The 18-team hockey team lost to Sweden 2:4, but defended their progress to the semi-finals

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Hockey's 18 team lost to ŠVedska 2:4, but missed the promotion to the semifinals le

Hlinka Gretzky Cup hockey players under 18, group A: Czech Republic – Sweden, August 2, 2023, Břeclav. The players rejoice at the goal. From left, Alfons Freij from Sweden, Alexander Zetterberg from Sweden and Karl Sterner from Sweden.

Břeclav – Czech hockey players failed for the first time at this year's Hlinka Gretzky Cup tournament for players under the age of 18. After victories over the USA and Germany, they lost to Sweden 2:4 at the end of the Group A program in Břeclav. Nevertheless, they defended first place in the decisive mini-table and progress to Friday's semi-finals, in which they will also challenge Finland in Břeclav from 19:00.

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Coach David Čermák's men went into the match against the Northerners with regard to the opening triumph against the USA (7:2) and the subsequent victory of the Americans over the Swedes (6:1) in a good starting position for the eventual mini-table. It was already obvious after half the match, when the Swedes were leading 3:0. Viggo Nordlund punished a mistake by the home players in the very first minute, Lucas Pettersson added in the 10th minute and Melvin Fernström made his mark in the 31st minute.

When in the 47th minute Alfons Freij added the fourth goal of the young selection of Tre kronor in a numerical advantage, the Czechs' promotion hopes began to shake at the foundations. Goalkeeper Jakub Milota, however, saved his goal from another disaster, and on the other hand, Jakub Fibigr's intervention in the 56th minute brought relief. More than three thousand spectators in the auditorium were cheered up by Matěj Kubiesa in the 57th minute, and at that moment it was definitely decided that the Czechs would advance to the medal fight together with the Americans, who defeated the Germans 8:1 today.

There was also a mini-table in Trenčín's group B. The Canadians outplayed the hitherto 100 percent Swiss unequivocally 5:0 and advanced from first place despite the initial defeat of 6:9 against the Finns. However, they lost to the Swiss and today in the duel with the Slovaks they were out of the promotion positions for a long time. Although they responded to the home team's opening goal, the 1:1 score was not enough for them to progress. Tuomas Suoniemi scored the win and thus advancement for the Finns in 59:57.

On Friday, the Czech Republic – Finland and Canada – USA semi-final matches are scheduled (in Trenčín from 19:00). The Swedes will compete against the Swiss for the final 5th place, and the Slovaks will play against the Germans for the 7th place.

Hlinka Gretzky Cup hockey players under 18:

Group A (Břeclav):

Czech Republic – Sweden 2:4 (0:2, 0:1, 2:1)

Goals: 56. Fibigr, 57. Kubiesa – 1. Nordlund, 10. Pettersson, 31. Fernström, 47. Freij.

Germany – USA 1:8 (0:4, 1:2, 0:2).

Final table:

1. Czech Republic 3 2 0 0 1 15:8 6
2. USA 3 2 0 0 1 16:9 6
3. Sweden 3 2 0 0 1 16:9 6
4. Germany 3 0 0 0 3 4 :25 0

Group B (Trenčín):

Switzerland – Canada 0:5 (0:2, 0:1, 0:2), Slovakia – Finland 1:2 (0:0, 1:1, 0:1).

Final table:< /h4>

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1. Canada 3 2 0< /td>

0 1 25:13 6
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Finland 3 2 0 0 1 12:10 6
3. Switzerland 3 2 0 0 1 9:9 6
4. Slovakia 3 0 0 3 8:22 0