In Sports News this Monday: Rudolf Kraj fails to become the first Czech professional world boxing champion after his WBC cruiserweight title fight with Italy’s Giacobbe Fragomeni is halted in the eighth round – Kraj says the referee favoured his opponent; in football, Sparta Prague get their first win under Jozef Chovanec; Bohemians 1905 go top of the second division and celebrate the anniversary of a famous league title; and Czech ice hockey player Rostislav Klesla accidentally knocks out the New York Rangers coach.
Czech forward Tomáš Fleischmann notched up one goal, one assist for the Washington Capitols in the team’s 4:3 win over Pittsburgh, helping turn around a game that already appeared lost. Fleischmann scored his team’s opener when the Caps were down 3:0 in the first two periods. In other hockey action, 32-year-old Florida Panthers goalie Tomáš Vokoun had a poor game against Minnesota. The goalie allowed four goals in two periods and was pulled by the team coach. Florida lost by a final score of 6:2.
New York Rangers won the second of two historic NHL ice hockey games at Prague’s O2 Arena on Sunday night. Rangers beat Tampa Bay Lightning 2:1, the same result as in the two clubs' first encounter on Saturday, which was the first NHL match ever played in the Czech Republic. Commentators agreed that Sunday’s game was far superior to the season opener, both in terms of play and atmosphere. The newspaper Sport reported that there was a high chance NHL games could be played in the Czech Republic again next year.
In Sports News this Monday: history is made with the first NHL games ever held in the Czech Republic taking place in Prague, New York Rangers twice beating Tampa Bay Lightning to get their season off to a perfect start; Tomáš Berdych wins his fourth ATP title and is once again the highest ranked Czech men’s tennis player; and Mladá Boleslav go top in the Czech football league, for 24 hours at least.
Some disappointment has been expressed over the first NHL ice hockey game ever held in the Czech Republic. New York Rangers beat Tampa Bay Lightning 2:1 in a curtain-raiser for the new NHL season at Prague’s O2 Arena in front of almost 17,000 fans on Saturday evening. However, Czech media outlets reported that there was little atmosphere at the game and, with a number of new players on each team, the standard of hockey was not particularly high. Tampa’s Czech forward Václav Prospal said afterwards that fans at NHL games normally did not cheer on their teams as much as supporters in the Czech Extraliga; Prospal said he himself was not disappointed with the atmosphere, and had not expected two sets of hard-core fans. The second game in the two-match series takes place on Sunday evening.
The first NHL ice hockey game ever held in the Czech Republic began at 6 pm on Saturday at Prague’s O2 Arena. Tampa Bay Lightning faced New York Rangers in the first of two matches, with the second being held on Sunday. The cheapest tickets were priced at CZK 1,990 (USD 111). NHL officials decided to hold the the first games of the 2008-2009 season in Prague and the Swedish capital Stockholm in order to increase the international profile of the North American league.
Jaromír Jágr, who plays for Russia’s Omsk, scored a winning goal in a Continental Hockey League’s match against Balshikha on Monday, making it the seventh consecutive victory of his team. After having registered two assists, he netted his club’s fifth goal in the 54th minute, setting the final score at 5:4.
In Sports News: after not scoring twice in a game for over two years, Milan Baroš does it three times in a week for new club Galatasaray; Slavia lead the Czech league – but who will be top going into next weekend’s derby at Sparta?; Olympic shooting champion Kateřina Emmons takes a career break to have her first child; and Czech ice hockey fans look forward to a historic first – the start of the NHL season in Prague.
Czech hockey star Jaromír Jágr set a new personal record for fastest scored goal. In action in the Continental League he scored just 31 seconds into the first period against Khabarovsk. He broke a league record set earlier in the week by seven seconds. Jágr’s Avangard Omsk went on to win the game by 4:0.