Tuesday night in Nitra
Just when you thought hockey couldn’t get much more wild than games one and two of the Stanley Cup Finals this year. Or, heck games three and four. Well, here we have a friendly match last night out of Nitra, Slovakia, in which Slovak Extraliga team HK Nitra and Ukrainian club HC Donbass Donetsk face off in a few different ways. The complete IDNES.cz article is here. The two clubs met in Nitra last night and it wasn’t so friendly.
Any explanation here would be unnecessary. But let’s just say the goalie goes nuts, hitting players on the head with his stick and then proceeding to slam it against the glass as he walks out. More nuts than that time Tuukka Rask started throwing milk crates in Providence. Profane things were shouted, obscene gestures flaunted, the hometown crowd chanted “NI-TRA” to mock the man. But isn’t there some unwritten code in hockey that you’re not supposed to hit someone with your stick? Just like you’re not supposed to use your skates as weapons?
According to IDNES.cz, the Russian goalie, Evgeny Tsaregorodtsev, still led his team to victory, 3-1. But he was most frustrated towards the end, with just four minutes to go. Czech forward Lubomir Korhoň, of HK Nitra, noted that “this is typical of Russian teams” (never mind they’re mostly Ukrainian) and that they feel they can act up with impunity. He also lamented the fact the “hockey game was pretty good” until it devolved into madness. HK Nitra’s recap addresses the incident, but the photo gallery seems to miss the event entirely. The coach’s assessment contained one pointed line, “Myslím, že keby tento výkon predvedli niekde na severe Európy, už by ich tam nikto nikdy nepozval.” Roughly, “I think, that if this game had been played in northern Europe, they would have never been invited.” I guess Swedish and Finnish teams won’t be inviting HC Donbass for exhibition matches, then?
Still, HC Donbass was the 2011 Ukrainian league champion. And they are champions here, oh yes.