Tournament of 4 nations in Piestany, Slovakia
New formed national team of Slovakia U20 was member of really competitive 4 nations tournament in Slovakia this year as usually. The head coach of the Slovakian national team U20 was Ernest Bokroš, The coach selected 23 players with year of birth 2000, his team played against national teams from Russia, Finland and Czech Republic.
National team of Slovakia consisted of players who the most play in their home country or Czech Republic, but there were few players for example from Sweden: Martin Vitaloš or Sebastian Čederle even from USA Filip Škorec, who is playing USPHL Premier for Florida Eels team. The training camp begun 4 days before the first game. The team had to used to on rigidly rules from head coach Bokroš. The main point was playing for 100% defense and then utilize every mistake of opposite team.
Slovakia started tournament against national team of Russia U20. The game was fast hard and most of the time really organized. Slovakia did not let the russian team play their hockey. They were catching all of the russian passes and they were protecting the defense zone almost perfectly. After the first period the slovakia had 17 shots on the net and Russia only 8, but the Russian team was winning 1:0 in the end of the period. The Slovak national team did not give up. They were working hard until the end of the game, but russia showed their power and skills and the slovakian team eventually lost much more than their deserved
Next game was against Finland. The players from Finland were extremely fast and they could shot from every angle, because of that the slovakian goalies had to be focused on every puck with direction to their net. This match wasn't as physical as last one, it was more about skating. The game had even better start than the last game. Slovakian team shot fisrt goal after one of the mistakes of finland´s defenseman, but unfortunately the finland team scored right after the goal and then again, so the slovakian team had to reorganize the game and they did it successfully. After first period the score was 2:2. During the second period sSovakian team was able to play more of the time in the finland defense zone, but after few mistakes and penalties by slovakian team. The team Finland scored twice. Even in the third period the game was still really fast and the atmospehere by spectators was still increadebly helpful for the slovakian team, but in the end of the game the score was 6:3 for team Finland.
Last game was national derby, the Slovakia national team against the Czech Republic national team. This was the third game during the three days, so both teams had less power, but still they were playing for 100%. The game was fast and full of hard hits, also with some fights, because neither of teams did not want to lose, so everybody was trying what they can, but that was the main reason of mistakes on both sides, because players were losing their focus on the tactic instructions. Even though the Slovakian team had 33 shots on net and the Czech team had 22 the final score was 3:1 for Czech national team.
This tournament was great experience for new forming team of Slovakia U20. They could compare their level of skating and ice hockey skills with the players from the peak of the Junior hockey. Even though they did not get any points from the tournament, but they received valuable experience for their ice hockey careers and now on the beginning of the way to World Championship U20 they know what to improve to beat the strongest teams.