Our editors from Riga: Latvians complain about expensive tickets, but it’s not just about euros. The Slovaks would go to pieces – World Cup 2023 – Hockey

Slovak hockey players are in a great position at the world championship in Latvia and Finland after the first three games and the gain of four points, a team that has won the respect of opponents and foreign journalists, say sports reporters Martin Prosnan and Michal Bakaj in the Pravda podcast.

The match with Switzerland, which according to many is one of the favorites for the gold, will determine what chance the Slovaks have to progress further. In the Pravda daily podcast, we also talked with our reporters about why the attendance of the tournament in Latvia is so far disappointing, or why our hockey players travel there with skates on public transport buses.

A positive surprise regarding our team is clearly the performance of the defense and goalkeepers, from whom there were not high expectations. However, the team suffers from a smaller number of shots. “Coaches keep telling the players to press into the goal, to shoot more often, not to invent unnecessary shots, not to play for beauty, but to play hard and purposeful hockey, maybe even with dirty goals, because, really, sometimes we suffer for beauty,” says Michal Bakaj .

“All the not very positive assumptions turned upside down after the start of the championship,” adds Martin Prosnan. “The defense is great, we play excellent breakdowns, the guys are throwing themselves into shots. Maybe it’s a good thing that there are no big star names in this team who wouldn’t sacrifice themselves like that on the ice.”

After the three opening matches, the players took a day without training, during which they cleared their heads, several literally, by taking a walk in the city, or went to rehabilitation or the gym. “They are ready for the favored Swiss, they were in a good mood during training. They have one more point than they expected, so they go into it with enthusiasm,” describes Bakaj’s impressions.

Martin Prosnan adds that the players are also aware that they have a really difficult match against the Swiss. “I talked to Libor Hudáček about his unnecessary fouls. He said he would be more careful. He considers the Swiss to be the best team in our group, who came for the gold.”

And why do hockey players in Riga have to travel to training in jerseys and with skates on in public transport buses? Although there is a relatively new and modern hockey hall in the city, it does not have a training area. The hockey players go to a smaller hall three kilometers away, which does not have a locker room. The athletes travel there already in full equipment, ready for the ice, on dedicated public transport buses, so that they can fit on the bus with all the protectors.

“Yeah, it’s kind of funny. The people around the stadium also enjoy it when they see how the hockey players in their equipment get on the buses that are normally used in public transport. However, they vary from what they have. Simply, there’s nowhere to change clothes, it’s far, so they do it the best they know how,” says reporter Prosnan.

How do Latvians currently perceive hockey and the world championship, and how did the war in Ukraine affect it? What non-hockey moves do Canadians use during the game? Based on the opening matches, which teams are the favorites for the medals? Listen in the Pravda daily podcast.

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Source: Pravda – Športweb – Futbal – Hokej by sportweb.pravda.sk.

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