in the Europa League. The Czech league leaders, who were in the seeded pot, will face Partizan Belgrade in the New Year for a place in the last 16 of Europe’s second-tier club competition.
Reigning Czech champions Slavia Prague celebrated the 125th anniversary of the club’s foundation with a gala evening at Prague’s Municipal House on Sunday evening. The event included the announcement of the results of a fan poll of Slavia’s best 11 ever, with the most votes going to the great 1990s striker Pavel Kuka.
Czech international Patrik Schick got his first start in Italy’s Serie A since May at the weekend. However, the rangy striker failed to find the net for Roma as they drew 0:0 with Chievo.