And although Sparta is in a big crisis in the extra league, their club teammate David Němeček joins Jandus and Vitouch in the list for the tournament held in České Budějovice and Turku.
“It’s always positive and positive to have new faces in the squad and give them the opportunity to prove themselves. I saw Jandus and Vitouch five times, they skate well, which is necessary in international hockey. They don’t make mistakes and follow the system ,” said Jalonen.
He knows the Spartans’ defensive play is far from ideal, but he stands behind the selection of Jandus and Němeček. “Of course I know Sparta’s results, I was at their match in Pilsen on Wednesday. I don’t look at the results, but at the individual performances. Jandus is still improving, we already had the German in the training camp before this year’s World Cup They will play together in the same defense in the selection.
“Since the beginning of the extra league season, I personally watched 13 extra league matches and I have to say that I liked what I saw in them. They played with great intensity, at a high level and with a lot of fight. It was really an excellent match,” explained Jalonen’s preference for the home extra league in his nomination.
Perhaps surprisingly, the most productive extraleague players Lukáš Radil from Pardubice and Dominik Lakatoš from Vítkovice are missing from the nomination. “Both of them are excellent players, but I don’t want to talk about people and say why I didn’t nominate them. Of course, I know that Lakatoš plays excellent, I talked about it with the coaches Vítkovice. But there is a lot of players I could take, and if it is even a little possible, we will bring an almost completely different team to the tournament in Switzerland in December, “Jalonen revealed.
The Finnish coach included nine players from May’s World Cup in his squad. Then goalkeeper Langhamer, defender Sklenička, Ščotka, Kundrátek and forward Červenka, Černoch, H. Zohorna, M. Špaček, Smejkal fight for the bronze medal in Tampere, Finland. The first name will be the captain of the team in Karjale.
The nomination includes three goalkeepers, ten defenders and fifteen forwards. In addition to the 17 active players in the extra league, five active players from the Swedish top league and three from Finland and Switzerland were called up.
Thus, he has five full fives available for Karjala. Some will play all three matches, others only two. Goalkeeper Stezka will train with the team only before the opening match against Sweden in České Budějovice, he will no longer travel to Turku with the team, and the matches will be shared between goalkeepers Will and Langhamer.
Jalonen also looked for striker Jan Kovář in the Swiss Zug. “He plays in it, but his health is not 100%. That’s why we agreed that I will not take him now. As well as two other players who are not completely fit. But I do not want to name, “Jalonen said. One of them is Tomáš Zohorna, who only returned to the Pardubice lineup on Tuesday after an almost two-week break caused by injury.
For the December tournament in Switzerland, the head coach plans to take a much changed squad compared to the current one for Karjala. “In both tournaments we want to have a mix of players we know and have not seen before. Captain Červenka will be a role model and mentor for the younger ones in Karjale. And in February we will go to Sweden again with a team that the youngest players under the age of twenty-five. To see how they will do on the international stage,” added Jalonen, saying that he will leave the older players in the clubs, who will already start preparing for the playoffs.
The Karjala tournament, the opening event of the Euro Hockey Tour series, traditionally comes as the first test. The national team will start on Thursday, November 10 in České Budějovice against Sweden, and will finish the rest of the tournament in its main venue, Turku. There, it will be the first challenge at home to Finland on Saturday and Switzerland a day later.
Helvetic Cross will replace Russia on the Euro Hockey Tour for the next two seasons, who were excluded from the tournament due to the war in Ukraine.
|Czech Hockey Team Nominations for the Karjala Tournament:|
|Aleš Stezka (Vítkovice)|
|Roman Will (Pardubice)|
|Marek Langhame (Ilves Tampere/Fin.)|
|Dominik Mašín (Ilves Tampere/Fin.)|
|David Sklenička (Brynäs/Swed.)|
|Tomáš Dvořák (Pardubice)|
|Jan Ščotka (Brno)|
|Jan Košťálek (Pardubice)|
|Libor Zábranský Jr. (Jukurit/Fin.)|
|Martin Jandus (Sparta)|
|Vojtěch Mozík (Rögle/Swed.)|
|David Nemecek (Sparta)|
|Tomáš Kundrátek (Brno)|
|Ondřej Beránek (Karlovy Vary)|
|Roman Červenka (Rapperswil/Switzerland)|
|Adam Musil (Pardubice)|
|Jiří Smejkal (Oskarshamn/Swed.)|
|Filip Chlapík (Ambri-Piotta/Switzerland)|
|Hynek Zohorna (Oskarshamn/Sweden.)|
|Pavel Kousal (Mladá Boleslav)|
|Radan Lenc (Frölunda/Sweden)|
|David Vitouch (Sparta)|
|Michael Špaček (Ambri-Piotta/Switzerland)|
|Patrik Zdrahal (Litvínov)|
|Jiří Černoch (Karlovy Vary)|
|Luboš Horký (Brno)|
|Marek Zachar (Hradec Králové)|
|Petr Kodytek (Pilsen)|