In Sports News: Czech tennis No. 1 Tomáš Berdych faces Spain’s David Ferrer at the Australian Open; figure skater Michal Březina finishes just outside of the medals at the European Figure Skating Championships; snowboarder Šárka Pančochová finishes fourth at World Snowboard Championships; hockey forward Aleš Hemský is to begin training following an ugly ankle injury.
Czech ice hockey coach Alois Hadamczik has called up such veterans as Jaromír Jágr and Petr Nedvěd for the country’s squad for the Winter Olympics in Russia’s Sochi next month. Seventeen players from the NHL have been included in the roster, with Tomáš Plekanec of Montreal Canadiens being named captain. It will be the fifth Olympics for Jágr, who has not ruled out playing a sixth in 2018, when he will be 46.
Czech hockey legend Karel Gut has died at the age of 86. As defenseman Gut scored 34 goals in 114 international games for Czechoslovakia and was named the best defenseman at the 1955 world championships. He won three bronze medals with the national team at major tournaments but became more successful as a coach. He was in charge of the national team from 1973-79, winning world titles in 1976 and '77 and a silver medal at the 1976 Winter Olympics in Innsbruck.
The Czech U-20 national hockey team lost to Finland 3:5 in the quarterfinal of the world junior championships in Sweden on Thursday, and has been eliminated from the tournament. The Czechs were one goal ahead after two periods but received three goals in the third. The Czech goals came from Dominik Simon, Martin Procházka and Radek Faksa.
The Czech under-20 hockey team lost to the Germans 0:3 at the World Junior Championship in Malmo, Sweden on Monday. This places him in the last place in Group A, just one point behind the German team. To make it into the quarterfinal, the Czech team will have to beat the Slovaks on Tuesday. They had an unexpected win against Canada on Sunday.
The San Jose Shark’s forward Tomáš Hertl could miss the upcoming winter Olympic Games in Sochi due a keen injury. The 20-year-old Czech was injured in a last week’s game against the Los Angeles Kings. The first prognosis suggested he could be back on ice in a month’s time. But the Reuters news agency reported the player would have to undergo an operation which would almost certainly make him miss the games. The young Czech player had a great start into his first NHL season this year, scoring nine points in six games.
The Czech national hockey team beat Russia 2:1 on Sunday to finish first at the Channel One Cup, a pre-Olympic tournament in Sochi. The Czechs were one goal down when the hosts converted a penalty just after the start of the second period but scored two goals within the next four minutes; the hits came from Tomáš Naosek and Jiří Novotný. The Czech team previously beat Finland and Sweden at the event.
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