Eighteen has a penchant for a medal. It relies on extra-league talents and faces from overseas

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The national 18 will meet the Canadians on Friday, then the Swedes on Sunday and finish the group on Monday afternoon against Kazakhstan. “We want to win every game. The most important one for us at the moment is the opening match against Switzerland, which had a very strong year in 2006. All of our duels in the season went to extra time,” revealed coach David Čermák.

“In the group that we will play in Vantaa, we have three really very tough opponents and we will meet them in the first four days. And then Kazakhstan, about which we still know nothing. In this respect, it is good that we are playing against him until the last game,” said the coach, whose debut at a major tournament awaits.

The quintet of teams that will play the basic part in Espoo are home Finland, USA, Slovakia, Latvia and Norway. The best four teams from each group will advance to the quarterfinals, where they will face each other on May 2. The fifth teams from both groups will battle each other that day to stay in the elite division of the championship. The relegated country will be replaced by the Germans next year.

The basis of the Czech selection are the players who took second place at the summer Hlinka Gretzky Cup in Břeclav in August. Nineteen of the twenty-six-member nomination played at the prestigious junior event. “We made the nomination mainly through the performance in the preparatory camps. Some guys went around the tournaments with us during the season, some went to Canada, but we watched them carefully via video. How the boys fit into the system and how they managed to time their form played a role,” said Čermák about the team.

Six players of the representative eighteen appeared during the season in the adult extra league. They are defenders Tomáš Galvas, Radim Mrtka, Adam Král, Jan Skok and forwards Adam Benák and Petr Sikora, while the first-named also has a bronze medal from this year’s World Cup for under-20 players. Eight nominees are active in overseas junior competitions, while goalkeeper Jakub Milota, defenders Aleš Zielinski and forwards Matěj Kubiesa, Adam Jecho and Maxim Curran should belong to the pillars. “We mainly want to play as a team. A lot with the puck, skating well and having an active approach, no backing down,” thinks the coach.

The composition of the Czech national team at the under-18 hockey World Cup

Milota (Cape Breton), Mařík (České Budějovice), Vystrčil (Mora) – Mrtka (Třinec), Skok (Pilzeň), Švec (Pardubice), Fibigr (Mississauga), Zielinski (Moncton), Hlinský (HV 71 Jönköping), T . Giants), Jecho (Edmonton Oil Kings), O. Kos (Ilves Tampere), Heš, Vaculík (both Zlín), Curran (Tri City), Sikora (Třinec), Drančák (Red Deer), Lisler (Linköping)

The article is in Czech

Tags: Eighteen penchant medal relies extraleague talents faces overseas

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