Peter Repčík: When I scored in shootouts, 5000 children shouted my name
Before the initial face-off of 45th round of the highest Slovak hockey league, HC Košice thanked its players Rastislav Eliáš and Peter Repčík who represented the club at third Winter Youth Olympics in Lausanne where they won one silver and one bronze medal. The member of the Management Board of HC Košice Miroslav Maďar gave the player commemorative plaques.
At Youth Olympics this year the classic ice hockey format was played as usually, but the individual skills competition was replaced by a new format 3x3. Overall, 8 girls and 8 boys teams competed at the tournament. Each team was composed of members from different countries who were selected for the representation. The players had been selected through a national testing of hockey skills. The game is played on one third of an ice rink, offsides and icing are canceled. Each team is composed of eleven players and two goaltenders. The game is played in three periods as in normal hockey, but one period lasts only 16 minutes. Individual periods are separated with a 3-minute break.
Overall, 9 players represented Slovakia in a new discipline - 5 girls and 4 boys. Four Slovak national team members won a medal, 2 of them were from Košice. Juniors forward Peter Repčík won a silver medal together with his Red Team and goaltender Rastislav Eliáš won a bronze medal for the Brown Team.
Green Team - Black Team 7:3
Brown Team - Red Team 7:9
Red Team - Green Team 4:10
3rd Place Playoff:
Brown Team – Black Team 6:5
What were your expectations before the Olympics? Did you expect such success?
Rastislav Eliáš: "I didn't expect to be this successful. I mainly wanted to enjoy it, get to know new people and have fun."
Peter Repčík: "I was most looking forward to hockey, this is the reason I do this sport, but I was also looking forward to making new friends as I had known that we would be mixed. Before the tournament I hoped that we would achieve some success.
What was the atmosphere like over there?
Rastislav Eliáš: "You could feel the atmosphere in the city, people were cheering and came to watch us play. The atmosphere was great everywhere, also in the Olympic village, people were nice and friendly, so it was all perfect."
Peter Repčík: "The atmosphere was really good. Children came to watch us play. Once it also happened that when I scored during the shootouts, approximately 5000 children shouted my name. It was an amazing experience winning the Olympic medal."
In one team you played together with players from different countries. What was it like to play in such mixed teams?
Rastislav Eliáš: "It was interesting, I had a chance to get to know people from different countries such as Australia or New Zealand, I didn't expect that."
Peter Repčík: "In my team there was one player from Tchaj-pej. It was hard to play with him, but we managed. It was okay for me as I could improve my speaking skills. On ice, however, everybody uses the same language for communication.
Is this success a motivation for you and your future career? Is it more like a little dream came true?
Rastislav Eliáš: "Winning a medal at Olympics is of course a great feeling. I definitely feel like my small hockey dream came true."
Peter Repčík: "For sure this success motivates me and helps me progress. Now I want to achieve as much as I can, and one day I would like to represent my country at proper Olympics.
We congratulate our boys for winning the medals and thank them for great representation of our club!
HC KE Media Team (zek)