From left: Tomáš Divíšek and Petr Sýkora. | Photo: HC Dynamo Pardubice
The battle of legends ended Pardubice’s celebrations of a century of club history. And the 5,587 spectators were certainly not bored during the exhibition. Milan Hejduk or Petr Průcha showed that they could still pursue professional hockey. In addition, the match was complemented by skill competitions and exhibition jokes. In the end, the Pardubice legends tied with the veterans of the national team 8:8.
After seven minutes, Dynamo was losing 0:2, but Mikeska and Průcha started a turnaround. And although the very active Klesla and Tlustý in the jersey with the lion on the chest participated in five goals, the legends shared the points.
“It was nice, mainly due to the fact that I met the boys again. We saw each other recently in February at a gala, but I always like to see them. Some I haven’t seen in a really long time. That’s what I was looking forward to the most,” explained Petr Koukal.
The 41-year-old center restored the working chemistry in the first attack with Kolář and Průcha. You could really tell that they understood each other…
“It was great with Količ and Průchič. It can be seen that they still have it in hand. And they also have a good physique.”
“It was great with Količ and Průchič. It can be seen that they still have it in hand. And they also have a good physique,” praised the only active hockey player at the entire exhibition. “But certainly not that I would feel any advantage,” he laughed.
At the same time, another world champion from 2010, Tomáš Rolinek, caught half of the match in goal. “He probably took more than he intended, took some good chances. The guys from the rep selection didn’t give us anything for free, so that’s a good point,” said Koukal with a smile.
Although Rolinek works as a manager of a first league B team, he meets Koukal in the Chance league. However, the old Pardubice gang doesn’t have many opportunities to get together. For example, Ján Lašák could not arrive due to work obligations with the Slovak national team.
But Hašek, Píša, Čáslava, Divíšek, Somík, Král appeared on the ice… The fans could choose who they would focus on.
Dominik Hašek in the Pardubice jersey. | Photo: HC Dynamo Pardubice
The organizers spiced up the whole event with various challenges, for example, Petr Sýkora won one point for Dynamo when he drove faster around the rink with a ping-pong bat and a ball that never fell on the ice.
The half-time raids, evaluated by the coaching jury, were performed by Mikeska in the mask of Fantomas and the popular Evžen Musil in the mask of a cowboy with a big hat.
And during a commercial break, a diver brought the 2005 Champions Cup directly onto the ice. The old case of the vandalized trophy (according to the rumors of the fans, it was also floating in the Elbe) came to life again.
At the same time, Petr Koukal also lifted her over his head three times. His relationship with the club where he lived the most famous moments of his career? “For me, it’s still the same – positive. We’re watching Dynamo, I’m watching it and I’ll be watching it. In addition, I live in Pardubice, so nothing will ever change for me.”
“For me, the relationship with Pardubice is still the same. I watch Dynamo and I will watch it, and I live in the city, too.”
He did not hesitate with the invitation, after all, during the rep break, he already managed a match in the second division Žďár nad Sázavou on Wednesday. He wants to always be in shape to fulfill the role of an important player for Kolín.
“I have a contract until the end of the season. Then it won’t even be the first league anymore. I said I won’t play 52 rounds anymore. We’ll see if I can try the regional competition when my health is good. But this is my last season in professional hockey,” he admitted.
“This is my last season in the first league.”
And if he doesn’t catch it in the cabin for participating in the Dynamo event? “They keep making fun of me,” Koukal takes it in stride…
Team Pardubice at the Battle of Legends. | Photo: HC Dynamo Pardubice
Battle of Legends lineups:
HC Dynamo Pardubice: Salfický (Rolinek) – Hašek (C), Píša, Novotný, Malinský, Jančařík, Musil F., Čáslava – Hejduk (A), Kolář, Koukal, Průcha, Sýkora, Divíšek, Somík, Král, Mikeska, Musil E.
Czechia: Pinc (Neuvirth) – Barinka, Ščerban (C), Němec, Novák, Pilař, Klesla – Irgl, Ton, Vlasák, Marha, Zelenka, Kudrna, Blatný, Varaďa, Tlustý.
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