03.05.2019 11:00

The recently crowned Czech Champion, Oceláři Třinec, will be the 5th participating team

 

Only four days after winning the title in the Czech Extra League, HC Oceláři Třinec accepted the invitation to the 93rd Spengler Cup in Davos. The reigning Czech National Champion is an excellent addition to the field of top teams participating.

Trinec captured the national championship title in the 2019 playoffs for the second time (after 2011) in a most impressive manner. In the quarter-finals, Head Coach Vaclav Varada’s team prevailed against Vitkovice 4-0. Significantly more resistance was met in the semi-finals against HC Plzeň. In the 7th game, Trinec was finally able to capture the ticket to the finals with a clear 5-1 home-game victory. Bílí Tygři Liberec, the qualification round winner, awaited the second-placed team in the finals. After six suspenseful and sometimes dramatic games, twice forcing decisions in overtime, Trinec was able to seize the title 4-2.

In the previous season, the team – together with their top scorer Martin Ruzicka – had to be satisfied with the Vice Champion title. The joy of the team was, therefore, all the greater when the 4-2 final victory was achieved at home in game 6.

The delight was also felt by the responsible managers when the Spengler Cup Organizational Committee decided to invite another Czech team in 2019. That it will now be the reigning champion, last-year vice champion and semi-finalist of the Champions Hockey League that will be travelling to Davos, is especially joyous while increasing the anticipation.

In their first participation at the traditional tournament in 2018, Trinec was stopped by HC Davos, resulting in a 3-1 loss against the home team in the quarter-finals. Linus Klasen sunk 2 shots while goalie Anders Lindbäck deflected 27 shots-on-goal assuring the win for the local team. In the last 5 minutes of the game, the Czechs had 3 excellent opportunities to equalize the game. However, the unlucky player of the game turned out to be Martin Ruzicka, the Czech World Champion, several-times National Champion and repeated scorer king. Ruzicka had the opportunity in the first period and twice in the last period to shoot his team into the lead. However, his luck failed him. As far as the Czechs are concerned, this will definitely be different in December 2019.