With a new captain and several names on the Czech roster for the first time, the Czech national para ice hockey team finally made it to Ostrava. Immediately upon arrival, the team underwent mandatory testing and short isolation. What followed was training and a prep game with the Canadian team.
The primary change that appeared on the roster is the name of the captain’s jersey holder. The Czech team will be led into the Ostrava 2021 World Para Ice Hockey Championships by Pavel Kubeš. “It’s an honour and a challenge to be the captain of the Czech national team that I humbly accepted. I was surprised that the boys chose such an old wolf, like myself, but as I said, it’s a challenge,” said the new captain, Pavel Kubeš, about his new team position. “I started going to the ice earlier. We have the coaches to push us, but I try to lead by example, give advice to young players and organise my five,” he added.
The Czech national team has had its first day at the World Championships venue. The home team managed to return to the familiar Ostravar Arena environment well. “We feel good; we are more or less trying to match the training and game rhythms now. As for free time, there isn’t much to offer, and we spend it pretty much individually in our rooms,” said Jiří Bříza, the head coach of the Czech national team. Many new names appeared on the Czech national team’s roster. These players signed up for the national team after the successful championships in 2019. Radek Zelinka, Václav Hečko, Alex Ohar or Patrik Sedláček are among those who will put on the national jersey in Ostrava for the first time.
Training to the last second
The world teams will play several friendly games in the week before the championships as they had almost no chance to compare each other on the ice during this last year. The Czech team was the first to challenge the Canadian national team, with whom the Czech will play a double preparatory two-day game. The teams of Norway and South Korea have arrived at the championships venue on Sunday evening. After completing the mandatory testing, they will also jump into their tournament preparations in the Ostravar Arena head-on. The elite world para ice hockey eight should be complete on Monday.
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