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HC Kometa has struggled through the middle of the regular season of both of their recent title runs and they are following the pattern this season, too. Photo credit: Vít Novák.

Brno, Dec. 5 (BD) — KP Brno replaces head coach, egoe Basket Brno rights the ship with a victory, FC Zbrojovka dumps four popular players and the Brno sports schedule.

HOCKEY

Kometa Repeats Normal Mid-Season Struggles

Similar to the midseason swoon of the past two championship seasons, HC Kometa has hit tough times midway through the Tipsport extraliga season. The team went 3-5 in November and started December with a 5-2 loss at Liberec on Sunday.

Brno is in eighth place with 38 points, 11 points behind league-leading Třinec.

Kometa will next take the ice at DRFG Arena on Thursday against Sparta at 6 p.m.

During the 2016-17 and 2017-18 title runs, Brno struggled during the middle of the season only to get hot late and dominate the postseason.

On Tuesday, the team also dug itself a big hole in the Hockey Champions League when it lost 1-4 in front of its home crowd in the first game of the quarterfinal series against the Frölunda Indians. Brno took the lead in the 10th minute when Bedřich Köhler scored. But, Frölunda evened the score just before the first-period break and added three more goals in the second period. Kometa were outshot 17-31.

The Champions League quarterfinal series continues on Tuesday in Sweden.

Two big-name players have yet to make appearances for the team. Martin Erat, 37, one of the leaders of the past two championship seasons, is getting into playing shape. Tomáš Plekanec, 36, another former NHL and international star may take the ice on Thursday against Sparta.

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.

Masaryk Beats Cavaliers, 4-2

In a battle of Brno teams, HC Masaryk University beat Cavaliers Brno, 4-2, on Tuesday night.

Masaryk leads the European University Hockey League with 22 points.

MU maintained control of the game, building to a 4-0 lead.

The Cavaliers, who have one win and three points, mounted a comeback with two third-period goals, but they ran out of time.

WOMEN’S BASKETBALL

KP Brno Names New Coach: Martin Pospíšil

KP Brno, the defending Czech Cup holders and last year’s ZBL runners up, changed leadership this week when Martin Pospíšil replaced David Zdeněk as the head coach.

Pospíšil was introduced during a press conference on Monday. Zdeněk will stay with the organization to work with the youth program.

BK Brno is 6-3 through the first nine games of the 2018-19 season.

Pospíšil, 35, previously coached Piešťanske Čajky in Slovakia. He was also an assistant coach for the Slovak women’s team. This year, he served as the youth coach for USK Praha.

His first two games with KP Brno will be Eurocup, Group G, road games: at Reyer Venezia tonight (Wednesday) and at Nantes Reze next Wednesday.

Pospíšil’s first league game will be at U19 Chance on Dec. 16. His first home game won’t be for a month; DSK Basketball Nymburk comes to Kralove Pole on Jan. 5 at 3:30 p.m. (The game against cross-town rival Žabiny Brno, which was to be played this weekend, has been moved. The time and date are to be announced.)

During the transition period, assistant coach Andrea Kuklová stepped in to lead KP Brno to a dominating victory on Saturday, beating Slovanka MB, 88-42.

In other local news, Žabiny Brno travelled across town to play at Teamstore Brno and win, 47-93, last Friday. Žabiny Brno (7-3 in the ZBL) then hit the road for international games. They will be in Piešťany, Slovakia for two CEWL games this weekend.

On Sunday, Teamstore Brno (1-8) has a good chance to win its second game of the season when they play at winless U19 Chance (0-9). The game starts at 5 p.m.

MEN’S BASKETBALL

egoé Basket Brno Finds Winning Stride

egoé Basket Brno won its first game in six weeks when it outscored Zalakeramia ZTE KK in every quarter and won its final Alpe Adria Cup game, 86-63, at home on Saturday.

Unfortunately, despite playing well at home, Brno finished Group C play with a 2-4 record from six games and will not advance. ZTE KK (4-2) was guaranteed to move on in the tournament as one of the top two teams of the group.

Zdenek Nehyba led the way with a team-high 17 points. He was 3-for-4 from 3-point range.
Radek Farsky (14 points), Deremy Geiger (11) and Jan Kozina (11) all scored in double digits.

The Alpe Adria Cup includes 16 teams from seven countries, Austria, Croatia, the Czech Republic, Hungary, Slovakia, Slovenia and Poland. Brno almost won all three home games: it opened the tournament with a one-point victory over BK Klosterneuburg Dukes on Oct. 10; then on Nov. 27, it lost by two to BC Adriaoil Skrljevo.

The last time egoé Basket Brno won a game was Oct. 14 when it beat BK Armex Děčín. Since then, second-year coach Dejan Jakara was replaced by Chris Chougaz. After Chougaz took over the team, Brno lost twice in the domestic league and once in the Alpe Adria Cup. This was his first victory with the team.

The next Kooperativa NBL game is Sunday, when egoé Basket Brno will host Dekstone Tuři Svitavy at 7 p.m.

MEN’S FOOTBALL

Zbrojovka Drops Popular Players to Trim Roster

Zbrojovka is in seventh place with a record of 6-5-5 and 23 points through the autumn half of the Fortuna:Narodni Liga. Young players have been getting a lot of playing time and they are clearly the future of the team. Injuries have limited playing time for several name-players. Saving money on salaries makes sense. And, according to the team website, it is time for “oxygenation and to increase resilience”.

These are just some of the likely reasons that Zbrojovka ended the contracts with four of its popular players last week. Czechs Dušan Melichárek, the goalkeeper captain, and long-time player Milan Lutonský were let go. Wing Musefiu Ashiru and defender Chico Gomes, two foreign players, will also not continue with the team.

League play will resume on March 2 and run through May 25. 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.

Brno is 12 points behind league-leader 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.

BRNO SPORTS RESULTS

Quick results for various Brno professional and recreational sports for the past week. Home team listed first (when applicable).

Wednesday, Nov. 28, 2018

— Women’s Basketball, Eurocup, Group G: KP Brno 70, Miškolc 83
— Hockey: Kometa 2, Olomouc 3

Friday, Nov. 30, 2018

— Women’s Basketball: Teamstore Brno 47, Žabiny Brno 93
— Hockey: Kometa 3, Vítkovice 2

Saturday, Dec. 1, 2018

— Men’s Basketball, Alpe Adria Cup: Egoé Basket Brno 86, Zalakeramia ZTE KK 63
— Women’s Basketball: KP Brno 88, Slovanka MB 42

Sunday, Dec. 2, 2018

— Hockey: Liberec 5, Kometa 2

Tuesday, Dec. 4, 2018

— Women’s Basketball, CEWL: UBI Graz X Basket Žabiny Brno, NA
— Hockey, Champions League Quarterfinals: Kometa 1, Frölunda Indians 4
— Hockey: HC Masaryk University 4, Cavaliers Brno 2

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, 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.


Wednesday, Dec. 12, 2018

— Men’s Basketball: Basket Brno X Olomoucko, 8 p.m.
— Women’s Basketball, Eurocup, Group G: Nantes Reze X KP Brno, 8:30 p.m.
— Women’s Basketball, CEWL: Basket Žabiny Brno X UBI Graz, 6 p.m.

Saturday, Dec. 15, 2018

— Women’s Basketball: Žabiny Brno X SBŠ Ostrava, 5 p.m.
— Men’s Basketball: NH Ostrava X egoé Basket Brno, 5:30 p.m.

Sunday, Dec. 16, 2018

— Women’s Basketball: DSK Basketball Nymburk X Teamstore Brno, 3 p.m.
— Women’s Basketball: U19 Chance X KP Brno, 5 p.m.

Tuesday, Dec. 18, 2018

— Hockey: Chomutov X Kometa, 5:30 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 brnosports@gmail.com.

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