Brno Sports Weekly Report — NHL Stars Will Bolster Kometa Attempt at Third Title
Kometa have been on the road for much of November. They play home games tonight and Friday. Photo credit: Ivo Dostál.
Brno, Nov. 28 (BD) — Zbrojovka drops final game before winter break, egoe Basket Brno loses to last-place Královští sokoli, Zabiny Brno doubled-up by undefeated Praha and the Brno sports schedule.
Erat, Plekanec to Join Kometa Soon
As the Tipsport extraliga slowly closes in on the mid-season mark, HC Kometa has made some significant personnel moves.
Martin Erat, one of the leaders of the past two championship seasons, is getting into playing shape and should be ready to play soon. The 37-year-old former NHL and international star has been resting up for the stretch run.
Plus, this week the team announced that it will soon be getting the services of Tomáš Plekanec, 36, another former NHL and international star.
Both Erat and Plekanec have served as captains of the recent Czech national teams.
Erat played 881 games in the NHL, scoring 176 goals and assisting on 369 more. He mostly played for the Nashville Predators. He has been a mainstay for the Kometa for the past two title years, with 13 goals and 23 assists in 2016-17 and 12 goals and 34 assists in 2017-18.
Plekanec retired from the NHL earlier this season after playing in 1,001 games, mostly with the Montreal Canadiens. He scored 233 goals and had 375 assists. The last time he played in the Czech league, during the NHL strike in 2012-13, he scored 21 goals and assisted on 25 more in 32 games.
The extra help will come in handy in the long term. In the short term, Kometa will play two home games over the next two days: tonight (Wednesday) against Olomouc at 6 p.m. and Friday against Vítkovice at 6 p.m. Two days later, Kometa will travel to Liberec for a Sunday 2 p.m. strart.
Last Sunday, Leos Čermák scored in the 58th minute to give Brno a 2-3 win at Livinov. It broke a three-game losing streak in the Tipsport extraliga that was at the center of a schedule that had the team on the road for six-of-seven games.
Kometa are sixth in the league with 35 points. Třinec leads with 43 points.
Of course, in the middle of the recent domestic road trips, HC Kometa qualified for the quarterfinals of the Hockey Champions League when they travelled to Finland to beat Tappara Tampere on Nov. 20.
Kometa will host the Frölunda Indians on Tuesday at 6 p.m. The series moves to Sweden on Dec. 11 for another 6 p.m. start.
Last year, Kometa lost in the quarterfinals against JYP Jyväskylä of Finland. The teams had tied in Finland, 3-3, but Brno lost 5-3 at home and was eliminated by the 8-6 goal differential.
Zbrojovka Limps into Three-month Winter Break
By the time most of the fans had even reached their seats on Friday night, FC Zbrojovka had already committed a penalty that would be converted into a goal by FC Sellier & Bellot Vlašim. According to the FC Zbrojovka website, the infraction was only 16 seconds into the game.
“We reacted slowly and we weren’t able to fix it,” said Zbrojovka head coach Pavel Šustr.
Then, 16 minutes into the game, Vlašim got another goal.
In the end, Zbrojovka scored a goal but could not catch up, lost 1-2 at home and entered the winter break on a bummer.
“This was a very unpleasant hit for us,” said captain Pavel Eismann. “It complicated the plans we had laid out. To have a goal come in that way and get scored on in the first minute. It was a long ball for the defense and then a penalty.”
Zbrojovka cut into the lead in the 36th minute when Eismann found Peter Štepanovský with a nice centering pass. All of the other opportunities were futile. Four times, Zbrojovka players headed the ball directly to the Vlašim goalkeeper.
“Sometimes when you give up a (quick) goal it undermines your preparation,” Eismann said. “I think we were unnecessarily nervous for about 10 or 15 minutes. Then, from the 30 minutes to the end of the half, we had a lot of situations and opportunities where we did not have the luck.”
The autumn half of the Fortuna:Narodni Liga season is over. Zbrojovka is in the seventh place with a record of 6-5-5 and 23 points.
“Since the arrival of coach Sustr, many things have changed,” Eismann said. “We have worked on a lot of things. We will see how our preparation will go (during the winter), but I believe that, if we get a string of successes going, we will get to where we want to go.”
Brno is 12 points behind SK Dynamo Č. Budějovice (11-2-3, 35 points). FC Vysočina Jihlava (10-3-3, 33) is second and FC Hradec Králové (9-3-4, 30) is third. At the end of the season, the top team is automatically promoted to the top league. The second- and third-place teams will have to play home-and-away games with the 14th and 15th-place teams of the top league in late May.
FC Sellier & Bellot Vlašim (5-6-5, 21 points) moved up to eighth place.
League play will resume on March 2 and run through May 25.
“We have to win every game,” Šustr told the press after the game. “Another pathway doesn’t exist. It is reality. If it works we will celebrate. If not we will have to evaluate what happened and get ready for the next season.”
Zbrojovka starts the spring half of the season at Chrudim. The first home game is scheduled to be against Žižkov on March 10 at 6 p.m., although the date and time are subject to change.
“I still believe that we have a team that is able to play for first place,” Šustr said. “But, we have to get it there. I have to get it there.”
egoé Basket Brno Stumbles Against Bottom Dweller
egoé Basket Brno finished its first run through the Kooperative NBL with a loss at last-place Kingspan Královští sokoli on Wednesday.
After the three-month roller-coaster ride, it seemed appropriate that the team fell behind by 20 and almost came back to win. The final score was 84-79, and the local fans in Hradec Kralove celebrated their first win in the top Czech league since April 8, 1994.
“We won all of the other quarters, but it was not enough when we were playing 15 points down” after the first quarter, said head coach Chris Chougaz, who lost his second game in 10 days with the team. “Offensively you can win away with 79, but defensively you need to play better.”
Královští sokoli hit five 3-pointers during a 19-0 run that made the score 30-10 early in the second quarter.
“It was an important game for us,” said Lukáš Stegbauer, who had 10 points. “We wanted to win. We wanted to get back to the success we had at the beginning of the season. It didn’t work out. We have to continue to try to get better.”
Davell Roby scored a game-high 27 points and Reggie Keely added 20 as Brno fought to get back into the game. Long range shooting, something that was a team strength earlier in the season, was weak: Brno was just 4 of 18 from 3-point range.
The season started with the team jumping out to a 3-1 record under second-year coach Dejan Jakara. Then, the team hit the skids, losing its next seven games. Three games into the still-active losing streak, a home loss to GEOSAN Kolín on Nov. 3, Jakara took umbrage with an email of suggestions sent by management and left the team. Assistant Martin Vaněk stepped in for two losses. Then, on
Nov. 10, Chris Chougaz was announced as the new head coach.
“I am 10 days with the team,” Chougaz said. “Of course I want them to start to play better and to win. It is a young team.”
On Tuesday, egoé Basket Brno hosted BC Adriaoil Skrljevo in the Alpe Adria Cup, losing a close game, 71-73. Another Alpe Adria Cup home game will be this Saturday against Zalakeramia ZTE KK at 7 p.m.
The next league game is not until Sunday, Dec. 9, when egoé Basket Brno will host Dekstone Tuři Svitavy at 7 p.m.
Žabiny Trounced by Praha
The ZBL is in the middle of a break. BK Žabiny Brno, however, started early when they travelled to undefeated defending-champion ZVVZ USK Praha on Sunday. Resting might have been better. Praha (10-0) won 105-49.
The Žabiny are 6-3 and in third place. They next play at Teamsport Brno (1-7) on Friday. Tip off is at 7:30 p.m.
KP Brno, the league runners up last year, are in fifth place in the standings, although they have the same 5-3 record as fourth-place Sokol Hradec Králové and fifth-place BK Loko Trutnov (the order is according to points scored).
KP Brno will play a Eurocup game against Miškolc tonight (Wednesday) at 6 p.m. On Saturday, they host Slovanka MB at 3:30 p.m.
BRNO SPORTS RESULTS
Quick results for various Brno professional and recreational sports for the past week. Home team listed first (when applicable).
Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2018
— Men’s Basketball: Kingspan Královští sokoli 84, Basket Brno 79
Friday, Nov. 23, 2018
— Men’s Football: Zbrojovka 1, Vlašim 2
Saturday, Nov. 24, 2018
— Hockey: K. Vary 5, Kometa 4
Sunday, Nov. 25, 2018
— Women’s Basketball: ZVVZ USK Praha X Žabiny Brno, 5 p.m.
— Hockey: Litvínov 2, Kometa 3
Tuesday, Nov. 27, 2018
— Men’s Basketball, Alpe Adria Cup: Egoé Basket Brno 71, BC Adriaoil Skrljevo 73
BRNO SPORTS SCHEDULE
The schedule for various Brno professional and recreational sports for the next two weeks. All dates and times subject to change. Home team listed first (when applicable).
Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018
— Women’s Basketball, Eurocup, Group G: KP Brno X Miškolc, 6 p.m.
— Hockey: Kometa X Olomouc, 6 p.m.
Friday, Nov. 30, 2018
— Women’s Basketball: Teamstore Brno X Žabiny Brno, 7:30 p.m.
— Hockey: Kometa X Vítkovice, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018
— Men’s Basketball, Alpe Adria Cup: Egoé Basket Brno X Zalakeramia ZTE KK, 7 p.m.
— Women’s Basketball: KP Brno X Slovanka MB, 3:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018
— Hockey: HC Masaryk University X UMB Hockey Team Banska Bystrica, 8 p.m.
— Hockey: Liberec X Kometa, 2 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018
— Women’s Basketball, CEWL: UBI Graz X Basket Žabiny Brno, 6 p.m.
— Hockey, Champions League Quarterfinals: Kometa X Frölunda Indians, 6 p.m.
Wednesday, Dec. 5, 2018
— Women’s Basketball, Eurocup, Group G: Reyer Venezia X KP Brno, 7:30 p.m.
Thursday, Dec. 6, 2018
— Hockey: Kometa X Sparta, 6 p.m.
Saturday, Dec. 8, 2018
— Women’s Basketball, CEWL, in Piešťany: Basket Žabiny Brno X Amsterdam Angels, 2:30 p.m.
Sunday, Dec. 9, 2018
— Women’s Basketball, CEWL, in Piešťany: Dynamo Moskva X Basket Žabiny Brno, 11 a.m.
— Men’s Basketball: egoé Basket Brno X Dekstone Tuři Svitavy, 7 p.m.
— Women’s Basketball: U19 Chance X Teamstore Brno, 5 p.m.
— Hockey: Zlín X Kometa, 3:30 p.m.
Tuesday, Dec. 11, 2018
— Hockey, Champions League Quarterfinals: Frölunda Indians X Kometa, 6 p.m.
The Brno Sports Report is published every Wednesday. All dates and times are subject to change. Most of the stories are about the traditional “English-speaking” team sports — football, hockey, baseball, basketball, American football, rugby, etc. — but it is also about the interesting local spectator and participation sports — tennis, badminton, running, horse racing, swimming, rock climbing, biking, etc. If you have any suggestions for what should be included, please comment below or send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
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