Slovak hockey representatives will play Group C at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing against Sweden, Finland and Latvia.
Coach Craig Ramsey’s staff should also include NHL players, but according to general manager Miroslav Otan, that’s not entirely final yet. However, it is certain that the Slovaks after Lillehammer (1994), Nagan (1998), Salt Lake City (2002), Turin (2006), Vancouver (2010), Sochi (2014) and Pyongyang (2018) will fight under the Olympic rings. For the eighth time. While participating in Nagana 1998 and Salt Lake City 2002, they were denied a start in the main event due to unsuccessful qualification at the game venue.
According to Otan, this shows that Slovak hockey is still among the best. “We were going to be in the Olympics, and the players resisted the pressure and the stress that qualification came. It wasn’t easy to play full time in August. It had its flaws, so we are proud of the players,” He said Satan.
The coach also witnessed the dramatic match with Belarus (2:1), which kept 7105 spectators in suspense until the end, emotionally. Ramsey: “I thought I would end up in this business after 50 years in this business, but I tried it a lot. I was a little afraid that we would end up like the 2019 World Cup in Kosice, so we could manage the main game as well. It was very difficult, but we succeeded. In that I am very proud of the players.”
The Slovaks were better with the Belarusians, but in the second half their opponent pushed them in a few moments. However, the opportunities were on both sides. Then the Belarusians tried it hard, sometimes even more than necessary. “I was expecting a tough match. The Belarusians played on the edge, but I expected them to try it that way. It was a tactical as well as a tough match. I’m glad we did,” stated with conviction Satan.
In addition to the Slovak players, the Danes and Latvians, who succeeded in their qualifying groups, qualified for Beijing. The Olympic Games will be held in the Chinese capital from February 4 to February 20, 2022, the last twelve participants, in addition to three successful qualifiers, also Canada, the United States, Russia, Sweden, Finland, the Czech Republic, Germany, Switzerland and China domestic. NHL players must also start in games, but the definition has yet to fall. “The agreement between the IOC, the IIHF and the NHL has not been done yet, so it is still open. We would like to have the best possible team out there,” Satan said.
Many of the youngsters who could appear in a good light at the May World Championships in Riga can also play in the Winter Olympics. However, Slovakia was withdrawn with support in the playoffs. “I am happy that we are growing young players and I believe they will continue to have such performances. Goalkeeper Braňo Konrád did well, he was a player of the tournament and also Libor Hudáček,” Satan values.
The general manager of the national team explained why the Slovaks did not play any preparatory match before the tournament. “The preparation was not perfect, as we only met for a few days. But clubs can only lay off players for one week. The question is what players can attend the preparatory match. That’s why we don’t care.”
Satan also confirmed that Canadian coach Ramsey will stay with the team after the Olympics: “Looking for a coach in March after the Olympics would be foolish, now he will automatically stay until the end of the season. We don’t have to look for a coach or a manager.”
Preparatory tournaments await the national team before the Olympics. This year, the Slovaks will present themselves in the German Cup and the Swiss Cup. “We will invite players to these tournaments who were in a broader nomination to qualify. We don’t need to see Jhalarik or Hrivik. But we will see how the players from the broader nomination fare in the season,” Satan added.
Group formation at the 2022 Olympic Games in Beijing
Canada, USA, Germany, China
Republic of China, Czech Republic, Switzerland, Denmark
Finland, Sweden, Slovakia, Latvia
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