It was a good start for Slovak teams on the opening weekend of the Bauer Elite Cup with victories for both HK Nitra (pictured) amd HC Košice.
Košice won both of their U18 fixtures against Budapest Jégkorong Akadémia and DVTK Jegesmedvék Akadémia respectively after HK Nitra shut out FEHA19 in the competition’s first ever game.
Our guys were full of expectations heading into the weekend and we didn’t really know what to expect from either team,” said Košice Head Coach Alexander Valentín. “The game against Budapest was a bit of an offensive firefight and sometimes for me, as the coach, a little tough, but I like offensive play. I have to hand it to our players for coming back to 5-7 down with 10 minutes to play to get the win. Leaders stood up, and that’s really important for us in this early stage of the season.
“Defenseman Branislav Berger, a part of the Slovak U17 team, helped us a lot and got three points himself. I have big expectations for this team and I am glad that the boys worked hard both in training and games too. We’re now looking forward to games against Klagenfurt and Graz.”
DVTK were beaten 3-1 in Košice but enjoyed the experience nevertheless. “Everyone had a good time in Košice, our hosts were excellent and it was a great experience to play there,” commented DVTK Head Coach Gábor Verba. “We have a lot of players from last season’s U16 team and it takes some time to find chemistry within the roster, but we believe games like this will improve our squad a lot. We’re looking forward to this kind of elevated speed, focus and intensity coming up in other games.”
Budapest meanwhile saw a 7-5 lead evaporate aside the final 10 minutes in Košice. Head Coach Dávid Horváth reflected: “It ended up a bit water polo-like in the end, but it was a great experience and the hospitality was excellent. We have a team mainly with U17 players but this tournament shows great potential.”