The World Under-20 Ice Hockey Championship begins on December 26, the Slovak national team has been in the tournament venue for three days and has to solve the first problems.
The first was the dismissal of striker Servak Petrovsky, and the other canceled the scheduled preparatory matches. “The story of the tournaments is intertwined like a real blockbuster movie. We have new information every hour. It is definitely not good for the team to continue here. But we have our heads ready for the first match in the tournament. We are trying to filter these things.” Coach Evan Venis said at a news conference after the first training session.
Under special conditions, the first training of Slovakia took place after leaving the two-day isolation. The ice in the main hall was not yet ready, so the Slovak team had to go on a ten-minute bus ride to the temporary training hall.
The training time was also special, the organizers planned it at 8.30 am for the Slovaks. The players met at 7:30 in the cabin, changed their clothes and set off for a bus ride, followed by a 90-minute training session.
“We moved, but we’re glad we snowboarded at all. We had a practice session at 8.30, I don’t know, it was probably based on our roster and they had a feeling some of the fitters were there when they brought us in such early. Things might be incomprehensible to them. us, but it must be respected.” Ivan Fiennes noted that Slovakia has the youngest team in the tournament.
“They keep telling us the conditions are the same. When I saw that Canada were supposed to have three warm-up games and all the other teams only two, that’s something to think about. But you don’t have to worry about that. The time on the ice should be used to the full, And we will have a meeting with the players in the afternoon, so we will also make good use of this time.” Comment on the coach.
According to one of the most experienced hockey players, such grotesque things are more motivating. “Yes absolutely. In my opinion, everyone underestimates us, also by giving us worse breakdowns and things like that. We can only use them to our advantage.” Defender Samuel Kňažko said.
What is the first training according to Evan Fiennes? “He achieved what we expected of him. We trained well, went through many playing situations, dealt with organization and attack. The boys also sweated a lot.”
However, not everyone participated in the training. The aforementioned Petrovsky must be kept in seclusion. Servác is alone in the room. He came from a club where he was with a colleague who was positive. They were together on December 13, a day after he left the team, and on the 15th of the month the local authorities issued an order to quarantine, he is no longer there, but they contacted the organizers to isolate them for some time.
There are rules to be respected, and the IIHF protocol has complied with this point. I think common sense will prevail and we will follow IIHF regulations. All the tests were negative, and there were about five of them,” He revealed more about the condition of one of the players, Evan Fiennes. Servác Petrovský must remain in isolation for the next few days.
The problems also caused the organizers’ decision to cancel the scheduled preparatory matches, which were supposed to start on December 19.
However, the organizers do not want to start the tournament without them and therefore plan to play the preparatory matches from December 23, three days before the start of the tournament. Each team will likely have one duel.
This change also has a negative impact on coach Evan Venis, who has 28 players on the team, but can write 25 of them to the roster, so he will have to eliminate three. Will he do it before or after the pre-match?
He added, “We will wait for the preparatory match. It may happen that we send the players home and then someone gets injured in the match or there may be any problems, we cannot take such a risk, and we will extend the time as long as possible.” Evan Fiennes added at the end.
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