ČLÁNEK

Friday preview: placement games and semi-finals

11.8.2017 | Derek O’Brien

First at 15:30 CET/ 9:30am ET, four teams will finish their tournament and determine places 5th to 8th in the 2017 Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup. Following that at 19:00 CET/ 1:00pm ET will be the two semi-finals, which both look to be fantastic hockey games, and will determine which teams play in tomorrow’s final and which play in the game for 3rd and 4th places.

Finland vs USA

15:30 CET/ 9:30am ET at Břeclav - Game for 5th place

These are probably the two most disappointed teams of the tournament, as both definitely had their sights on a medal at the start and both lost their last group game on Wednesday to keep them from the semi-finals. Now, they’ll both try to finish their tournament on a winning note and claim 5th place overall.

“It’s disappointing to lose, but there will be no lack of motivation on Friday,” Finnish coach Tommi Niemelä promised. “It’s alway an honour every game you represent your country, and of course these boys are also fighting for a spot in the World Championships, so it’s still important.”

Switzerland vs Slovakia

15:30 CET/ 9:30am ET at Bratislava - Game for 7th place

This is the third year in a row that these two teams are meeting for the game to stay out of the tournament cellar. In 2015, Switzerland came from behind and won in a shootout, and last year, Slovakia won 6-3. Now, both will try to end their tournament with something they didn’t manage to get in the group stage - a win.

“We want to win the last game of the tournament. That would lessen the pain of the previous losses a little,” said Slovak coach Norbert Javorčík.

Russia vs Czech Republic

19:00 CET/ 1:00pm ET at Břeclav - Semi-final

One of hockey’s classic rivalries will determine one finalist in the tournament. Of course, the Czechs are the defending champs and will have a boisterous home crowd behind them, as the atmosphere in Břeclav promises to be electric. The Czechs will hope they can continue to get goals from Jan Jeník and solid goaltending from Lukáš Dostál. However, the Russians have looked very good so far in the tournament, starting with tournament scoring leader Dmitri Zavgorodny all the way to goalie Amir Miftakhov, who has been brilliant in his two starts.

“The last three games, the line of Zavgorodny, Guskov and Rotenberg has played very well, and today they scored three goals,” Russian coach Alexander Zybin said about his top offensive players after the last group game, and added: “Miftakhov was strong, as he usually is. Today, his play helped the team a lot.”

“We’ll have a video session of Russia playing in Bratislava, but we know it’ll be a really hard game and that we’ll have to be aggressive at both ends of the ice,” Dostál said, looking ahead.

Sweden vs Canada

19:00 CET/ 1:00pm ET at Bratislava - Semi-final

Two more of hockey’s traditional giants meet in the other semi-final. After their eight-year reign as Hlinka Cup champions came to an end last year, the Canadians started with a shootout loss to Russia but have gotten stronger as the tournament has progressed. The Swedes, on the other hand, have been solid from the get-go, led by defenceman Adam Boqvist. In the 2000 age category, the Swedes have shown themselves to be the team to beat in the world of hockey in previous seasons, and their play at this tournament so far seems to support that.

“I believe we have a very good team, but then again there are many other good teams,” said Swedish forward David Gustafsson. Looking ahead to the semi-final, he said: “Canada is a good team. As I said, it will be a really fun game and I hope we win it.”

“For sure it’s a relief that we don’t have to travel to Břeclav,” Canadian defenceman Calen Addison admitted. “This is basically our home rink for the tournament, but we know they’re a strong team and we can’t take them lightly. We get a day off now and that’s good for us to get ready for the next day, but yeah, we definitely can’t take them lightly. They’re a good team and have a lot of good players, but we’ll be ready to go.”

Krátké zprávy

Přátelská utkání

28.6. - Před startem samotného turnaje Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup 2017 se 5. srpna uskuteční přátelská utkání domácích týmů. Česká republika vyzve v Břeclavi od 18:30 Kanadu a Slováci si ve stejný den zahrají s USA. Živé textové přenosy budete moct sledovat na www.onlajny.com!

Pohled do historie

12.6. - Víte, jaká země vyhrála tento juniorský turnaj naposledy? A kdo má na svém kontě nejvíce zlatých medailí? Nahlédněte do historie, podívat se můžete ZDE.

Twitter MIH

8.6. - Ivan Hlinka Memorial Cup má i svůj účet na Twitteru. Najdete ho zde!
Historie hokejové legendy

Ivan Hlinka a vše kolem něj

Více o legendě

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Na finále memoriálu se přišli podívat i útočník Dallas Stars Radek Faksa s Jiřím Fischerem. Na rozhovor s ředitelem pro hráčský rozvoj Detroit Red Wings se podívejte na HokejkaTV: http://www.hokej.cz/tv/hokejka/video/2560

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Poháry nejlepším dvěma týmům předali starosta Břeclavi Pavel Dominik a generální ředitel Hockey Canada Tom Renney.

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Na finále připravil mužstvo s celým realizačním týmem jak nejlépe mohl, jenže na Kanadu to nestačilo. Hlavní kouč českého výběru David Bruk i přes závěrečnou prohru hodnotil působení českého týmu na turnaji pozitivně a nešetřil chválou. „Jsme velmi spokojení. Vůbec jsme nebyli pasování na favorita turnaje, tudíž jsme překvapili. Vážíme si toho, že jsme porazili silné soupeře jako je Amerika nebo Rusko a mohli jsme si zahrát finále,“ řekl český trenér bezprostředně po medailovém ceremoniálu.

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Člen stříbrného českého týmu, Jan Jeník, si na turnaji připsal šest gólů a stal se nejlepším střelcem celého Memoriálu. „Hlavní je, že jsme hráli týmově. Pomohli mi spoluhráči a o tom to bylo,“ svěřil se po zápase.

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Reactions from the final - joyous Canadians and reflective Czechs hlinkamemorial.cz/eng/clanek.asp…

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Fotografie z vyvrcholení Memoriálu Ivana Hlinky 2017. Další snímky najdete zde: http://hlinkamemorial.cz/zapas.asp?ID=Canada-take-gold-with-commanding-win-over-hosts-98