The Czechs have a match with the national team ahead of the hockey world championship, against which they have never wavered in a big tournament. However, in Tampere, the Austrians are still a pike in Group B. They did not skin the Swedes cheaply, they took a point from the Americans, they even reached the winning goal. And they have a man at their center who will have a special motivation in today’s game.
Tampere (from our newsletter) – Peter Schneider is an important part of the Austrian team. He scored in the game against Sweden (1-3). In overtime with the Americans, he scored a stick, the opponent hit the counterattack and won 3: 2.
The Austrians were slightly depressed after the game, but still took all ten points. After all, they have been waiting 21 years for a similar result against the world’s top six team (Canada, USA, Russia, Sweden, Finland, Czech Republic). Coincidentally, the Americans beat 3-0 at the 2001 World Championships, and no surprises since.
“They were clearly a better team, but we could still win. Whenever Austria find themselves in the elite group of the World Cup, every player has to fight. The opponents are better, we don’t have of stars, we have to make her sing,” says Schneider. in very solid Czech.
In his youth, a 31-year-old bearded man from the suburbs of Vienna left for a better hockey career in Slovakia, where he also went to primary school. He gradually came to Znojmo, where he graduated from a bilingual high school.
He played for the youth of České Budějovice or Český Krumlov, under whose jersey he scored 16 goals in four matches. Later, he left junior Znojmo overseas, where he spent a total of seven years in college and the East Coast Hockey League’s second farm.
Two years ago, after working in Vienna and Switzerland, Libor Zábranský launched it into the sky. “That’s why I know some players from the Czech team. It will definitely be a special match for me,” Schneider said.
Especially at the start of the 2020/21 season, he shot very hard in the extra league. By December, he had scored 16 goals, but then injured his hand and the comeback didn’t go as he had hoped. Schneider gradually fell into Brno’s line-up, he didn’t have as much space and the points dropped significantly.
Due to less time on the ice, he returned home to Austria after a season in which he scored 27 points (21+6) in 51 games for the Comet. And the following year, still going strong on the international stage, proved fantastic for him.
Schneider and Salzburg topped the international ICEHL (formerly EBEL), scored the most goals in the base game (28) and scored the most points (52). Additionally, he was declared the competition’s Most Valuable Player.
It thus arrived at the third participation in the world championship of the highest group as an expected national team.
“It helped us a lot before the World Cup to be able to play duels against strong opponents. We have a lot of young players in the team who needed to gain experience with this level of hockey”, explains the ‘attacker.
Instead of the Russians, the Austrians appeared at the Czech Games in Ostrava, they also entered the World Championship only after the exclusion of Belarus. Otherwise, they would have already fought in the IA Division tournament in Ljubljana.
The Austrians’ unequivocal objective is to save them, but against the Swedes and the USA they have shown that they can torment everyone. “We want to be a bit stronger in every game, we will go to the game with the Czechs with this. Soak in, skate well and try to play something,” Schneider describes on the team parameters.
Alongside Schneider, the team is counting on a young star, Marc Kasper, who should break into the upper echelons of the next NHL draft, or on the experienced fighter, Thomas Raffl. Goaltender David Kickert held the team against the Americans.
Undoubtedly, there is undoubtedly greater quality from the Czechs, who incidentally haven’t dropped a point with the Austrians in the previous nine mutual matches in the World Cup and Olympics. They also played them convincingly in preparation for the tournament.
The World Championship match starts at 3:20 p.m., on Aktuálně.cz you can watch it via online transmission.
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