Steelers successfully represented HC Košice in all categories
According to the hockey calendar, it's time for another representation break. This time the attention was drawn to the Kaufland Cup of Poprad where we could see the senior Slovak representation in action. Besides the senior representation, youth representation teams were also competing with several Steelers in the line-up.
Twelve hockey players from Tipsport League clubs were nominated to play the Kaufland Cup, and our club was the one having the most players in the line-up. Half a dozen of players of Košice met in the locker room of Poprad Ice Stadium. When several players had to withdraw from the game due to health or personal problems, Branislav Rapáč and Jakub Sukeľ got an opportunity to play as substitutes and to wear a jersey with a double cross on the chest. Even though Branislav didn't score in this tournament, he performed very well and fulfilled his role. He supported defense, he managed to make it very hard for the opponent with great forchecking, and he was moving inside the goal crease very often. The latest asset of the team, Jakub Sukeľ, became the premiere scorer of the tournament when he opened the match against Belarus by scoring already in the first minute. This precise shot was also his first one in the representation jersey. In the duel against Belarus, Andrej Košarišťan got an opportunity being a goaltender. His success rate was around 89.66%, and he saved the match against Belarus with his amazing reflex when he blocked the shot at the very end of the game. Of course, our most productive player Marcel Haščák could not have been left out from the nomination. Initially, the best scorer of the league assisted with the second goal of the match against Belarus when he started a great power play action, and then he confirmed his great shooting skills in the third period of the game when he tied the score to 3:3. Michal Chovan also played alongside Haščák in both matches as a winger. The creative forward didn't leave the tournament empty handed. In the match against the Olympic selection of Russia, he firstly won a power-play of 5 on 3 for the team which he then finished with scoring a goal and ensuring Slovakia its victory 2:1. Patrik Koch gave a quite stable performance in defense, and as it usually happens, he didn't forget to land a few punches.
Thanks to two victories, the senior Slovak representation successfully defended its last year's triumph. Besides the current hockey players of HC Košice, other players also participated in the victory of Slovakia whose past hockey experience is closely associated with our hockey club. Tomáš Marcinko and Martin Gernát were among these players. We would like to congratulate all players for their achievement!
Thanks to two legionaries, the club of Košice had another kind of representation. Jurij Repe and Žiga Pavlin were nominated to represent Slovenia. Slovenia is currently trying to qualify for the Olympics. During this break, Slovenia competed against national teams of Lithuania and Croatia. Žiga Pavlin played in the first defense pair in both duels, and similarly to his club and representation colleague Repe, who played only in the first match, he gained one assistance.
The representation under 18 years led by the head coach Ivan Feneš was also competing. In the Ice Stadium in Piešťany, the representation competed at the traditional Vladimír Dzurilla Cup against Germany (2:1), Belarus (4:1) and Switzerland (3:1). In the first game of the tournament, it was the young promising forward of Košice Roman Faith who controlled the game. Only 17 years old offense player scored the goal at first, and after that, he prepared a great shooting position for his teammate. After three matches, Faith kept the same number of plus points on his credit in the table of truth. The victory cup from the tournament remained in Slovakia also in this case. Thanks to these performances, Roman surely increased his chances of being in the final nomination of Spišská Nová Ves before the upcoming Nationals in the category under 18 years!
Unlike the two above mentioned categories, the Slovak representation under 17 years competed in German city Füssen at Four Nations Tournament. In matches against Denmark (6:0), Germany (4:8) and Switzerland (4:3), the players Jakub Demek, Martin Tvrdoň and Michal Kapičák defended the colors of our club, and Marcel Šimurda took on the role of the assistant coach. After two victories, the players of Ján Lipiansky had 6 points as well as the home team of Germany, but due to their loss against Germany, they ended up second. Our player Jakub Demek became one of the most productive players of the tournament. He got four Canadian points for two goals and two assists during the demolition of Denmark. He also added another precise shot in the duel against peers from Switzerland. Both his club teammates Tvrdoň and Kapičák added one assist to their credits.
To finish the overview of performances, lets also have a look at the three matches of our representation in the category under 16 years that travel to Swiss Romanshorn under the leadership of head coach Roman Sýkora, where the team played the Four Nations Tournament. Even in this category, HC Košice had three representatives in the line-up, each of them at different position. Patrik Jurčák was among the selected goaltenders, defense was supported by Jozef Viliam Kmec and Peter Repčík took on the role of the forward. Slovak "16" succeeded in the opening match against home Switzerland (5:3) as well as in the final duel against Latvia (8:3). The only tough opponent were the peers from Belarus (2:4). The coach and the team trusted goaltender Jurčák to protect the net in the matches against Latvia and Belarus. Defenseman Kmec gained several points to his credit thanks to three goal assists.
We would like to thank all our boys for representing our club at national level. We wish them many other nominations in the future as well as success not only in their clubs, but also in representation matches!
HC KE Media Team (bob)
Photo gallery Peter Jesenský (Jäzva)
and Adam Stečák (3)