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Czechs expecting another success following amazing 2013-14 campaign

By on August 7, 2014 in Ivan Hlinka Memorial with 0 Comments

By Radoslav Vavřina, Lead Writer, The Czech List

Czech hockey has had an amazing season last year, particularly the Under-18 national team, which claimed bronze at the Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup and silver at the Under-18 World Juniors. Now, another edition of the annual Ivan Hlinka is right around the corner and the hosts will be there expecting to go the distance and maybe finish up stealing gold.

Set to face Team USA, Russia and Finland in the group stage, the Czechs will first kick off the event by squaring off against Canada in a pre-tournament game on Saturday. All Czech games are going to be played at the Alcaplast Arena in Břeclav, Czech Republic, not far from Slovak and Austrian border.

Looking at the roster, another big success wouldn’t be a surprise. Big goaltender Daniel Vladař will guard the net and he’s got all it takes to not only replace Vítek Vaněček as the starter for the team, but also repeat the success his country had at the last NHL Entry Draft by getting selected. This year, he’s also expected to play some games among pros, for Kladno in the First League.

Supposed to be the leader of the team, big versatile defenseman Jakub Zbořil will definitely be the brightest star among the blueliners of the Czech team. First round hopeful caught eye of the scouts last year at the Ivan Hlinka as an underage player, managing to overshadow many of his teammates and opponents. QMJHL-bound blueliner Daniel Krenželok and 1998-born top-flight prospects Lukáš Doudera and Libor Hájek will be watched closely as well.

Zbořil will get to rise into the position of the top player on the team due to absence of his long-time pal and former teammate from Brno, Pavel Zacha. The top-ten prospect for the next NHL draft was insecure of his future and only a couple days ago decided to join the OHL’s Sarnia Sting after all. Following last month, he also opted not to represent his country at the Ivan Hlinka. Also missing will be skilled forward Michael Špaček from Pardubice, who can’t participate due to a surgery he’s recently undergone.

At the wheel of the offense will be, during absence of Zacha, David Kaše, a younger brother of the recently-drafted Ducks prospect Ondřej Kaše. He had an amazing year last year, making the jump from Under-18 to Under-20 Extraliga and also becoming a clutch player for the Czechs at the Under-18 World Juniors, scoring the overtime game-winner in semifinals against Canada. Also prominent Under-20 Extraliga forwards already are Filip Chlapík who has a potential to become a top-flight prospect and Ivan Ďurač.

The Czechs will first hit the ice on Saturday at 6:30 PM local time, 12:30 PM EDT. Following are group stage games with USA, Finland and Russia.


Aleš Stezka (Liberec)

Jan Růžička (Mladá Boleslav)

Daniel Vladař (Kladno)


Martin Weinhold (Karlovy Vary)

Jakub Zbořil (Kometa Brno)

Libor Hájek (Kometa Brno)

Lukáš Doudera (Třinec)

Lukáš Kaňák (Plzeň)

Petr Kalina (Sparta)

Daniel Krenželok (Vítkovice)

Josef Zajíc (Kladno)


Ivan Ďurač (Mladá Boleslav)

Lukáš Anděl (Jihlava)

Roman Dymáček (Kometa Brno)

Jan Dufek (Kometa Brno)

Filip Dvořák (Kometa Brno)

Lukáš Jašek (Třinec)

Tomáš Šoustal (Olomouc)

Filip Suchý (Plzeň)

Filip Chlapík (Sparta)

Šimon Stránský (Vítkovice)

David Kaše (Chomutov)

František Wágner (Chomutov)

Michal Gago (Zlín)

Radek Koblížek (Oulu)

Ready in case of injury

Michael Klinger (O, Liberec)

Denis Kusý (Ú, Pardubice)

Petr Procházka (O, Zlín)

Photo courtesy of Eva Solaříková

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