Preliminary round of the hockey extraleague play off – 1st match: HC Olomouc – HC Energie Karlovy Vary, March 8, 2023, Olomouc. Interruption of game due to poor quality ice.
Olomouc – The fate of today's unfinished game between the ice hockey players of Olomouc and Karlovy Vary at the beginning of the preliminary round of the extra league play off is to be decided by Thursday based on the agreement of both clubs. Jakub Šindel, one of the two main referees of the match, stated this in an interview with journalists and added that in the event of a disagreement, the director of the competition, Martin Loukota, together with representatives of the Association of Professional Ice Hockey Clubs (APK), which manages the extra league, will decide.
“According to my information, the clubs will now receive a proposal on which they have until tomorrow to comment and agree among themselves. If the clubs do not agree on a joint variant, the director of the competition together with the APK will make a decision on how the series will continue. The finishing variants are not in my competence, I don't even have this information yet, but it is offered to finish the match or start a new match from the beginning,” said Šindel.
“The unfinished match will be decided by 11 a.m. tomorrow at the latest,” Loukota explained to ČTK by when he wants to have the situation resolved at the latest.
The match, which started at 6 p.m., ended after a long wait, and after almost three hours from the initial bulla. The reason for this was a large hole in the ice at the visitors' substitution area, which was caused by a skunk during a break in the ice treatment.
“It was waiting for a repair and everyone tried to do their best to continue playing. Even after that long time, the surface was not suitable for the match to be played safely. Since it was primarily about the health of the players, we decided by consensus to end the match. We wanted to be as transparent as possible and know everyone's opinion. As a result, this meant that in the end, everyone did not agree to continue,” explained Šindel.
The former striker decided the duel together with colleague Tomáš Veselý. Tomáš Brejcha and Josef Špůr played the roles of their colleagues on the lines. As Šindel acknowledged, making the final decision was not easy. In the end, however, concerns about the health of all the actors prevailed.
“Once the groove went across, it was more or less fine. But when the player tried a sharper brake at that point, he staggered and broke down. The Varu players they tried and everyone saw how it turned out. The basis of the decision was the protection of the players' health and the fact that the pitch was not 100% safe,” stated Šindel.
“It could have ended and nothing might have happened. But if we had decided to finish it and something happened, then we would carry it for the rest of our lives. From my point of view, that makes no sense, that's why I evaluate our final decision as a good one,” Šindel added.