In Sports News this Monday: the national football squad suffers a debacle against Denmark in World Cup qualifying; striker Matěj Vydra is named Championship Player of the Year; speed skater Sáblíková clinches her 10th career gold at the Worlds; hockey club Slavia win the opener of their semi-final series against Plzeň.
Třinec and Plzeň have joined Slavia Prague and Zlín in the semifinals of the Czech hockey league playoff. Třinec beat Sparta Prague 5:0 in the decisive match of the best-of-seven quarterfinal series on Wednesday night while Plzeň defeated Litvínov 4:3 in the seventh game of the series. The semifinal series kick off on Sunday when Plzeň face regular season winners Slavia; the best-of seven series between Zlín and Třinec starts next Tuesday.
In Sports News this Monday: the NHL’s Patrik Eliáš scores in a penalty shootout to down the Winnipeg Jets; the Česká pojišťovna hockey playoffs have gotten underway; football’s Baroš clinches hat-trick for Baník Ostrava; Čech’s misreads key play in FA Cup quarter-final; tennis player Petra Kvitová makes it to the final 16 at Indian Wells.
Czech legend Jaromir Jágr has won the first round of the Golden Hockey Stick, which is annually awarded to the best Czech ice hockey player, based on votes by trainers, hockey officials and sports journalists. The third round, which will be held in the summer, will decide if Jágr will receive the award for the eleventh time in his career.
Former members of the Czech national hockey team which won the Nagano Winter Olympics in 1998 met in Prague on Saturday, 15 years after their triumph. All but five players have arrived for the occasion; Jaromír Jágr, Milan Hejduk and Roman Hamrlík play in the NHL, Jiří Dopita plays in a lower Czech division, and Petr Svoboda, who scored the winning goal in the Olympic final against Russia, could not come from the US for work reasons. The team’s coach, Ivan Hlinka, died in a car crash in 2004. The team will launch an exhibit of photos and memorabilia from the Olympic tournament at Prague’s Veletržní palác.
The Czech ice hockey player Milan Hejduk played his 1000th game in the NHL on Monday. Hejduk, who is 36, marked the milestone with his first goal of the season for Colorado Avalanche in their 2:3 defeat to Jaromír Jágr’s Dallas. The right wing, whose career began with the Czech club Pardubice, earned a Stanley Cup ring with Colorado in the 2001–2002 season. Hejduk says this may well be his last season.
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