Ice hockey mad Slovakia asks - what went wrong?
Central Europe is made about Ice Hockey and with the world ice-hockey championship in Moscow reaching the play-off phase teams are preparing for the most important game of the tournament. Slovakia has been among the favourites for medal positions, however the quarterfinal reality proved that team spirit is more important than big stars.
"If we want to succeed in the future on the world champs or Olympics, we have to play the whole 60 minutes like we played in the first period against Sweden. We can play a good hockey, but somehow, it looks like we have the problem with the concentration on the match. Our performances are fluctuating and this is a difference between us and other elite teams. We can play an excellent hockey but at the same time, we play a really bad hockey. Especially when it comes to the defense. So I think this is something we definitely have to work out in the future."
"We really screwed up the second period. We have fallen back to defense and then gather mistake after mistake. Swedish has scored goals exactly from the situations we were analyzing before the match, situations which we knew we simply had to avoid. That was the deciding factor of the match. We were good enough to win the match, but you can't win while letting in six goals from the opponent like Sweden."
Slovakia hasn't managed to go through the quarterfinals for the third time in a row. Fans are obviously disappointed because the expectations were set high. Maybe too high, considering the fact that the Slovak team had one elite NHL line which was one of the best at the tournament, but the rest of the team simply could not match them. The Swedes did not have such an offensive starts in the team. But they were able to come up huge as a team and that was the decisive feature of their victory. We can only hope that the team chemistry of the Slovak team will work better in the future.