The first quarter of awards for young players
HC Košice awarded their young players also in January. Before the opening bully of the extra-league match of HC Košice against HKM Zvolen the executive director Rastislav Rusič and the president Juraj Lang awarded other best players of junior teams.
THE TEAM OF CADETS
In previous months the award in this age category went to Lukáš Kaža, Jakub Demek, and Juraj Slafkovský. Last time the club decided to award the forward Ľubomír Kupčo. During the current course of the season he played 23 matches, where he scored 15 times and added 13 assistances. “This award means a lot for me and I believe it will enhance my carrier”, said the young Košice forward when he took over the award.
The award provided by HC Košice from the beginning of this season became very popular among the players. Also the last awarded player said to this topic: “We tease each other. Everybody wants to be the best.” Ľubomír Kupčo belongs in this season to the leaders of the Košice team and is satisfied with its current course. “Some matches were not so good as we wished, but I think that overall we are doing well. In the basic part we ended up on the second place and in the extension part we will try to be even better.” As the majority of young hockey players, he has his own model player. His eyes are currently turned to the captain of Edmonton Oilers and a rising star of HNL, Connor McDavid.
YOUNG COMPETITORS TEAM
The award for the best player in the month of December in the young competitors’ category was given for excellent performance to Patrik Frič. Thus he completed the former three players – the forward Samuel Nagy, defenders Tomáš Veteška and Adam Markuš. The forward with the number 91 on the jersey in 29 matches added 20 Canadian points to his balance, it was for 9 goals and 11 assistances (December - 5 matches – 2 goals, 1 assistance). “I am really glad for this award and would like to thank all who nominated me”, said Patrik Frič, who was not hiding the excitement from the award. He also welcomes such activity of the management, it has positive impact on the players: “Rivalry is present, but we take it in good part. Each of us strives and wants to be the best. But at the same time we hope the award will go to the best of us.” The native from Gelnica has his role model in the captain of Pittsburgh Penguins, Sidney Crosby. Same as him, also Patrik Frič wears captain's C on the jersey. The Košice forward answers the question about the current performance of the team of young competitors: “We draw together a great gang this year and I am very satisfied with our performance. We finished the basic part in TOP 4, which I consider as success. We definitely want to continue also in the extension part with these results and will strive for the best placement.
The opinion on the Player of the Month inquiry was provided by the head coach of the team of young competitors, Miroslav Kozárik: “This award is a good thing. It brings additional motivation for the players, who strive for the best performance and also enhances competitiveness among the players. The awarded players then feel certain obligation and are more responsible. We can see change in preparation for the matches and practices. The motivation is visible also during the practices, where all of them try to be the best. The fact that the awards are handed over before the extra-league matches and that the ceremony is observed by lot of people, makes it more serious.”
THE JUNIOR TEAM
Among the awarded players in this age category we had different kind of players – the goalman Tomáš Tkáčik, defender Filip Maňák and forward Filip Hudák. The prize for the player of the month was last time received by the forward Jakub Mackaľ. In December he played 5 matches, where he managed to overcome the opponent's goalman three times and added also three assistances. Overall he has 29 points (14+15) in 32 matches of the junior extra-league. He shared his feelings with us: It is great and encouraging for the future performance. I believe I will thrive same as until now.”
The Player of the Month inquiry is also very popular in the change room of the Košice junior team. “We congratulate each other, everybody wants to score, collect points, which is good for the entire team. I take it as a team success”, said Jakub Mackaľ. The young wing player has his role model in Patrick Kanea from Chicago Blackhawks. Technical skills and skill of his arms inspire him in his career. He, but also the rest of the junior team, must gradually prepare for the finish for the basic part. There are not too many rounds left and play-offs are right in front of us. “There is a change compared to the previous years; we are on the top of the chart and I think we can be satisfied with ourselves. I believe we will manage to get directly to play-offs and will not have to worry. I would be glad if we manage to perform well, added Jakub Mackaľ, the awarded forward of the junior team for the month of December.
A few words about the awards was added also by Miroslav Marcinko, the Head Coach of the team of this age category. “It is a positive novelty, since our boys are under more thorough supervision. The boys are motivated and in addition they become a role model for other players. It has positive responses among the players and everybody values it a lot. Current winners did not disappoint us after the awards and it is a great challenge for them for the future. Giving the awards before extra-league matches is also a good idea, the players can enjoy it in front of the audience and with their parents or friends.”