Czech roster for the U18 Viking Cup

By Ivana Paulova

Czech National Under-18 Team was hesitating whether to go to Canada in
December or stay at home and get the team more ready for the U-18 World
Junior Championship taking place in April in Belarus. The coaches
decided to have a week-long training camp and play four games during this period. It
was apparent that some biggest stars of the U-18 team will not be available since they will be with the U-20 team. Goalie Marek Schwarz will be the starting goalie for the Czechs on the U-20 World Junior Championship. Other players that are fighting for their spots in the
U-20 selection and according to their age belong to the category of U-18 are
skilled blueliner Ladislav Smid and in the forward captain of
the U-18 selection Jakub Sindel and hardworking left winger Karel
Hromas
.

Under such circumstances it was probably a good decision by the coaches
Jaromir Sindel and Zdenek Cech to have the rest of the
U-18 team together and practice in the Czech Republic. The question then was
who will go to Canada for the Viking Cup? The coaches of the U-17 selection
Bretislav Kopriva and Vladimir Bednar saw the Viking Cup
as a good opportunity for the their team to try to play against older
players, in a narrower rink and in front of big crowds in an excellent hockey
atmosphere.

It was not easy to decide which players will be chosen when the 87 born
seems to be a strong year. The main stars of that category are defender Jakub Kindl who will not be present as he is a stable member of the U-18 team and so will prepare
with the team in the Czech Republic. Then forward Martin Husicka who
is fighting for a spot in the U-18 team as well and so will not be
present. Another defender Michael Kolarz who is also stable member of the
U-18 team but was allowed to go with U-17 because he is seriously
considering playing in the CHL next season.

The 87 born players are eligible for the CHL Import draft this year and
some of them would like to play in the CHL next season. But the coaches did not
look at that, they were mainly trying to select strong players who can
handle physical play well and who already have some experience from the Junior
league in the Czech Republic where they also play stronger and older
players all the time.

In November U-17 the team flew to Finland to play three game series against
their U-17 team. They returned with success when they won in all three
games and let opponents to score only once. Coach Kopriva said on this,
“I’m glad that we succeeded in Finland, but I would like to say that it does
not mean anything crucial for us. I can see that players are maturing and
constantly improving and also what is important, they are really
getting stronger which is helped by the fact that most of them are playing with
juniors, when they are still supposed to play in the midget category”.

Another two great players and stable members of the U-17 team will be
missing, those are Slavia Praha players Vladimir Sobotka and
Tomas Svoboda who were not allowed to participate in the Viking Cup since the
management of Slavia was afraid that they might easily injured playing
against the older players.

In the final nomination are also some younger players so 88 born, one
of them is highly talented blueliner David Ruzicka from Kladno who
is said to be another Ladislav Smid, then there are forwards also
from Kladno who have great 88 born players these are agile Michael
Frolik
and tough Jiri Tlusty, another 88 born player on the Czech
roster is David Kveton from Vsetin.

Czech players mainly want to gain experience by their trip to Camrose,
but maybe the team work that the coaches Kopriva and Bednar are stressing
can bring them success.

“It will be difficult. But at least we will get a better picture about the individual players and also the whole team. We are missing Kindl, Husicka, Svoboda and Sobotka but still we would like to succeed, “ concluded Coach Kopriva.

The Roster of the Czech team for the Viking Cup

Goalies
Alexander Salak, Ceske Budejovice, 05.01.1987
Martin Ruzicka, Pardubice, 01.06.1987

Defenders
David Ruzicka, Kladno, 08.03.1988
Michael Kolarz, Vitkovice, 12.01.1987
Ondrej Pozivil, Litvinov, 22.04.1987
Tomas Kudelka, Zlin, 10.03.1987
Alexander Hegegy, Trinec, 20.10.1987
Ondrej Masek, Karlovy Vary, 09.06.1987
Petr Smetak, Havirov, 24.11.1987
Jakub Vojta, Sparta Praha, 08.02.1987

Forwards
David Kuchejda, Ceske Budejovice, 12.06.1987
Michael Frolik, Kladno, 17.2.1988
Jiri Tlusty, Kladno, 16.03.1988
Tomas Kana, Vitkovice, 29.11.1987
Petr Kalus, Vitkovice, 29.06.1987
Martin Smetak, Vitkovice, 24.11.1987
Lukas Vantuch, Liberec, 20.07.1987
Marek Knebl, Vsetin, 21.07.1987
David Kveton, Vsetin, 03.01.1988
Petr Skatula, Havirov, 03.02.1987
Tomas Pospisil, Trinec, 25.08.1987
Ondrej Fiala, Trinec, 04.11.1987

Possible Substitutes
Possible Substitutes
Jaromir Florian, Brno, 30.03.1987
Radim Vasicek, Vitkovice, 25.02.1987
Ondrej Pavelec, Kladno, 31.08.1987
Tomas Stryncl, Karlovy Vary, 12.01.1987
Ondrej Dalecky, Vsetin, 07.09.1987
Jiri Tobias, Vsetin, 01.06.1987
Adam Miksovsky, Zlin, 08.04.1987