Match of hockey legends Czech Republic – Slovakia, February 10, 2023, Prague. The match is part of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the victory of the Czech team at the 1998 Nagano Olympics. The players greet each other after the match. From left, Ivan Majeský from Slovakia, Jaromír Jágr from the Czech Republic, Milan Jurčina from Slovakia, Petr Klíma from the Czech Republic and David Moravec from the Czech Republic.
Prague – The sold-out O2 arena with more than 17,000 spectators enjoyed today the exhibition match between the Czech and Slovak hockey legends, which took place on the occasion of the celebration of the 25th anniversary of the victory of the national team at the Olympic Games in Nagano 1998. And although the result was not entirely the issue, most of she went home satisfied. The Czechs won the prestigious duel between the former federal partners 6:3.
Photo gallery: Celebrations of the victory of Czech hockey players at the 1998 Nagano Olympics
“I didn't expect it to be sold out and I have to say that we appreciate it tremendously. Me and the guys from Slovakia,” said the captain of the Czech team, Jaromír Jágr, to the fans who came to the match. “Thank you for paying tribute to us for what a special generation we were in the Czech Republic and Slovakia. We really appreciate it,” said the star forward, who will celebrate his 51st birthday next week.
“It is obvious that we're probably still hungry for hockey if we sell out the O2 arena too. It's unbelievable,” smiled David Moravec. “The atmosphere was great, even though I know it was probably unwatchable. Some combinations were beautiful and it wasn't so dull. I think the audience understood that it was about the names. And they also appreciated the fact that it wasn't going to the body ,” Moravec said.
Although the exhibition match officially took place as part of the celebrations of the Tournament of the Century in Nagano, a number of players who represented at other successful events appeared on the ice in the Czech jersey. From Nagano's “golden hockey players”, in addition to Jágr and Moravec, Robert Reichel, Milan Hejduk, Libor Procházka and Roman Čechmánek presented themselves on the ice. Martin Ručinský, Martin Straka, Jaroslav Špaček, Pavel Patera, Josef Beránek and František Kučera watched the duel in the role of coaches.
Ľubomír Višňovský, Marián Hossa, Michal Handzuš or Žigmund Pálffy played in the Slovakian jersey. “It was something wonderful for us as well. There could be more events like this. We are happy to be able to compete with guys with whom we played or played against each other,” said Višňovský, who led the Slovak team with the captain's badge.
The Czechs thus defeated the Slovaks for the second time in the season. In September, they also succeeded in the exhibition in Bratislava. “We wanted to get a better result than in Bratislava and finally beat the Czech team. But you can see that some guys are still playing, not so much here. But I think that people have come to their senses and we are really grateful that the hall was sold out, ” said Marián Hossa.
The forty-four-year-old three-time Stanley Cup winner was among the best Slovak players and scored two of the three goals. “It turned out well. No one was upset, no blood flowed and we played for fun. Although no one wanted to lose, we still have that in us,” added Moravec.
Czech Republic – Slovakia 6:3 (3: 1, 2:1, 1:1)
Goals and assists: 13. Jágr (Bednář, Výborný), 15. Reichel (Tlustý), 20. Vlasák (J. Hlinka), 31. P. Nedvěd (J. Nedvěd, Jágr), 35th Excellent (Jágr, Hlaváč), 52nd Hejduk (Tlustý, L. Procházka) – 12th Uram (Vaic), 26th Marián Hossa (Nagy), 55th Marián Hossa (Marcel Hossa).
Czech squad: Čechmánek (31. Salfický) – Krajíček, Nakládal, J. Nedvěd, Hlaváč, Bednář, L. Procházka – Jágr, Výborný, P. Nedvěd – Hejduk, Reichel, Tlustý – Varaďa, Moravec, Eliáš – Klíma, J. Hlinka, Vlasák. Coaches: Lener, M. Straka, J. Beránek, F. Kučera, J. Špaček, Patera, Ručinský.