THE SLOVAK ice-hockey team in Sochi has started preparations for its first match in the Olympic tournament against the USA.

Most of Slovakia’s stars from the NHL arrived in Sochi on February 10 and began training straightaway.

Slovakia’s first formation will be led by NHL stars Michal Handzuš and Marián Hossa, along with Tomáš Tatar, for whom Sochi is the first Olympic tournament. The second formation’s forwards are Tomáš Kopecky, Branko Radivojevič, and Tomáš Jurčo.

Rather surprisingly, Sme wrote, Slovakia’s coach Vladimir Vujtek put together the team’s two best defence players, Zdeno Chara and Andrej Sekera, who will complete the first formation.

“We count on them for power play,” Vujtek said as quoted by Sme. “It would be bad if each of them played in a different pair and then we’d have to change it during the game.”

The team will be backed by Slovakia’s best current goalie, Jaroslav Halak, a star of the St Louis team in the NHL.

Slovakia’s participation in the ice-hockey tournament will start on February 13, with the match against the national team of the USA.

Source: Sme

Compiled by Michaela Terenzani from press reports
The Slovak Spectator cannot vouch for the accuracy of the information
presented in its Flash News postings.