The Battle of Prague, i.e. the meeting of the four largest Prague universities, changed into a new coat and moved to the sports hall in Holešovice. First on the program was the duel between the Czech University of Life Sciences and the University of Economics, which the latter school won by a clear ratio of 6:2.
However, the highlight of the evening came after eight o’clock in the evening. The match between Charles University and CTU in the hockey University League was also broadcast live by Czech Television. So, at least for a while, the players could feel like real professionals, racing in front of thousands of fans.
8,854 of them arrived, which surpassed the University League’s previous record of 7,700 in the sold-out Rondo in Brno. However, it narrowly fell short of the absolute Czech record of university sports, which was set two weeks ago with nine thousand Ostrava derby.
However, it did not detract from the magical evening. The players and spectators enjoyed hockey. And although the duel looked straightforward at first, in the end it offered a real drama. Karlovka, who entered the match in the role of a slight outsider, built up a high lead of 4:0 thanks to lucky rebounds.
In such a match, the quality of which is close to the third highest Czech competition, but it is never decided. The students of CTU fought bravely and when they reduced the score to 3:4 four minutes before the end, there was a lot of drama. However, the hockey players of the largest Czech university have already managed to finish and in a deafening atmosphere rejoiced at winning the cup and also three points in the table of the University League.
“It is unbelievable. The pinnacle of the career for all of us,” UK goalkeeper Kristián Novák, who made 29 saves, gushed in a TV interview. Even the defeated team enjoyed the evening. “In front of such an amazing backdrop, we wanted to grab it, victory was close. We are very sorry, we conceded cheap goals at the beginning. It’s hard to find words,” said captain Michal Kučera with tears in his eyes.
However, the celebration of college hockey did not end at the stadium. The big afterparty continued. “We will enjoy it together. We have to repay the fans for their support with our presence at the afterparty. But we will drink in moderation,” said Kučera with a smile.
The chairman of the Czech Association of University Sports and one of the organizers Tomáš Hlaváč also praised the event. “I am very happy that we have shown that we can create a first-class university atmosphere in Prague as well. After excellent events in Brno or Ostrava, the capital city deserved a show of a similar format. A huge thank you goes to all the fans who put their trust in us and came to the event,” he said in a press release.
“The University Ice Hockey League is a project that we have been building for the last 5 years, and when I see how it grows and what events it can organize, of course it makes me very happy. All the more so when I see that students and visitors are having fun as well,” added Hlaváč.