Sunday, January 31, 2010

January 30th, 2010 - 2. Liga Východ - SHK Hodonín 7 HK Jestřábi Prostějov 0

January 30th, 2010
2. Liga Východ (3rd level)
SHK Hodonín 7 HK Jestřábi Prostějov 0
Attendance: 1750 (away support of 50)
Admission: 60kc seating, 50kc standing
Game rating: 6.5/10
Distance travelled: 250km

Being Canadian, I do tend to go to the odd Prostějov hockey game throughout the year. Yesterday, I made the trip to Hodonín which is a smallish town in Southern Moravia, located about 1km from Slovakia.

First, just a brief rundown of hockey here in the Czech Republic. The top division is the Extra-Liga. From there you have a national 1. liga, and then you get three regional 2.Liga divisions. This is where Prostějov currently find themselves, in the 2.Liga Východ. For a number of years they were in the 1.liga, but have since found themselves in financial problems. This year, they are fighting to avoid relegation, while Hodonín look like strong favourites for promotion.

Back in the 1994/95 season, Hodonín spent a year in the top division. They were known as Baník Hodonín, back then. However, after a solid mid-table finish, the club fell under financial problems. In 2001, the town of Hodonín built a new arena. It is a fantastic place to watch, as it feels like the crowd is right on top of the players. It is even better now, because Hodonín supporters pack the place game after game.

Now, it appears that there has been some sort of rivalry between the two sets of supporters. Something I was not aware of going into the game last night. The tension between the supporters was obvious. Heavy security was placed in the away section.

For the first two periods, the game was physical and the atmosphere fantastic. Both teams worked hard for every play, and the supporters went back and forth at each other. The hosts were leading 2-0 at the end of the second period, and looked all but certain for the win. The 3rd period was dominated by Hodonín and they ended up running away with a 7-0 victory.

Unfortunately, during the third period, tempers between the fans seemed to reach a boiling point. This was coupled with the fact that the Prostějov supporters clearly did not like seeing their team down by so many goals. Cans of beer were thrown, and then security came into the Prostějov section. This led to lots of pushing. A few minutes later, Hodonín fans broke through the barrier separating the away section. I am not sure what happened after that, as I decided to leave. My train was due to leave in 20 minutes, and I saw no benefit in staying. As I left, I saw riot police waiting at the Prostějov supporters bus. The police also blocked off the street which led to the Prostějov supporters bus on both sides.

I am not sure what happened in the past between the two sets of supporters, but it is obvious they do not really like each other.

Sunday, January 24, 2010

January 24th, 2010 - Winter training game - HFK Olomouc "B" 11 Tovačov 1

January 24th, 2010 - HFK Olomouc winter tournament
HFK Olomouc (5th level) "B" 11 Tovačov (7th level) 1
Attendance: 4
Admission: Free
Game rating: 6/10
Distance travelled: 65km

I braved the -10C weather conditions to catch my first football game of 2010. The Gambrinus Liga does not start up again for another month, while the other leagues follow shortly there after.

For the past three years, HFK Olomouc have hosted a winter tournament which runs until mid-February. There are two groups, one for the higher placed clubs, and the other for the lower placed clubs. All games are played on the weekends. Most clubs in the tournament play in the 5th-8th levels. However, the first team of HFK Olomouc (3rd division) does not compete in this tournament.

Only three other people were at the game today, as for most people it was far too cold. However, for this Canadian, it was normal winter temperatures. A few other people came and went throughout the match, but no one stayed. The game was played on the clubs all weather pitch.

HFK Olomouc "B" (5th level) completely dominated Tovačov (7th level) from start to finish. It was clear that the players for HFK trained and played at a higher level. The first half finished 7-1, and with all respect it should have been at least 12-1. The second half was much of the same, with Tovačov only getting past the half way mark on a few occasions. HFK "B" did not let up, as it was a winter training game, they wanted to get as much out of it as possible. In the end, the score flattered Tovačov. I am sure if this game was played during the season, Tovačov would be in better shape, and could compete a little more.