The Czech Republic has failed to medal since being promoted to the elite division in 2008. In the last two years at the U18, they had to fight to avoid relegation both times, but now it finally looks as if they have a real chance to get past the preliminary round and compete against the strongest of the participants.
Junior hockey season in the Czech Republic is already entering into its second phase, with teams in the Under-20 and Under-18 category going all in to salvage their hopes of winning their respective Extraligas. Most of the Czech-based players eligible for the upcoming NHL Draft play in the U-20 Extraliga that has now, in late January, reached the end of its regular season.
After an impressive performance at the 2012 Ivan Hlinka Tournament, which the Czech Republic co-hosted alongside Slovakia, the Czech U-18 national team is off to a successful season. Not only did they manage to play tight games with elite countries back in August, their perfect team play also caused Russia to lose one of three friendly games the two countries played in mid-December.
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