Czechs win pre-Olympic Channel One Cup
The Czech national hockey team won the Channel One Cup, the final test ahead of the Sochi Olympics. In the tournament’s opening game, the Czechs beat Finland 2:0 in Prague on Thursday before moving on to Russia. There, in the Olympic Bolshoy Ice Dome, the Czech team defeated Sweden 2:1 in penalty shootouts on Saturday. On Sunday, the Czechs took on the hosts Russia, winning 2:1 to secure overall win at the tournament.
Czech team coach Alois Hadamczik is expected to announce his picks for the Sochi games on January 7th but said the success at the pre-Olympic tournament could affect the final nomination.
“I’m sure the team’s performance will help us find a balance between players from Europe and from the NHL. Some of the players from oversees did very well on the large hockey rink; there are certainly several players here whom we are seriously considering.”
In NHL, Jágr moves up in all-time scoring list
Moving overseas now where Czech veteran Jaromír Jágr is in great form. On Saturday, the 41-year-old scored his 694th goal in the NHL, contributing to his team the New Jersey Devils’ win against the Washington Capitals. The Czech right wing tied Marc Messier in seventh place of the NHL all-time scoring list, leaving behind such legends as Mario Lemiuex and Steve Yzerman. Jágr is also the highest-positioned still active player on the list. The Czech veteran needs 15 more hits to pass Mike Gartner in the list’s sixth place.
Figure skating: Tomáš Verner claims 10th national title
And in figure skating, Tomáš Verner won his 10th Czech national title on Saturday, finishing first at the Four Nationals Championships held in the Slovak capital Bratislava. The 27-year-old former European champion suffered a back injury two weeks before the event which forced him to drop quadruple jumps from his routine. But Verner still defeated Czech Michal Březina and Poland’s Maciej Cieplucha. Tomáš Verner said earlier this year he would retire after the Sochi Winter Olympics.
Among the women, Eliška Březinová, sister of the silver medallist Michal, won her second national title at the Bratislava Championships, finishing ahead of another Czech, Elizaveta Ukolova, and the Pole Agata Kryger.