In Sports News: Czech tennis player Tomáš Berdych is downed by American Andy Roddick in the final of the Miami Masters but becomes the country’s No.1 ranked player; Hockey’s Slavia win a crucial Game 3 in their semi-final series against Vítkovice, while Pardubice take a 2-0 lead in their series against Liberec; in football Sparta tie with Plzeň to hold on to a slim lead atop the league standings; and in Champions League action Tomáš Rosicky’s Arsenal eke out a 2:2 draw against Barca.
In hockey action on Thursday Atlanta Thrashers Czech goalie Ondřej
Pavelec put in a solid game, blocking a total of 22 shots, including five
by Alexandr Ovechkin, but was unable to stop his team’s 2:1 loss to
Washington. Atlanta are fighting for a final playoff spot in the Eastern
In another game, Czech defenceman Roman Polák, who plays for St Louis, was quick to drop the gloves against Nashville forward Colin Wilson - in the Blues' goal crease. Wilson, hit several times, had the last word though, scoring once in a 3:2 turnaround against the Blues - a game they had led 2:0.
Vítkovice have completed the line-up for the semi-final playoffs in Czech
ice hockey’s Extraliga. The north Moravian club overcame Sparta Prague
3:1 at home on Monday evening to win the best-of-seven tie 4:3 on games.
That result sets up something of a grudge match against Slavia Prague in
the semis, with Vítkovice’s coach Alois Hadamczik not on good terms
his opposite number at Slavia, Vladimir Ruzicka. The other Extraliga
semi-final features Pardubice and Liberec.
Meanwhile, Marian Jelínek is to stay on as manager of Plzeň next season. The club came first in the Extraliga in the regular season, but were knocked out in the playoff quarter-finals.
In Sports News this Monday: there are upsets in the playoffs of ice hockey’s Extraliga, with the clubs who came first and second in the regular season both exiting in the quarter-finals for the first time ever; Sparta Prague pull ahead in the Czech soccer league with a 3:0 win over Brno; Vendula Frintová takes a top triathlon prize in Australia; and former European footballer of the year Pavel Nedvěd takes part in the Prague Half Marathon.
A play-off game of the top Czech hockey league was postponed on Wednesday after a fan in the audience died of heart attack. The 59-year-old man collapsed in the 5th minute of the quarterfinal best-of-seven game between Vítkovice and Sparta Prague; he died in the stadium despite resuscitation attempts by a doctor in the audience and by paramedics who arrived at the stadium. The man, who had a history of heart illness, was declared dead after more than 30 minutes. At the same time, Sparta Prague player Jakub Korejs was injured after hitting the sideboard and was taken to hospital with spinal injuries. The referees interrupted the play; both teams later agreed to finish the game on Thursday, and postpone the remaining games of the series by one day.
The ice hockey goaltender Tomáš Vokoun has said that he will play for the Czech Republic in May’s World Championship in Germany. Vokoun, who is 33, had previously said February’s Olympic Games in Vancouver would be his last international tournament. The goalie said he wanted to help coach Vladimír Růžička and the whole of Czech hockey. By contrast, forward Jiří Hudler, who was left out of the squad for Vancouver, has said he would turn down a call-up for the World Championship.
Mission from the Kontinental Hockey League visited the city of Hradec Králové, eastern Bohemia, on Thursday to inspect the local hockey arena. Although no official report has been released, vice president of the KHL’s executive committee Vladimir Shalayev said he saw no reasons why KHL games could be played at the local arena. The hockey club Lev Hradec Králové applied to join the KHL, starting with the next season. If successful, it would be the first Czech hockey club to join the competition, considered to be strongest hockey league in Europe.
In Sports News: Czech downhill skiers clinch a sensational win in the World Cup Nations Teams event in Garmisch-Partenkirchen; football’s Sparta eke out last-minute win against Mladá Boleslav; Baroš scores in his first game back for Galatasaray; in hockey, Slavia and Liberec become the last two teams to reach the quarterfinals; Czech athletes post disappointing results at World Indoor Athletics championships.
The head of the Czech ice hockey association’s disciplinary committee, Stanislav Šulc, stepped down on Friday. Mr Šulc resigned over criticism concerning the committee’s decision to punish a top league player who purposefully injured his opponent in Tuesday’s play off game between Liberec and České Budějovice. The committee banned Liberec’s Stanislav Bartovič for one game but other extraliga teams as well as many fans thought the penalty was too light.
In the NHL on Wednesday, Czech hockey player Tomáš Fleischmann scored
the overtime winner for the Washington capitals over Carolina. The goal
came in the 64th minute and the final score was 4:3. The goal was
Fleischmann’s 19th so far this season. The player, who was one of the
more effective on the national team at the recent Winter Olympics, was
benched the last game for Washington; after the match he expressed hope
that the goal would help his place on the roster.
In other action, Radim Vrbata scored a penalty shot that helped Phoenix down Vancouver 4:3. The win is Phoenix’s 40th this season, a record the team has matched only once before, in the 2001/2002 season.
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“The only solution is political” – Organisers of major anti-government protests in Czechia announce plans for the future