Two are fighting and the third is laughing. Kladno will remain in the extra league

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On Tuesday, April 2, the final of the Chance League between Vsetín and Zlín began. In the Wallachian derby, a lot is at stake, not only the overall victory, but above all the participation in the playoff for the extra league.

The fight for a place in the play-off for the extra league began at the legendary winter camp Na Lapači. Vsetín, who regularly ranks among the favorites of the Chance League, wants to avenge last year’s final defeat to his rival. Last season, the hockey players from Zlín rejoiced, winning 4:2 in the matches.

The most successful club in the Czech Republic entered this year’s final better. With its six titles, Vsetín is still at the top of the table in the number of championship titles in the Czech highest competition. He destroyed his opponent with eight goals and took a 1-0 lead in the series. Rematch is on the agenda today (Wednesday, April 3, 2024).

They are waiting for their opponent in the play-off in Kladno. The Knights are waiting for the third tie in a row. Twice the knights managed to keep the extra league. In the 2021/2022 season, they beat Dukla Jihlava 4:1. A year later they beat Zlín 4:0.

It is the third consecutive participation in the playoff that divides the Czech audience into two camps. Some are calling for direct relegation from the extra league, others are for maintaining the current system.

However, there is some unfairness to the clubs from the Chance League. If the final series between Vsetín and Zlín was decided only in the decisive seventh game, which is scheduled for Saturday, April 13, the winner would then have minimal time to regenerate and prepare for the playoff. After all, the first match of the tie will be played already on Wednesday, April 17.

The exacting schedule is one of the reasons why Chance League participants are not doing well in the playoffs. For comparison, Kladno played their last match on Sunday, March 3. He thus has enough time to rest, forget about the unsuccessful extra-league year and prepare for the peak of this season.

Kladno will go into the playoff in a better position, even if game practice will be understandably lacking at the beginning. But they can rely on extra-league experience and much-repeated rest.

Vsetín has a quarter-final series with Přerov, which he managed with a ratio of 3:1 per match. In the semi-finals, he eliminated Jihlava 4:1 for matches.

Zlín did not mess with Prostějov in the quarter-finals and won 3:0 for the matches. However, he really struggled in the semi-finals with Litoměřice, where the seventh match was decided.

Vsetín thus has 9 playoff games before the final series, Zlín has one more game.

Whether Kladno’s opponent will be Vsetín or Zlín, the favorite is a foregone conclusion, even if it might not be so clear-cut in this year’s play-off series.

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The article is in Czech

Tags: fighting laughing Kladno remain extra league

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